U of T talks competitiveness and innovation with business in Sudbury

Northern Ontario’s Innovation Ecosystem was in focus in Sudbury at a roundtable where researchers, business and local politicians shared experiences and ideas for how to support regional growth and open new markets.

“What drives successful innovation clusters in the North? Exceptional academic institutions, engaged government and angel investors,” NORCAT CEO Don Duval told the audience at an event organized by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) in partnership with several organizations, including the University of Toronto, Hydro One and Bruce Power among others.

The roundtable is part of a series discussing the recommendations of the OCC’s new report on The Great Mosaic: Reviving Ontario's Regional Economies. Universities and the talent and research networks to which they contribute are important building blocks for regional economic growth, the report argues.

Erin Bobicki, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, presented her work on sustainable mineral processing which could lead to a 70 per cent reduction in energy use. Anne Koven, the executive director of the Mass Timber Institute, spoke about how North-South connections among the forestry industry and projects like the Academic Wood Tower can contribute to a competitive forestry sector.

The next stops of the roundtable discussions will be in Peterborough and Hamilton where existing partnerships among universities, governments and industry will be in the spotlight.