County of Simcoe and City of Barrie representatives got a sneak peek at Georgian College’s new pride and joy, which they helped make possible.

Officials of both levels of government were taken on a hard-hat tour, April 4, of Georgian’s Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre at the Barrie campus, which is still under construction. In addition to provincial and federal funding, the three-story building, which is slated to open in September, received a $5-million commitment from both the county and city towards construction.

“Without the county and city’s generous investment, we would not be here today,” said MaryLynn West-Moynes, Georgian president and CEO. “We are grateful for all they do to support our college and our students.”

The new Georgian facility will provide academic and applied learning space for students enrolled in current programs, as well as new combined diploma and degree programs in partnership with Lakehead University. It will also be an important resource for entrepreneurs and established businesses, providing a space for academia and industry to collaborate to innovate and accelerate projects that will strengthen and diversify the regional economy.

Housed in the new building and key to the economic growth of the area will be the Centre for Research, Innovation and Commercialization, where there will be research and commercialization space for business and industry, including incubator, changemaker and fabrication space.

“The new centre will play an essential role in creating a powerful local innovation climate and in supporting the diversification of the regional economic ecosystem,” West-Moynes said. “Until now, central Ontario has not had a dedicated facility of any kind related to research, acceleration or commercialization.”

Though the project is on time and on budget, West-Moynes said they are still actively fundraising.

“It would be great to have a local name on the building,” she said.

Photo: County of Simcoe and City of Barrie representatives on a hard-hat tour of Georgian’s Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre, April 4, at Georgian College’s Barrie campus included, from left: Springwater Mayor Bill French; Barrie Councillor Barry Ward; Angela Lockridge, Georgian College vice president, corporate services and innovation; Kevin Weaver, Georgian College vice president, international workforce development and partnerships; MaryLynn West-Moynes, Georgian College president and CEO; Clearview Mayor Chris Vanderkruys; Simcoe County Warden Gerry Marshall; Severn Mayor Mike Burkett; Midland Mayor Gord McKay; Tiny Township Deputy Mayor Steffen Walma; Lisa Banks, Georgian College vice president, external relations; Ann Smiley, Georgian College executive director, advancement and community development; Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes; and Bill Angelakos, Georgian College dean, technology and visual arts.


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