Groundbreaking for Research and Technology Park at UW

WATERLOO, Ont. -- The University of Waterloo today made history when ground was broken on a new Research and Technology Park, the outcome of an innovative $214-million partnership involving the university, the governments of Canada and Ontario, Waterloo Region, City of Waterloo, Communitech and Canada's Technology Triangle.

The first phase of the park will encompass 100 acres on the university's North Campus. The park will include an environmental reserve, state-of-the-art infrastructure and a business accelerator.

"This is an historic day for the University of Waterloo as we look toward the future of our institution and our country," said David Johnston, UW President. "The development of the Research and Technology Park is the fulfillment of a wonderful vision for our community's leaders. It will catalyze our community through new economy initiatives, expand our research capacity, stimulate the creation of new knowledge, ensure opportunities for real-world applications and attract talent from around the globe," he said.

Allan Rock, Canada's Industry Minister, said: "I am pleased that the Government of Canada's $13.4-million investment in the University of Waterloo's Research and Technology Park will encourage leading-edge research and the commercialization of that new knowledge."

"The Research and Technology Park will have a major impact on the Waterloo Region and support our position as a world leader in the technology sector," said Andrew Telegdi, MP (Kitchener-Waterloo). "I am pleased to see the first tenant of the park has been identified and look forward to more companies coming forward to become a partner in this project," he said.

Ontario Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation Jim Flaherty said: "Waterloo is internationally known for its academic institutions. The planned public/private project will ensure that the region is equipped with the facilities it needs to strengthen its position as a leader in the information technology and high technology fields, and a top industry competitor in the global marketplace."

Deputy Premier and Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Elizabeth Witmer said: "Knowledge, research and innovation have been the driving force behind many Waterloo Region based companies and the outstanding international reputation of the University of Waterloo for its co-op program and excellence in many disciplines including math, computer science and engineering."

Ken Seiling, Chair of Waterloo Region, said: "Turning the sod is the first concrete step in making the park a reality. With Sybase, our first tenant signed on, we are now on the way to seeing a great new project emerge in Waterloo Region which will see us continue to grow as a leader in research and technology."

Waterloo Mayor Lynne Woolstencroft said: "The University of Waterloo's Research and Technology Park is a transformational event moving from a post-industrial to a knowledge economy, the R&T Park heralds the importance of partnerships."

Greg Barratt, President of Communitech Technology Association, said: "The Research and Technology Park will provide an environment where our brightest minds will have the infrastructure and resources to create some of the world's most advanced technologies."

Randy Ellis, Chief Executive Officer of Canada's Technology Triangle, said: "The Research and Technology Park will foster and sustain the area's tradition for entrepreneurship in technology and advanced processes, and ensure the continued positive growth endemic to the area."

Recently, Sybase, Inc., a leading enterprise infrastructure and integration company, announced its intention to become the first anchor tenant of the park. Sybase's Waterloo site is the major centre for research and development for its iAnywhere Solutions subsidiary. The new office location would position Sybase at the centre of research excellence and innovation, as part of a new high-tech corridor in the Waterloo area.

The first phase development of the park offers businesses and their employees an attractive environment that fosters technology innovation. The new facility and proximity to the university will provide companies with:

• Joint Research Opportunities -- companies can work with the university professors and students on specific research projects, sharing the ultimate findings.

• Co-op Programs -- companies will be able to take advantage of the university's co-operative education program, a key source of top-tier talent.

• High-tech Facilities -- the new office space will feature the latest in office technology, including the latest in wireless communications such as 802.11 and Bluetooth.

• New Commuter Rail Corridor -- future plans will connect the Research and Technology Park via rail to downtown Kitchener, uptown Waterloo, and UW, easing the commute to work.

• Environmental Reserve -- the park will feature a 270-acre environmental reserve along the Laurel Creek corridor, providing employees with a beautiful natural setting.

Since its founding in 1957, UW has been an innovative institution that is actively responsive to the needs of society. With more than 22,000 undergraduate and graduate students, it was the first university in Canada to offer the co-operative (co-op) system of study, which balances theoretical learning with practical experience in the workplace.

It was also the first university in the world to establish a faculty of mathematics and the first university in North America to make computers available to undergraduates. Today UW is a research-intensive university, committed to discovering new knowledge and finding ways to use that knowledge for the benefit of society. For more information about UW, check www.uwaterloo.ca

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From Jim Fox, UW News Bureau, (519) 888-4444; jfox@uwaterloo.ca

UW Release no. 140 -- June 25, 2002