CORNER BROOK, NL
– Corner Brook will soon be home to a centre that will support research and development, business diversification and a stronger culture of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
Funding from the Government of Canada, the Provincial Government departments of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, Advanced Education, Skills and Labour and Fisheries and Land Resources, the City of Corner Brook, as well as Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd. (CBPPL), is making it possible for Grenfell Campus-Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic (CNA), to embark on a major renovation and research initiative.
A funding announcement Monday was attended by the Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador; the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources; Gudie Hutchings, Parliamentary Secretary for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains; the Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources and MHA for Corner Brook; Corner Brook Mayor Jim Parsons; VP and General Manager, Darren Pelley, CBPPL; Iris Petten, Chair, Memorial University Board of Regents; and, Liz Kidd, CNA President and CEO.
A total of $8.9 million is being invested to support the Corner Brook Centre for Research and Innovation and related initiatives. This includes $5.3 million in Provincial Government funding to support an employer-sponsored training program to be developed and delivered by CNA. A further $2.9 million is being invested to enable Memorial University to complete the redevelopment of the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited Human Resources building to house the Centre for Research and Innovation. This includes $1.2 million from ACOA, $1 million from the Emera Entrepreneurship/Innovation Funding, $679,682 from the Provincial Government’s Regional Development Fund, and $50,000 from the City of Corner Brook. In addition, ACOA and the Province are contributing more than $700,000 to research and development projects - $400,000 from ACOA and $306,000 from the Province.
The centre, which will be housed in a vacant building provided by CBPPL who will be in charge of maintaining the facility, will support local and regional economic growth through innovation, research and training, and will serve as the hub of the regional innovation system. There are three related components to the project:
- Development of an Innovation Centre in downtown Corner Brook;
- Research on the use of waste by-products of the mill and new product development; and,
- The development of training opportunities by CNA.
Regional and community partners are critical to this initiative, which aims to provide the foundation to spark larger, longer-term transformational change in the western Newfoundland region. Key stakeholder groups, such as Western Newfoundland Entrepreneurs, the DIY Society, the City of Corner Brook and Qalipu First Nation, have been consulted and will play a role in future programming. Additional research partnerships with businesses in the western region have also been confirmed, including with West Valley Farms, Anaconda Mining, Hammond Farm, and New World Dairy.
Ultimately, key outcomes for the Centre of Research and Innovation will include infrastructure and capacity building, research and development, entrepreneurship and innovation, education and skills training and growth in the agricultural and forest sectors. Benefits are expected for all partners involved, including CBPPL, the two public post-secondary institutions, the City of Corner Brook and community sectors locally and throughout the province. This project will also act as a catalyst for continued communication and collaboration among all stakeholders in pursuit of sustainable growth and innovative practices.
“Our government is committed to partnering for new economic development activity as well as supporting the province’s existing and future workforce to create long-term sustainability. By investing in training and the Centre for Research and Innovation, we are supporting labour force development, succession planning, innovation, entrepreneurship, and research and development. This innovative partnership between Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, College of the North Atlantic, and Memorial University’s Grenfell College will be a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship, while also ensuring that workers have the skills they need to thrive in the economy of today, tomorrow, and the future.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
“With this new centre, our students, researchers and industry will be working together to create new products and find new markets for our forestry industry. We are also creating opportunities for workers at the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper mill to continue their training, making the mill more competitive and sustainable.”
Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources
On behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA
“As MHA for the beautiful and historic district of Corner Brook and as Minister responsible for our forests, farms, and fisheries, this is a proud moment for me personally. We have come a long way since my initial meeting with the leadership team at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper and College of the North Atlantic when this plan first emerged. Today, through an historic partnership with industry, academia, and provincial and federal governments, an Innovation Centre will be established in downtown Corner Brook, which will gather the talent, skills and innovative prowess to take opportunities developed by and for us. This is how we will create the jobs that will sustain our communities for years to come.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources and MHA for Corner Brook
“This initiative is a true collaborative effort that will accelerate the growth of our province’s forestry, mining and agriculture sectors through enhanced research and innovative practices. I’m delighted that our government’s investment in the new Centre of Research and Innovation will bring stakeholders together during this critical time to generate new ideas and technologies for sustainable development, which will play an important part in rebuilding our region’s economy.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains
“We are delighted that the currently vacant Human Resources building at the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Mill will be home to the new Centre for Research and Innovation which will have a positive impact on our community and our province. Corner Brook Pulp and Paper is proud to support this initiative by providing and maintaining a venue that will foster innovation, stimulate economic growth and encourage local businesses, all in collaboration with the Grenfell Campus and Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic. Thanks to partners such the Government of Canada, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the City of Corner Brook, the Centre for Research and Innovation will benefit Western Newfoundland’s forest industry with greater access cutting edge training through research and development.”
VP and General Manager, Kruger Inc.
“For our community to prosper, we need the pillars of our economy to work in perfect harmony. This project is the embodiment of that ideal. The Centre for Research and Innovation will present new possibilities for our local economy by building on our core strengths – strengthening collaboration between our manufacturing and knowledge sectors while establishing a physical presence in our historic downtown. On behalf of the City of Corner Brook, we are pleased to be a part of this important initiative.”
Mayor, City of Corner Brook
“The goal of the overall project is to jumpstart sustainable regional development for the western region of Newfoundland by strengthening collaboration between industry, post-secondary institutions, government and community partners. This will foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, support training and succession planning of skilled workers, create innovative and environmentally conscious industry opportunities and products, support local and regional agriculture activities and initiatives and provide internship opportunities for graduate students at Grenfell and students at CNA.”
Chair, Memorial University Board of Regents
“This collaboration is yet another massive opportunity for CNA and Memorial (via Grenfell Campus), as this province’s public post-secondary education and skills training providers, to ensure that our future workforce is career-ready to meet industry and community requirements, especially as the economy continues its path to recovery. We recognize that private-public partnerships, such as this, are crucial to this province’s long-term goals of growth and prosperity. We, along with our partners at Grenfell, are eager to play a role in developing this centre as a hub of learning, skills development/retraining, and vision-driven results that will have a long-standing impact on both Corner Brook Pulp and Paper and the entire province.”
President and CEO, College of the North Atlantic
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Office of the Premier
Grenfell Campus, Memorial University
College of the North Atlantic