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Building the foundations for a cluster of clean innovation

With a focus on researching, creating, and commercializing clean technology products, services, and technologies that aim to both increase performance and reduce negative environmental impacts, Cleantech Commons™ research park is creating a unique cluster of growth companies, spin-out, spinoff, and startup ventures, and corporate accelerators & “innovation outposts.”

Working with Trent University’s chemistry department, Carbonix has developed a proprietary process that can convert large amounts of petroleum coke and boiler char – previously considered waste byproducts – into activated carbon.

The focus of these ventures is in areas such as agriculture and bioproducts, energy efficiency, robotics, smart grid and energy storage, solar energy, green transportation, water and waste management, wind and geothermal, and other renewables.

The Cleantech Commons community of clean, green, low- & zero-carbon, negative-emission, and sustainable energy, environment and climate technology researchers, innovators & entrepreneurs is co-located with the academic & research expertise of Trent University and supported by on-site value-adding business support, commercialization, mentorship, and incubation/ acceleration services.

Connected multi-stakeholder clusters like ours are important for developing both new & existing companies through innovation. Clustering is a recognized strategy for strengthening and consolidating companies and their ecosystems through interconnectedness, competition, collaboration, and cooperation.

Throughout history, geographic-based clusters have been key facilitators of knowledge transmission and catalysts for innovation

In modern economies, the more diverse and interconnected a community is, the better the ideas, the more the innovation, and the greater the wealth it is capable of generating.

And because of this, innovation attracts capital and investment, drives economic growth, and supports new venture formation & job creation.

In the case of Cleantech Commons, our clustered environment is designed to straddle the divide between the worlds of science, academia, research and industry: leading to the sharing of cutting-edge research and ideas and a spillover effect that drives new innovation.

The clean technology businesses and research laboratories at Cleantech Commons will help to significantly advance, in particular, energy, environment, and climate innovations that will have both national and global environmental and economic impact.

The value-added services, facilities, business expertise, and mentorship at Cleantech Commons will all support growth in the innovation system and help to transition breakthroughs in research from the lab to the marketplace.

Artist’s impression: Trent Enterprise Centre at Cleantech Commons

The Trent Enterprise Centre at Cleantech Commons, a clean technology accelerator and scale-up facility, for example, will enhance technology development and startup formation from research: increasing commercialization through spinouts from academia, licensing deals with industry, and attracting public and private capital into early-stage innovation in our community.

Designed to tap into the region’s growing cleantech innovation ecosystem, Cleantech Commons will provide companies with access to the professional facilities, customized resources, expert knowledge, research expertise and coaching & mentorship they require to:

  • Develop solutions that help reduce greenhouse gases,
  • Promote the use of renewable resources,
  • Contribute to a low carbon economy,
  • Reduce waste,
  • Develop new environmental remediation approaches and
  • Commercialize clean and green processes and products.