Ontario Centre of Innovation opens office in Kingston

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Ontario Centre of Innovation opens office in Kingston
WATCH: The not-for-profit Ontario Centre of Innovation helps start ups, small to medium business entrepreneurs and researchers take the next step to commercialize their products – May 16, 2023

The Ontario Centre of Innovation has been operating in the province and the region for more than three decades.

Now, within the last couple of months, the organization has set up an office in Kingston in the economic development space on Kings Street. The centre helps small and medium business entrepreneurs as well researchers scale up their work with commercialization as an end goal.

Cher Powers, OCI’s business development and commercialization manager says the move is about accessibility and profile.

“If you think about what happens at Queen’s University, at Green Center Canada located right here in Kingston,” Powers said.

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Loyalist College’s research in natural products and medical cannabis is one example of partnerships and financial support OCI has been involved in developing. Powers says the Ontario Centre for Innovation acts as conduit for entrepreneurs and researchers by helping them access funding though government programs, to attracting private investors. It also helps with funding of its own.

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“Our grant programs, which offer non- dilutive grant funding to start ups and SMEs to help them commercialize their technologies,” Powers said.

Fire Reign in Napanee is another business that OCI has helped support. Fire Reign has developed a non-toxic, eco-friendly fire suppressant that is now used internationally. Powers says she’s been very busy with a new OCI program that involves a consultant assessment aimed at helping businesses assess their technology needs to improve and expand their business and provides funding to help with costs.

“That’s been really appealing to local manufacturers, cabinet makers, farmers like people in the agricultural business, in the construction business.”

These are all groups Powers says OCI hasn’t traditionally worked with in the past. The head of KEDCO says the two organizations will be working closely together, providing support and services for entrepreneurs in the region.

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