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uOttawa invests in second location in Canada’s largest tech park

uOttawa

They came. They built. They grew.  

Four years after the University of Ottawa opened its first satellite campus in Kanata North, the university is expanding its presence in the tech park.  

Hub350 is now home to the university’s new “collision space,” a place for students, professors, researchers and groups at uOttawa to meet and collaborate with industry and tech ecosystem partners.

The new space at 350 Legget Dr. is just down the street from 535 Legget Dr., uOttawa’s flagship Kanata North location. In 2018, the university was the first academic partner of the Kanata North Business Association, investing in an 8,000 square-foot space for training, research and collaboration in the heart of the park, placing its students and faculties closer to industry.  

Leading the way of partnerships between academics and industry, uOttawa kickstarted a wave of post-secondary institutions establishing a presence in Kanata  This collective of post-secondary institutions play an important role in helping Kanata tech businesses to innovate, flourish and grow.  

“We realized we had a tremendous opportunity to change and reset the whole student experience,” Guy Levesque, associate vice-president, Innovation, Partnerships and Entrepreneurship at uOttawa recently reflected about opening the satellite campus while speaking on an academic panel at the recent KNBA’s Partner Summit.   

The Kanata North campus has changed the university’s culture, Levesque said, moving it to a model that is more agile and less rigid – moving more at the pace of business. 

“In our roles as innovators, partners, and entrepreneurship champions, we had to break a few eggs  to change and adapt some of our ways of thinking and programs to fit the realities of the world in which we live in and operate in,” he added. 

uOttawa’s partnerships with Kanata North tech companies also provide valuable research funding. The university brings $6 million in shared funding to the park through federal and provincial programs. 

Understanding that proximity was everything, uOttawa decided to build a satellite to its satellite campus. 

While the new Hub350 location is smaller than its location at 535 Legget Dr., its purpose is similar. 

“Our goal is to ensure we further support our role as an academic anchor partner to the KNBA and Hub350. We play a key role in fulfilling KNBA’s academic pillar with our post-secondary institution partners,” says Veronica Farmer, director, Innovation & Partnerships at uOttawa. 

Talent, training and tech growth through research and innovation

The new space will be enjoyed by the more than 400 uOttawa co-op students who are currently working in Kanata North. This is in addition to the hundreds of interns and post-doctoral students and alumni who are working with uOttawa’s multiple and broad spectrum of partners in high tech. 

The new space will be a meeting place for conversations and collaborations, strategically positioned to be at the heart of the action at Hub350. 

new hub250 space

Farmer says the university has set up its “innovation machine” so uOttawa can enable industry partners to access students and professors who focus on STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts and Math) plus Medicine, Health Sciences, Law and Business creating a unique academic brain-trust built to support innovation.​

“When I first started with uOttawa I really wanted to understand the University’s role. So I dug into how uOttawa and all its resources and connections could serve Kanata North companies and vice-versa. It was important that I could see how the Kanata North opportunity could enhance the University’s experience with industry. I quickly learnt that professors and researchers wanted experiential learning opportunities for their students and collaboration with industry to apply their big ideas,” Farmer says. “On the flip-side, industry needs bright, young talent, they want training programs to up-skill their teams, and they are looking for partners to enable innovation. 

“Our talent, learning programs and research expertise brings an array of solutions to industry to succeed and grow. The alignment of our research talent and expertise is a beautiful fit to the park’s sectors – 5G, AI, Cyber, Quantum, MedTech and Connected Car and Autonomous Vehicles.” 

Alumni are also a target audience for those companies aggressively looking for talent, Farmer adds, pointing out that 6,200 uOttawa alumni work and live in and around the park.

“Simply put, talent from the university is fuel for growth and scaling for Kanata North companies.”  

To find out more about uOttawa in Kanata North or how to work together contact the team: uokn@uottawa.ca