U of M Smartpark Innovation Hub
The Smartpark Innovation Hub will become a central gathering place for meetings, conferences and events for the Smartpark business community, province-wide university researchers and the local technology industry. The facility will provide ‘incubator space’ for start-up businesses, supporting commercialization and professional services, encouraging partnerships that will drive the creation of new technologies, and ultimately growing the number of local start-up companies.
At roughly 75,000 square feet in floor area, the new facility will provide workspace for up to 400 people by April 2018. Consistent with Smartpark’s mission of “Building a Community of Innovators”, the Innovation Hub will bring business and the University together in offices and laboratories for research, prototype development and testing; multimedia training classrooms and video conferencing in meeting spaces and other versatile working, learning and sharing environments.
The Smartpark Innovation Hub will be a place where business “incubation” takes place in stages. In the first two years (Stage 1) start-up companies begin developing their business plans and prototypes in the small suites and laboratories. After the successful completion of Stage 1, start-up companies “graduate” to the Business Centre (Stage 2) where they have more resources and larger suites to continue expanding their business over the next 5 years. In Stage 3 start-up companies reach maturity and establish a stable business that can occupy larger suites.
Two major users of the building will be North Forge and the University of Manitoba Technology Transfer Office. North Forge is an innovation-based economic development agency and a powerhouse community to fuel Manitoba’s innovation economy providing entrepreneurs with award-winning mentors, subject matter experts and startup program. The Technology Transfer Office is a component of the University of Manitoba, which increases knowledge mobilization between the University and commercial partners.