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National Research Council of Canada in Mississauga.
A REGIONAL CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE
Amongst Canada’s most innovative cities, Mississauga is leading the way by investing in people and making them the key driver to long-term economic success. With a population that is approaching 800,000 residents, Mississauga is a diverse, young and growing knowledge-based innovative ecosystem that is constantly engineering future geniuses through post- secondary institutions like The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) and Sheridan College.
INTEGRATED INNOVATION ASSETS
Mississauga has all the right ingredients to support growth for small business scale ups and entrepreneurs through its integrated innovation assets and diverse business community. Located in the middle of the Toronto- Waterloo Innovation Corridor, Mississauga is in the heart of the second largest technology cluster in North America, and as a result offers aid through a variety of incubators and accelerators. For young companies and students looking to learn how to run and grow a business, Sheridan College offers EDGE, a hub for sharing ideas and receiving training. UTM also offers a home for entrepreneurship branded ICUBE. This spot for scale ups offers co-working space, programming, workshops and events for companies looking to share ideas.
One of those companies is IRIS R&D, a smart cities company that has a workspace in ICUBE. IRIS uses artificial intelligence to track key data that helps municipalities make informed decisions to improve operations and identify efficiencies in the short and long term. By leveraging existing municipal assets, their IoT device, irisGOTM, turns any fleet vehicle into an automated data collection system. Privacy by design is a core value of IRIS R&D, and using edge computing, all personal information is redacted on the device to minimize privacy risks while maximizing value to municipalities. To date, it has helped municipalities monitor their road networks, track garbage collection operations, and has supported reopening efforts during Covid-19. The company is just scratching the surface on their potential, and with the continued support of Mississauga’s innovation ecosystem and its various partners, including the City of Mississauga, the company can contribute to build IRIS R&D’s award-winning technology.
Innovation is happening in Mississauga’s corporate sector too. Compared to the ten largest cities in Canada, Mississauga has the most diversified advanced industry business base in Canada, with over 11,000 companies that engage in R&D and employ a disproportionate share of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers. Mississauga is home to a number of corporate centres of excellence, including: Campbell Company of Canada Food Innovation Centre, Baylis Medical Innovation Centre, Celestica Centre of Excellence, Vale, Voith Hydro and Cummins’ Centre of Excellence for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells.
The City of Mississauga is focused on creating an ecosystem where companies, businesses, community partners and talent, both young and seasoned can meet, innovate and grow. For example, the Xerox Research Centre Canada (XRCC) has established the Advanced Materials Innovation Hub that houses a thriving community of a more than half a dozen Canadian start-ups with the aim of accelerating the development of their advanced materials breakthroughs from ideation to commercialization.
Paul Smith, Vice President, Xerox Research, strongly believes that innovation in advanced materials is critical to the future of healthcare, clean tech and advanced manufacturing. These complex materials are being developed on the high-tech campus in Mississauga where the XRCC and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) (in their new NRCMississauga Lab) are collaborating. In 2021, one of the focus areas will be AI-enhanced materials design for use in the conversion of carbon dioxide to renewable fuels. “Innovation and commercialization are key drivers for the long-term economic success for Mississauga and that success will have a positive ripple affect across Ontario and throughout Canada,” says Smith. “The future for innovation is truly unlimited for the City of Mississauga.”
Mississauga is headed in the right direction to become one of the top innovation centres in the world. Having a strong and diverse business community, a talented workforce and an environment that supports innovative thinkers, Mississauga will continue to attract investment and spark opportunities for collaboration and growth.
To learn why innovative companies and entrepreneurs choose Mississauga,