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Dalhousie University'€™s ideaHUB will revitalize innovation and entrepreneurship in Atlantic Canada with $10M contribution from Emera

Posted by Media Centre on November 2, 2016 in News

(Halifax, NS) – Today Dalhousie University announced the creation of the ideaHUB, an advanced engineering incubator/accelerator space to enhance the educational experience and equip students with the creative and entrepreneurial skills they need for the future. ideaHUB will better link students and faculty to industry and entrepreneurs, revitalizing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in Atlantic Canada.

Dr. Richard Florizone, President of Dalhousie University, announced the project at the annual Halifax Chamber of Commerce fall dinner during his keynote speech. He was joined by Bob Hanf, Executive Vice President, Stakeholder Relations and Regulatory Affairs for Emera, who committed $10 million to the project.

The ideaHUB will be located in the Idea Project, a $64 million investment in Dalhousie’s downtown Halifax campus that was announced in September, including a $32 million investment from the Government of Canada. ideaHUB will support the growth of innovative companies in the region through partnerships, collaboration and a state-of-the-art incubator accelerator space. Students and start-ups will receive mentorship and support from successful entrepreneurs and recent graduates, to bring their ideas for technology-based products to the market. All participants will have opportunities to collaborate with their peers and share knowledge and expertise while having access to world-class engineering research infrastructure. ideaHUB is expected to open in 2018.

It is partnerships that have made ideaHUB possible. The project brings together universities, the corporate sector, entrepreneurs, venture capital and government into a coordinated network that will better leverage Atlantic Canada’s innovation ecosystem. Founding partners include Dalhousie, Emera, Acadia, NSCAD, Innovacorp, Micco Companies, Clearwater, Build Ventures and Volta Labs. John Risley, Colin MacDonald and Mickey MacDonald were among the very first to respond to the call for further private sector support with a commitment to provide $2.5 million. The university continues the fundraising campaign, drawing on the support of alumni, donors and industry partners to attract further support for the project.

The ideaHUB is a strong response to the oneNS Commission report, which included a call to action to increase new start-ups in the province; improve the youth unemployment rate; double business enterprise and university research and development partnerships; and improve venture capital investment. ideaHUB will play an important role in meeting these key oneNS Goals.

The ideaHUB is inspired by the best innovation ecosystems in the world. It will build on the success of the Innovation and Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA Sandbox), a creative collaboration among Dalhousie’s Faculties of Engineering and Management, NSCAD University and the Nova Scotia government that is already allowing students to create physical prototypes and work through business concepts.

“Innovation plays a strong role in spurring economic growth and opportunity. The ideaHUB will support innovation and foster new ideas right here in Nova Scotia. This benefits, not only our students, but the Province as a whole. This project is great fit for Emera and we’re very proud to be partnering with Dal to make the ideaHUB a reality.”
Bob Hanf, Executive Vice- President, Stakeholder Realtions and Regulatory Affairs, Emera

“I would like to thank Emera for their generous contribution for the development of ideaHUB. With this project we are equipping our students with the space they’ve been asking for and the creative and entrepreneurial skills that they want and need for the future. That, in turn, creates a richer educational experience for our students, better engineers and architects, more start-up companies and better support for industry.”
Dr. Richard Florizone, President, Dalhousie University

“Initiatives like ideaHUB are exactly what our province and region need. We wanted to demonstrate our support for it and encourage others to do the same. With universities, corporations, entrepreneurs and public agencies partnering together, we can encourage and assist young entrepreneurs to start companies and stick with them through the challenging early stages.”
John Risley, Colin MacDonald, and Mickey MacDonald

“We need spaces that showcase the innovation that is happening here on the Sexton campus. I’m excited for the ideaHUB and what this will bring to the campus, as well as the opportunities it will provide for the students and for our graduates as we look to build our careers here in Nova Scotia.”
Brittany MacLean, Dalhousie University Engineering student

“What makes Dalhousie’s Faculty of Engineering stand out, is our focus on developing very practical engineers through experiential, hands-on learning. We prepare students for the work world, wherever that may take them and we pride ourselves on enabling students to work closely with industry. ideaHUB will continue to build on the skills of our students, link them with industry and build innovation in our region.”
Dr. Joshua Leon, Dean, Dalhousie Faculty of Engineering


Media Contact:
Janet Bryson
Dalhousie University


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