May 3, 2018
Statement by Mayor Crombie on the Provincial Funding for the Sheridan Innovation Hub
*Check against delivery*
Good afternoon and thank you for inviting me to join you today for this important and historic announcement.
Our Council understands the importance of innovation in our City and is working every day to foster an environment where local and innovative companies can not only start, but thrive
Too often, Mississauga is left out of the discussions about the so-called “innovation corridor” that stretches between Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo
I’m here to tell you, Mississauga is an important destination on corridor.
Mississauga is home to 88,000 businesses, 97 per cent of which are small businesses.
Innovative market leaders like SOTI, Point Click Care, Microsoft, Samsung, HP, and so many more, call Mississauga home.
We are a City in demand
Through our Economic Development Office, we are working to build our innovation ecosystem.
We want to be able to foster innovative ideas from concept through to commercialization, right here in Mississauga.
We have many of the building blocks in place already – from the RIC Centre, to the Xerox Research Centre of Canada to the soon-to-be-completed National Research Council Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing..to our multitude of innovative companies, there’s a lot of innovation happening right here in Mississauga
That’s why I’m so excited about today’s announcement
A lot of work has gone into today’s announcement by the City, Sheridan, and Ryerson
18 months ago we at the City brought together representatives from the Ryerson DMZ and Sheridan College in our boardroom to discuss working together to expand the DMZ model to Mississauga.
Since that time, our teams have worked closely together to develop the proposal, launch the centre, and talk to other levels of government about the need for an innovation Hub in our downtown core…and of course, ask for funding.
When we approached Minister Sousa in January, he immediately understood the need for this centre. He then followed through on his commitment, which brings us to today’s announcement.
Minister, on behalf of the City of Mississauga, I want to thank you and your government for this funding and for making Mississauga a priority.
We actually began our conversations with Minister Bains and MP Alghabra and I am confident that we will soon be making a similar announcement with the federal government!
The EDGE – as it has been named – will provide a space for innovative ideas to get their start and take flight
Renee and her team are already helping to incubate the next generation of innovative companies that I have no doubt will take the marketplace by storm and change our lives.
The EDGE is providing students, alumni, and local entrepreneurs with the ability to start their business right here in Mississauga – not drive at least an hour to find a place to do so
That’s the key – we’re encouraging innovation to happen right here in Mississauga!
The EDGE will provide mentoring, supports, and guidance – all critical elements that every new start-up needs.
Working with the private sector, we will also bring in mentors from our many innovative companies to assist the next generation of entrepreneurs.
This will put Mississauga on the map!
Before I close, I want to extend my sincere thanks to the people who helped make this happen.
Minister Sousa of course
Mary Preece, President of Sheridan College and her team – Alvin Tedjo, John Helliker, Brian Jervis, Michelle McCollum, and Renee Devereaux
John MacRitchie and Abdullah Snobar of Ryerson University for all of their guidance and support.
I also want to single out Ryerson’s President, Mohammad Latchemi for planting the seed way back in January 2016 when we were together in India
What began as an idea, is today a reality
And, our team in our City’s Economic Development Office – Bonnie Brown, Tamura Bangura-Pagan, Heidi Brown, and our former director, Susan Amring who all worked diligently to make this happen.
Today is a great day for Mississauga
This centre will be a catalyst for economic and social growth in our City and help us build a thriving downtown core, and ultimately, a world-class city
We cannot cut our way to prosperity. We need to make strategic and targeted investments like these to keep our economy moving and give our creative minds and entrepreneurs a chance to bring their ideas to life.