Strategic relationship with Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. and support from Ontario Government will create one of the largest urban innovation hubs in the world
Toronto, July 26, 2011 – MaRS Discovery District announced today that construction of MaRS Centre Phase 2 will proceed. This 20-storey state-of-the-art convergence centre, a substantial expansion of the facility, will enable MaRS to accelerate its role as a catalyst of innovation in the launching and growth of new science and technology businesses. To complete the development of MaRS Centre Phase 2, MaRS is partnering with the Province of Ontario and continuing its strategic relationship with Alexandria, the world’s leading life science developer and owner.
The current MaRS Centre is at full occupancy, and cannot meet the increasing demand for space from both institutional and business tenants. MaRS Centre Phase 2, directly adjacent to the existing facility, will offer tenants co-located technologically advanced laboratory and office space; award-winning communications and information technology capabilities; access to a large multi-function conference centre; and collaboration opportunities with other MaRS tenants and partners across Canada and around the globe.
“The MaRS Centre has been at capacity since it opened six years ago, when we first started working with entrepreneurs building new growth companies. Today the MaRS community has tremendous momentum, and our facility is bursting at the seams! This expansion of the MaRS platform offers a huge opportunity to accelerate that momentum and further strengthen our innovation economy for future generations.”— Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District.
In the heart of downtown Toronto, the MaRS Centre is an architecturally inspiring space that has become the undisputed hub of Toronto’s renowned Discovery District. The MaRS Centre is at the heart of a vibrant and creative urban environment known for its highly skilled and diverse talent pool. Among globally recognized universities, academic teaching hospitals and research institutes and in close proximity to Toronto’s Financial District, business community, and government offices, its location provides a strong, sustainable innovation pipeline.
“Every day, the innovators and entrepreneurs at MaRS work on ideas that will save lives, invent whole new industries and create jobs we can’t even imagine today,” said Glen Murray, Minister of Research and Innovation and MPP for Toronto Centre. “Our government is proud to help meet the demand for state-of-the-art space that will help bring these projects to life.”
Founded in 2000 and opened in 2005, the MaRS Centre brings companies of all sizes, researchers and innovators from different disciplines, investors, professional service firms, community organizations, and policymakers together in a thriving urban facility. This collaborative, interdisciplinary and cross-industry approach is the cornerstone of the MaRS model.
Phase 2 of the MaRS Centre will double the size of the facility to over 1.5 million sq. ft., making it one of the largest urban innovation hubs in the world. Today more than 2,300 researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and professionals representing 80+ tenants come to work at MaRS every day. Every year thousands more come to attend seminars, workshops and conferences. MaRS Centre Phase 2, by more than doubling this vibrant and creative core, will dramatically enhance the capacity of the MaRS community as an innovation engine, creating the jobs of the future economy.
Two prominent tenants have already committed to leasing space in the new building. The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, with its exceptional translational cancer research and commercialization programs, presently in the south tower, will expand into MaRS Centre Phase 2. Public Health Ontario, a central player in public health research and policy and in infectious diseases management, will anchor its provincial network in MaRS Centre Phase 2.
To finance the project, Infrastructure Ontario is providing a fully repayable loan to MaRS, which, with investments by MaRS and the existing investment of Alexandria, will enable MaRS to complete the project. MaRS Centre Phase 2 will be developed and operated by MaRS and has an anticipated completion date of September 2013.
Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District is a large-scale, mission-driven innovation centre focused on accelerating innovation and building Canada’s next generation of high-growth companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs in life sciences and health care, information, communications and entertainment technologies, clean tech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as with innovative social purpose businesses. MaRS provides entrepreneurship education both at the facility and online; advisory services offered by seasoned entrepreneurs, business executives and sector experts (the majority as volunteers); market intelligence; seed capital; as well as access to talent, customer and investor networks. The MaRS Centre connects the science, business and capital communities and anchors a wide network of collaborators.
MaRS is a member of the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE), and one of fourteen Research and Innovation Centres across Ontario designed to help technology and social entrepreneurs commercialize their innovations.
About Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., Landlord of Choice to the Life Science Industry, is the largest REIT focused principally on providing high-quality real estate for the life science industry.
Since 1994, Alexandria has created first-in-class life science clusters that foster innovative and collaborative environments in key locations immediately proximate to leading research institutions. Alexandria’s broad and diverse tenant base includes internationally renowned academic and medical institutions, multinational pharmaceutical companies, leading private and public biotechnology entities, nonprofit institutions, government agencies, medical device companies, biofuels companies, research tools and service companies, and venture capitalists.
Located in the top life science markets around the globe, Alexandria’s world-class properties, highly specialized operations, and expansive network assist the life science industry in translating promising discoveries into important, safe, and effective products that benefit humankind.
John H. Cunningham
Senior Vice President ‒ Regional Market Director ‒ New York / Strategic Operations
T: 646-223-3882 or 703-444-8717 VA Office
About the Ministry of Research and Innovation
The Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI) is helping to transition Ontario into an idea- and innovation-based economy to create and grow new industries, new jobs and prosperous communities. In addition to funding programs, MRI administers the Ontario Network of Excellence, which works directly with entrepreneurs, academia and businesses to build globally-focused, investor-ready companies. MRI supports researchers, entrepreneurs and business innovators in all stages of the pipeline ‒ to help bring unique products and services to market.
Ralph Benmergui, Minister’s Office, 416-314-7067
Brigitte Marleau, Communications Branch, 416-325-2479