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Loyalist College signs MOU to partner with GreenCentre Canada

By Jacob Willis [1]

BELLEVILLE – Loyalist College and GreenCentre Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this week that could help bring new technologies and products developed here at the college to market. 

Based in Kingston, GreenCentre Canada [2] is a not-for-profit organization that supports the growth of chemical and material start-ups, small and medium sized businesses, and multinationals.

“When you want to innovate and introduce a new product, a lot of times it’s difficult to test the process,” explained Dr. Kari Kramp, senior scientific manager of Applied Research and Innovation at Loyalist.

“You’re not sure whether it’s going to be appropriate, or whether it will scale up, or you need support with product development, or you’re working on a process and you’re having challenges optimizing it, or you want to potentially try a new technology,” said Kramp.

“There’s risks involved with that. So if you’re able to work with an organization like GreenCentre, we can investigate this at their site, utilizing in many cases their facilities, their equipment, their expertise.”

The MOU will enhance Loyalist’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) cluster as well as the bio economy and agritech (food, pharmaceutical and natural products) cluster.

“This Memorandum of Understanding is an initial planning document between Loyalist and Greencentre,” Kramp said. “It acknowledges that we have a mutual intention to explore future collaborations. I like to think of it as an agreement that says ‘Hey, we’re on the same page here. Let’s work together.’”

According to a press release from the Loyalist College External Relations & Business Development Team, this partnership will foster regional growth and entrepreneurship. The press release said the two parties (Loyalist College and GreenCentre Canada) will leverage their combined resources, expertise and networks to “provide industry clients with a broad spectrum of services and funding opportunities.”

In the news release, Andrew Pasternak, the executive director of GreenCentre, expressed his excitement about the employment opportunities that will arise from this partnership.

“GreenCentre Canada is pleased to work collaboratively with Loyalist College to integrate our complementary capabilities and advance companies in the region. Our combined services will accelerate their technologies’ time to market and lead to growth in regional employment opportunities,”  Pasternak said.

Loyalist president and CEO Anne Marie Vaughan added to Pasternak’s sentiment, emphasizing the timeliness of the deal:

“As we emerge from the pandemic, Loyalist College recognizes that supporting economic development while fostering sustainable solutions for a circular economy is more important now than ever. That’s why we are committed to collaborating with our local industry partners like GreenCentre who are recognized leaders in their field for supporting the growth of start-ups, SMEs and multinationals to transform their innovations into valued products, processes and services.”