The University of Ottawa is turning to a well-connected member of the Kanata North community to lead its partnership strategies with companies in the tech park.
Veronica Farmer will join uOttawa as the director of partnerships and commercialization with a specific focus on the post-secondary institution’s new Kanata North campus. Farmer is currently “ramping down” her work as director of operations at the Kanata North Business Association as executive director Jamie Petten returns from her maternity leave.
Farmer will also remain with her marketing and branding business, TrueCourse Communications.
But building the brand of uOttawa in Kanata North will be a key responsibility of her new role, Farmer says.
“They just want to wind me up and let me run,” she tells Techopia.
The University of Ottawa first announced its plans to open a physical space in Kanata North a year ago, with doors opening at 535 Legget Dr. in the spring. The new campus has been presented as an opportunity for workers in the tech park to develop their skills after work without commuting downtown and as a hub to connect co-op students to companies eager to draw in new talent.
Farmer says she’ll be looking to increase collaboration between the university and tech park companies, especially in the area of research and development. There’s plenty of research happening in the university that can be plugged into Kanata North tech companies, she says. Conversely, the tech firms themselves can take advantage of opportunities such as university grants to help fund their own development projects.
Farmer teased that there will be bigger news to come in the spring regarding the University of Ottawa space in Kanata. Now that it has been established, the coming year will be about capitalizing on uOttawa’s position in the heart of Kanata North.
“It's like being in a startup, because we really have to ramp up that campus,” she says.