May 29, 2006 10:35 ET

Media Release: Leading Ontario technology centres unite to promote innovation and commercialization; Toronto, Ottawa and Waterloo Region collaborate to build the MaRS Network

TORONTO, ONTARIO and OTTAWA, ONTARIO and WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 29, 2006) - ATTN: Business Editors

Three of Ontario's leading centres for innovation and technology are ushering in a new era of province-wide collaboration to foster innovation, promote the commercialization of research, and support entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies.

The MaRS Discovery District (Toronto), OCRI (Ottawa) and Communitech (Waterloo Region) have signed a collaboration agreement to build the MaRS Network - an initiative to jointly develop programs, share networks, knowledge and best practices, and support national and international outreach activities.

"All three organizations share a commitment to building robust entrepreneurial communities, and by creating these unprecedented cross-linkages, we will all be more effective in supporting innovation and its commercialization," says Iain Klugman, president of Communitech.

The plan recognizes the critical role played by key innovation partners like the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, the Government of Canada, and universities and colleges across the province. The three organizations have pledged to work with all stakeholders to strengthen Ontario's innovation networks.

"Through this collaboration, we will have the opportunity to capitalize on the research and innovation strengths of the respective regions, and work to accelerate the commercialization of new ideas and technologies," says Jeffrey Dale, president and CEO of OCRI. "All regions in Ontario will benefit through the sharing of best practices and support for province-wide initiatives."

"This endeavor will strengthen the efforts of our collective organizations and help to place Ontario's technology community on the world stage," says Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District. "It recognizes the increasing importance of effective networks to support the growth of technology businesses - a key ingredient in Ontario's future prosperity."

The agreement identifies immediate opportunities for collaboration, including the creation of new joint programs, working to bring regional groups together under a collaborative umbrella, and supporting regional and pan-provincial commercialization initiatives.

About MaRS Discovery District

MaRS Discovery District is a not-for-profit corporation founded by leaders from the business and public sectors, to improve commercial outcomes from Canada's foundation of science and technology innovation. MaRS connects and fosters collaboration between the communities of science, business and capital through co-location in the MaRS Centre, catalytic programs and structured networks that extend through its web portal. For more information, see

About OCRI

OCRI (Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation), the city's economic development corporation, is leading the way for Ottawa. OCRI is the rallying point to bring business, education and research together to create the winning economic conditions that allow Ottawa's technology companies to thrive locally and compete globally. At OCRI we promote sustainable economic development to maintain our high quality of life. For more information on OCRI visit our website at

About Communitech

Communitech is a member-based organization driving the growth and success of Waterloo Region's tech sector through a vibrant network of leadership, connections and promotion. For more information, please visit

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