media release

Partnership on national incubator project gains federal support

June 20, 2014

Mario Pinto, 778.782.4152;
Melanie Monk, VP Research office, 778.782.7058;
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;

Link to gov’t release:

Simon Fraser University, through its collaboration on a national research driven incubator network, is among institutions chosen to advance in the selection process under the Canada Accelerator and Incubator (CAIP) program. 

The announcement was made today in Ottawa by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Delivered by the National Research Council of Canada, CAIP is designed to help outstanding small- and medium-sized Canadian enterprises to “grow, prosper and create jobs,” by providing support over a five-year period in the form of non-repayable contributions to a limited number of “best-in-class” accelerator and incubators.

The project is being led by Ryerson University in partnership with SFU and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The three institutions have collaborated to create the Zones of Incubation and Innovation (ZI2), aimed at targeting sectors in digital technologies and gaming and creating an innovation network between western and eastern Canada.

"This initiative builds on SFU's vision to be Canada's most community-engaged research university," said SFU President Andrew Petter, "and in addition to advancing student and faculty innovation will help us realize our goal of providing students with a broad range of experiential learning opportunities."

Adds SFU VP Research Mario Pinto: “We are thankful to the federal government for its support. The CAIP program is providing Canadian institutions such as Simon Fraser University, as a partner in this project, with the impetus to make an impact on Canada’s innovation ecosystem that will be felt globally.

“Getting all players to engage at the outset, in an informed way, is key to turning ideas into innovation. Through ZI2, SFU can expand what it already does so well—incubate student and faculty-led companies in a setting that collocates small companies with academic, business, consumer and investment communities.”

SFU is recognized for its innovation and knowledge mobilization ethos and its vision to be Canada’s most engaged research-intensive university. In addition to its research strengths in digital media, SFU brings its proven innovation model to ZI2: its Venture Connection® student and alumni entrepreneurship program and VentureLabs®, a business accelerator sponsored in part by the BCIC Venture Acceleration Program.

ZI2 leverages existing relationships between the institutions, such as Canada’s GRAND Digital Media Network of Centres of Excellence; the SFU-led Centre for Digital Media; and SFU’s connections to local angel and venture capital investment sources. It also links to international soft landing sites such as the Ryerson/SFU/Bombay Stock Exchange Incubator in Mumbai, India.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 130,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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