Getting to MaRS

If you have looked at the MaRS model for R&D, incubation, etc., you should listen to this podcast.

Located in Toronto’s Discovery District — two square kilometres that have been designated as the city’s centre of innovation – the MaRS Centre is the gateway to Canada’s largest concentration of scientific research, anchored by major teaching hospitals, the University of Toronto and more than two dozen affiliated research institutes. The Centre is also close to the Bay Street financial district, provincial legislature, key government organizations, arts and cultural attractions.

MaRS is an orgy of R&D and incubation funding. I don’t know all the ins and outs of it but there are literally hundreds of millions worth of activity going on in this district.

Question: How many New Brunswick communities carved out a major portion of their downtown for an ‘innovation’ district?

This is not a bad idea. Dublin, Ireland planned out and developed its financial cluster. It moved schools into the cluster, it built out resources, funded research, and encouraged all new financial firms to located in the cluster/district. There is a real advantage to co-locating related cluster activity within a stone’s throw of each other. The problem we have in New Brunswick at the community level is the same at the provincial level. If Fredericton gets something, then Moncton must be next or Saint John or Miramichi. Same thing in local urban areas.

This is wrong-headed. We should be looking to cluster activity in specific business parks, downtown blocks, etc.