The federal government has made an investment in Brock that will help it to partner with regional supporters to kick-start bio-manufacturing businesses in Niagara.
Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, on behalf of Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), today announced an investment of up to $843,500 for Brock to create BioLinc, a new bioscience incubator.
These federal contributions through FedDev Ontario’s Prosperity Initiative will help build closer ties between leading bioscience researchers and local entrepreneurs.
“Our government is proud to partner with institutions such as Brock University to increase business opportunities for entrepreneurs in bio-manufacturing,” said Dykstra. “Today’s investment is contributing to the creation of a knowledge-based economy in Niagara and across southern Ontario that will create new high-value jobs and sustain long-term growth for our communities.”
“This investment is great news for Brock as it will help to enhance the capacity of our new bioscience research complex to foster innovation,” said President Jack Lightstone. “These funds will also enable us to advance one of our key strategic priorities, which is to partner with local businesses and business development agencies in Niagara to provide incubation services for the bio-manufacturing sector of our region’s economy.”
BioLinc will be housed in the soon-to-be-opened Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex. It will include office and lab space, as well as provide business development services for entrepreneurs, such as counselling, training and networking.
The FedDev Ontario support will also provide seed funding for Innovates Niagara — an interactive web portal that will support entrepreneurs whose businesses are not physically located in the incubator. Innovates Niagara is in turn supported by a partnership that includes:
- Brock University
- the City of St. Catharines
- the Regional Innovation Centre
- the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce.
“This partnership is the start of a collaborative approach designed to provide a suite of services for entrepreneurs and innovators that has been a missing part of Niagara’s economic toolbox,” said Mike Watt, chair of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce. “The creation of a one-stop business development service of this kind will play a key role in bringing resources together to make it more efficient for businesses to grow in Niagara.”
“It is only by bringing together like-minded people and the necessary resources that innovative ideas can become commercial realities,” said nGen CEO Jeff Chesebrough. “BioLinc will no doubt enhance our region’s efforts to foster new business development and the organic growth of existing small businesses in Niagara.”
“The City of St. Catharines recognizes that this initiative will encourage private investment, create new jobs and support our efforts to move into a knowledge-based economy, which, in turn, will help attract young professionals to our community,” says St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan.
FedDev Ontario’s Prosperity Initiative is designed to encourage businesses, not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions in southern Ontario to undertake projects that will result in a more productive, diversified and competitive economy. Applications for funding are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis.
Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region’s strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy.