Archived — Harper Government Supports Green Building Partnerships

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For immediate release
September 28, 2012

Toronto, Ontario — Businesses in southern Ontario working on innovations in sustainable construction will benefit from George Brown College's new Green Building Centre, thanks to an investment from the Harper Government. The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Member of Parliament for Haldimand–Norfolk, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), made the announcement today at the centre.

"Our Government's top priority remains creating high-value jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians," said Minister Finley. "By supporting the growing green building market, our Government is not only helping to create smarter, more energy efficient buildings while creating high quality jobs here at home, but we are also strengthening Canada's leadership in the sustainable building industry on the world stage."

With FedDev Ontario's $6.6 million contribution, in addition to George Brown College's own investment of $6.8 million, the college will be bringing together the resources to create a full-scale applied research, technology development, and industry innovation service centre that will focus on green building construction, also known as green construction or sustainable building. These innovations will help meet consumer demand for healthier, more environmentally friendly places to live and work.

The Green Building Centre will offer a range of services aimed at providing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the resources they need to accelerate the lab-to-market process. These include business development, intellectual property management, venture creation, product development, third-party validation and testing through the Business Accelerator and Entrepreneurship Centre, the Advanced Prototyping Lab, the Building Science Lab, and the International Business Office.

This project will create opportunities for SMEs to develop and test novel building products, systems and materials such as building retrofit materials and smart building automation. The college's enhanced training programs will also ensure that more job-ready graduates enter the market and advance the building sector's adoption of new approaches, methods, standards and technologies. The project will support up to 80 research collaborations with industry partners and will also create 35 new full-time, high-value jobs.

"This generous and strategic investment will allow George Brown College to build upon our success in serving the innovation economy and creating the workforce that Canada needs," said Anne Sado, President, George Brown College. "Students in our Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies will be at the forefront of the sustainable building industry and our industry partners will be able to bring new services, techniques and products to market faster. The Green Building Centre is an excellent example of how industry and colleges like George Brown can work together to serve the economy."

For more information on this project and the Prosperity Initiative, please see the backgrounder.

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. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

Follow us on Twitter @FedDevOntario

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For more information, contact:

Michele-Jamali Paquette
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-947-2956

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
416-954-6652


Backgrounder

Contribution to George Brown College

FedDev Ontario, through its Prosperity Initiative, is providing George Brown College with a non-repayable contribution of up to $6.6 million to create the Green Building Centre.

The Green Building Centre is located at the Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies (CCET) on the Casa Loma Campus. This new centre will conduct applied research in partnership with local businesses, while training students in advanced construction systems, green energy, and computer-enabled, efficient buildings. In particular, this centre will focus on construction practices that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from site selection to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.

The Green Building Centre will offer the following services:

  • The Advanced Prototyping Lab, which will rapidly develop new products for advanced building technology and energy management;
  • The Building Science Lab, which will provide a test site and demonstration lab for technology companies that want to refine prototypes and test innovative green building systems, materials and technologies in a realistic setting;
  • The Business Accelerator and Entrepreneurship Centre, which will pair applied research experts, including faculty and students from the college, with industry partners to work on projects in the appropriate lab environment and to help these companies with information gathering and analysis, product prototype development and testing, market development and commercialization, all with a view to bringing products to market efficiently; and
  • The International Business Office, which will search out new international markets for green technologies and keep track of emerging trends around the world.

In addition, the Green Building Centre will act as a third-party validator of green building system technologies and new products.

For more information, please visit www.georgebrown.ca/CET/.

Prosperity Initiative

FedDev Ontario's Prosperity Initiative encourages 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.

Funding is available for projects that meet the following objectives:

  • enhance productivity, by accelerating the adoption of new technologies, processes and skills to achieve higher output in relation to investment;
  • diversify the regional economy, by increasing the number of new industries or opportunities in southern Ontario communities or regions with the potential to have long-term impacts on their economic diversity; and
  • build a competitive advantage for southern Ontario, by building on the assets and strengths of southern Ontario businesses and regions to create or expand economic clusters and enhance their global competitiveness.

Applications for funding are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis. For more information and to apply, please refer to the Program Guidelines available on the website at www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca.

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