Academia and Industry join forces to Drive Innovation


uOttawa-Kanata North to build the Capital’s very own Epicentre of Innovation 

For decades, Stanford University and the high-tech industry have drawn admiration for their role in building Silicon Valley as a technological epicentre. More recently, many other successful technology parks have flourished around the world. Think of Optics Valley in Tucson with the University of Arizona, the Research Triangle in Raleigh, N.C., with North Carolina State University and the Hsinshu Science Park with Chiao Tong University in Taiwan.

All those innovation powerhouses have been built along the same model: the meeting of academia, the private sector and government.

Here in the National Capital Region, we have the opportunity to connect with Canada’s largest research and technology park, Kanata North. We feel it is time to move our collaborations to the next level. This is what the University of Ottawa is proposing with its latest venture.

On November 6, I had the great pleasure to meet with members of the Kanata North community during the Wesley Clover Foundation’s Tech Tuesday event, and launch our initiative. It aims to make the University of Ottawa a major provider of talent, research and training for Kanata North, a sprawling campus in the city’s west end which is home to more than 500 companies employing over 21,000 skilled workers.

By working closely with uOttawa, Kanata North businesses will be able to tap into a network of co-op students, qualified graduates, faculty and researchers from fields such as engineering, business and management, ethics and law, medicine, health sciences and many others.

We all know that lifelong training is now the new normal. So we are eager to support Kanata North companies by providing training to develop future-ready leaders and employees through innovative programs and certificates.

We also want to facilitate exchanges between Kanata North and our researchers. We want to know what are the big questions driving business in Kanata. Conversely, we want you to know what the University’s areas of expertise are and what we can bring to the table to successfully work together to enhance the ecosystem.

This is our vision of success: In the first few years, we propose to offer a series of courses, workshops and programs that meet the needs of the Kanata North community. We plan to host events that promote and strengthen relationships between industry and our researchers, and which showcase our achievements and opportunities for the future.

Our success means your success. As we develop and increase our ties with Kanata North, we plan on expanding our space as well as our offerings, perhaps research labs for professors who collaborate closely with industry or an incubator for students and entrepreneurs. We look forward to working with you to develop programs that meet your needs and to co-create opportunities with you.

The proposed partnership is wide-ranging and ambitious. At a local level, the goal is to capitalize on the University of Ottawa’s strengths, such as engineering, business and health care technologies, to help maintain and accelerate the ability of Kanata North industries to innovate and flourish. Together, let’s create a platform for exchanging knowledge that will make Kanata North the capital’s very own epicentre of innovation — one collaboration at a time.


-Sylvain Charbonneau,

Vice-President, Research, University of Ottawa