On the cusp

Ottawa’s Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards poised to take its place among top entrepreneurial hubs

Ingenuity and sustainable progressive thinking are talking points for Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District and Waterloo’s Communitech, but now they’ve got company. 1503 Front Aerial

Enter Ottawa’s Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards (ICBY).

The Innovation Centre, partnered with Ottawa-based Morley Hoppner Ltd. real estate development firm and Barry J. Hobin and Associates Architects, will be a dynamic and energized hub that serves as a basecamp for top-tier homegrown technology talent, capabilities and companies. It will be the ultimate one-stop business acceleration shop and ‘mash-up’ of technical, business and market services, resources and expertise that helps entrepreneurs and companies launch, grow and thrive – and compete with anyone in the world.

“We are extremely excited to be a part of the transformation of this heritage building into an entrepreneurial hub for new companies to emerge and grow in the Ottawa area,” says Brad Morley, President of Morley Hoppner. “

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Set to open late in 2016, the Innovation Centre will sit on the site of an abandoned Ottawa garage, with 46,000 square feet of space, and will essentially combine many elements of the regional innovation ecosystem. Leveraging $30-million in public investment to date (including $15-million in funding and donated real estate from the City of Ottawa, and $15-million from the Government of Ontario), the Innovation Centre will be located within hundreds of feet of a Light Rail Transit (LRT) station.

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ICBY will bring together many local innovation players that provide services and support to entrepreneurs. This includes anchor tenant Invest Ottawa, which will deliver its economic development programs from this new home, and work with many fellow academic, public and private sector partners at the facility. In collaboration with these organizations, the centre’s board is expected to provide the framework and foundations for the growth of local startups in varying states of development. ICBY will also serve as a regional epicenter for global sales, market development, expertise, investment and business development.

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Moreover, ICBY will work together with leading program delivery partners such as Invest Ottawa’s Investment and Trade team, Carleton University, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) and prototypeD, to deliver targeted global programming that enables and accelerates the development and commercial success of globally-oriented, customer, market and investment-ready companies.  This is expected to create a wealth of opportunity for Innovation Centre clients, partners and investors.

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Morley Hoppner’s involvement in a sustainable development such as ICBY corresponds seamlessly with the firm’s philosophy. Since its inception in 1988, Morley Hoppner has created a culture of sustainability, says Morley.

“From day one, we have recycled and composted at our office and are always looking for ways to recycle waste,” he says. “We have always worked to create environmentally-sustainable buildings regardless of LEED requirements. We are advocates for green building and sustainability and continuously promote this to our clients and partners.”

The ICBY project, he points out, includes a LEED Gold certification component. Other features include food growth, a green education program, sustainable transportation provisions, high-energy performance, innovative building automation and control system rooftop solar panels.

“We believe that utilizing more efficient systems which achieve long-term cost savings is important for all buildings,” says Morley. “Saying that, our approach is to be creative but practical, because obtaining LEED certification may not always be reasonable or financially possible given the location and type of the project proposed.

“In the case of the Innovation Centre, sustainability represented a fundamental part of its vision from the very beginning. We are proud to help realize this objective for our entrepreneurial community.”

Web / thebayviewyards.com / morleyhoppner.com