Announced today by Ontario's Minister of Energy in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, the new institute will bring together industry leaders and utility companies to build on Ontario's strengths in smart grid technologies and other clean energy innovations.
Created in partnership with the Tornto-based the MaRS Cleantech Practice, the institute will support and expand domestic and international business opportunities to better position Ontario to capitalize on the rapidly expanding $250 billion clean energy industry.
The announcement took place before 200 clean energy experts meeting at the MaRS Future of Energy Summit to exchange ideas about how to leverage Ontario's clean energy expertise to global markets and create jobs.
The summit focused on a number of areas including designing the grid of the future and featured a showcase of smart grid innovators including a number of Ontario's Smart Grid Fund recipients.
Global investment in clean energy projects is expected to mobilize nearly $7 trillion of new capital over the next 20 years, notes Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District.
'By combining Ontario's robust energy innovation pipeline with the collaborative efforts of public and private industry stakeholders, I believe this province is on track to become a leading exporter of the next generation of energy technologies,' she said.
The MaRS Future of Energy Summit heard from senior Cabinet ministers, researchers and entrepreneurs, public sector distributors, regulators, and utilities managers, and private sector industry leaders.
The Summit's five themes included: Using the power of clean energy data, designing the grid of the future, combining different energy sources and uses, examining emerging energy generation and storage technologies, and supporting the commercialization of new energy technology.
Located in Toronto's Discovery District (two square kilometres designated as the city's centre of innovation), the MaRS Centre is the gateway to Canada's largest concentration of scientific research. It is anchored by major teaching hospitals, the University of Toronto and more than two dozen affiliated research institutes.
The Centre also neighbours the Bay Street financial district, the provincial legislature and key government organizations, as well as arts and cultural attractions.
Construction of Phase 2 is underway. This expansion will make the MaRS Centre one of the largest urban innovation hubs in the world.