For Immediate Release | Check Against Delivery
December 8th, 2015
Crombie Convenes Mayor’s Taskforce on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie delivered the following remarks during the inaugural Innovation and Entrepreneurship Taskforce meeting held today. During the 2014 election, Mayor Crombie committed to forming this working group. In attendance were stakeholders from academia, the public sector, and accomplished businesses leaders. Also in attendance were Ward 6 Councillor Ron Starr and Ward 8 Councillor, Matt Mahoney.
“Thank you for joining me here this morning for the inaugural meeting of the Mayor’s Taskforce on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
“It is a testament to the importance of this topic that the bright minds of Mississauga are around this table this morning.
“As many of you know, my mayoral platform focused heavily on economic development, and in particular, innovation.
“I understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve and fostering a culture where the best, the brightest, and the most innovative can thrive.
“Mississauga has been successful because we have made economic development part of our DNA.
“We have visited the world to tell them about our City and as a result, we now have a higher than average level of international investment in Mississauga
“I am picking up where Hazel left off and through this taskforce, I hope to grow Mississauga further and put us on the map as a hub of innovation.
“The main question I put to you when I asked you to join this taskforce was: “How do we make Mississauga into a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship?”
“This is a simple, yet highly complex question. If the HAL report is to be believed, we have our work cut out for us.
“In particular, this line stood out to me: While Mississauga is benefiting from an innovation support system that is currently strengthening a number of important services, it is clear from the findings that Mississauga is not reaching its potential and that more needs to be done.
“This is not to say that Mississauga has not been doing many things to put us on this path. We have:
- UTM’s Innovation Management Institute (IMI);
- The RIC Centre;
- Sheridan Research Park, which is undergoing significant changes and recently became home to SNC Lavalin;
- Sheridan College is producing very highly skilled graduates in a number of advanced fields;
- We are the second largest life-science cluster in Canada;
“But I’m not sure that we have successfully tied all of this great work together and I’m not sure we’re all working together toward the same ends.
“That’s why you’re here today – I wanted to assemble the best people in our City with their finger on the pulse of innovation, to discuss not just what more we can do, but more importantly, how we can do it.
“How do we become a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship? What concrete steps can we take to achieve this?
“It strikes me that we have many of the building blocks in place, but that we have not yet put them together. How do we do this?
“You’ll notice that I have not prescribed an end to this taskforce because I believe that by answering the fundamental question I have posed, that we will reach our desired end.
“I am relying on your knowledge, connections, and expertise to answer this question.
“We held the first meeting of this taskforce in April with the ANGEL ONE Investors First Look event on the 12th floor of this building.
“For the first time ever, we brought together innovative start-ups with the Angels who could fund them.
“I want to thank Pam Banks of the RIC Centre and Karen Grant of the Angel One Investors Network for making this event possible.
“We will be making it an annual event. But today, I want to start a conversation and get to work. So, thank you for being here.
“I thought we could start by introducing ourselves and talking about our background and why we’re here today
“Following this, I will have Susan Amring review the HAL report and talk about the current environment. I have also asked Pam Banks to talk about her work at the RIC Centre and Ulli Krul to talk about what UTM is doing with IMI.
“I would then like to have an open discussion about Mississauga’s innovation environment and talk about how we move forward with a plan.
“Thank you for being here today for this important conversation.”