Niagara Falls-Ryerson University Innovation Hub
Niagara Falls is developing a 5-Year plan for a $33 million project – the Niagara Falls Ryerson Innovation Hub (NFRIH). The NFRIH draft plan for the iHub will initially have an area of 16,000 sq. ft., expanding to 22,400 sq. ft. in year 3. This is a significant project that will be proposed to the public if the second application/submission to the FedDev Investment Fund is approved. Council has poised Niagara Falls, with a committed contribution of $4.2 million over 5 years for operating costs and building space/land, to engage Ryerson University for FedDev Funding to help meet strategic objectives such as youth retention and attraction, diversifying the economy, and downtown redevelopment. NFRIH will be an "incubation to acceleration" hub for digital technologies linking Niagara region's SMEs, startups and incubation services to the broader ecosystem of Southern Ontario.
This NFRIH will be modelled after Ryerson’s Innovation Zones to accelerate startups, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in crossing the barrier between early-stage incubated companies and established thriving businesses that strengthen the economic landscape in the region. “ The NFRIH project aims to strengthen the innovation ecosystem of the Niagara region through the creation of a state of the art Niagara Falls-Ryerson Innovation Zone” by:
- • Promoting development of a digital technology cluster to help diversify and strengthen Niagara’s economy by creating a hub for Digital Innovation addressing the region’s strategic priorities. This hub will provide thought leadership, access to national and international markets, and build a reputation of excellence;
- • Extend business infrastructure through acceleration of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a business and technology accelerator as well as foster innovation in existing industries such as digital hospitality, intelligent transportation, and technology-enabled health services;
- • Support the City of Niagara Falls’ existing vision for an Entrepreneurial Village and its Gateway Master Plan.
- • Develop, attract and retain human capital with particular focus on strengthening the pipeline for engineers, developers, industry and technology specialists by addressing identified skills gaps;
- • Create and nurture a vast network of influencers from all sectors in business, academia, and government through the participating partners; and,
- • Cultivate the “Created in Niagara” brand in Canada and Internationally.