Less than a year after provincial support for a major digital media innovation centre was announced, The Communitech Hub has officially opened for business, ready to foster the next-generation of digital media innovation in Ontario.
The Hub, which occupies 30,000 square feet of a renovated downtown Kitchener Tannery building, is now home to start-up companies, small-medium enterprises, and global multi-nationals all aiming to accelerate the pace of development of new ideas and products in the digital media sector. Leaders from business, government, and community organizations gathered at The Communitech Hub today to recognize the expansive effort that has now created a leading-edge facility customized to meet the needs of its occupants.
“Ontario has a tremendous legacy of innovation in digital media and ICT, and this sector is exploding around the world. The Communitech Hub will help launch more made-in-Ontario companies, create good jobs and better lives for families,” said Glen Murray, Minister of Research and Innovation.
The Communitech Hub will not only serve as a collaboration centre for resident companies, but will also link to other digital media centres across Canada as part of the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN). The CDMN headquarters reside in The Hub along with Communitech offices.
“Creating this facility has been a collaborative effort between community organizations, industry, all levels of government and the community itself, making this a truly remarkable achievement,” said Iain Klugman, President and CEO of Communitech.
Founding partner companies who have contributed to the establishment of The Communitech Hub include: Canada’s largest software company Open Text Corporation; leading-edge visual technologies company Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc.; and high-tech heavyweight Research In Motion (RIM). The Communitech Hub — a $100 million project — was created with contributions from the provincial government, the federal government, the City of Kitchener, and private industry.
“Open Text and the other founding industry partners are committed to innovation; The Communitech Hub will enable R&D projects that might not have been possible without this unique environment,” said Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman & Chief Strategy Officer at Open Text, and Chair of the CDMN.
Renovating the 30,000 square foot space in the former Tannery building and transforming it into a state-of-the-art facility for digital innovation was no small undertaking, given the size and scope of the project. The facility features unique amenities such as a four-sided 3D ‘immersive environment’ provided by Christie Digital powered by Christie’s 3D stereoscopic projectors, enabling display of vast amounts of data. The Hub has an open concept area for the established companies to brainstorm and collaborate, and private office areas for entrepreneurs to ‘incubate’ ideas in close proximity to tools and services they need to succeed. Companies have access to a suite of expert resources including entrepreneurs in residence, project manager support, and marketing & branding expertise.
“This facility is a dream come true for many of the people who celebrated The Communitech Hub opening today who can now envision the innovative technologies that will undoubtedly have their start in this facility,” said Kevin Tuer, VP Digital Media of Communitech and CDMN Managing Director.