‘Innovation Bridge’ focused on leveraging area’s ‘unique assets and expertise’

New initiative being positioned as 'commercialization alliance'

Chris Gould, left, of Bluewater Regional Networks, is pictured with Jill Javier, co-founder and COO of Bit City Group. Bit City, a blockchain technology company, is developing plans to set up in the area in the first half of 2018.

A new organization—Sarnia Lambton Innovation Bridge—came to light on Friday, with the objective of creating an innovative alliance that will provide support to private and public enterprises as they develop, evaluate and commercialize innovative technologies.

While the words Innovation Bridge founders are using may be something of a mouthful, the core ideas that underpin the new organization are really both basic and breakthrough in many ways.

Jim Felton, a commercial specialist at TransAlta and its Bluewater Energy Park, said the Innovation Bridge initiative will build on the success that is already taking place in the Sarnia-Lambton area.

He pointed to early success in attracting firms like BioAmber and Comet Refining as being just the beginning of what can be expected in the area, especially as Innovation Bridge gathers steam.

“We’ve come up with a vision and mission and what we want to do is take Sarnia-Lambton to the next level,” said Felton.

“We have BioAmber here and we’ll soon have Comet Refining but we want to build on those success stories. We want people to know that we aren’t just focused on the biohybrid cluster but we’re looking for new clusters, with IT, advanced manufacturing part of the mix,” he said.

Felton said Innovation Bridge is embracing the idea of having companies that are considering investments in the area to be able to “cross the bridge and partner with us.”

Innovation Bridge partners include Lambton College, the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, Bluewater Energy Park, Bluewater Regional Networks, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, and the Bio-Industrial Park Sarnia.

The capacity associated with Innovation Bridge includes expertise—technical, research and business—the high-speed fibre network that comes with Bluewater Regional Networks, office space, laboratories, pilot/production space (at the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park), and business acceleration services.

There are also plans to offer applied research services, including technical consultation, access to funding sources, training, technology transfer and commercialization support, testing and analysis, and pilot studies.

General information on Innovation Bridge and its services can be found at www.innovationbridge.ca.

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