Groundbreaking ceremony kicks off construction of Platform and new era for CTI
Platform is Calgary’s downtown innovation hub and marks the beginning of a transformation for Calgary Technologies Inc.
The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), Calgary Parking Authority (CPA), Calgary Technologies Inc. (CTI), and Zinc Ventures are breaking ground today on Calgary’s new Platform Innovation Centre (Platform).
CTI will be the operator of the Platform Innovation Centre, with an aim to foster an open, collaborative environment with programming that engages widely: from makers through to startups and innovative corporations. It will be a place that transforms ideas into action, building the next wave of shared prosperity for our city.
“The addition of Platform to CTI’s strategy significantly increases our ability to promote the kinds of relationships that characterize the world’s strongest performing innovation ecosystems. These changes mark a new commitment to developing the innovation ecosystem, beginning with the transformation of CTI, largely inspired by the grassroots Rainforest movement in Calgary,” commented Terry Rock, PhD, President & CEO, CTI.
CTI’s focus will remain on supporting Calgary’s innovation-driven companies by providing space, programming, and advocacy, and they will also champion the vision for Platform’s design, activity, and culture working off the guiding principles set by the founding partners. They will continue to provide services out of the Alastair Ross Technology Centre in Research Park, but are focused on the long-term priority of putting a focus on innovation in the heart of downtown Calgary. To that end, CTI has worked with CMLC to secure the 5,300 sq ft Hillier Block to serve as its interim downtown facility.
“Platform is a key piece of the puzzle as we work towards transforming Calgary into a global innovation hub,” said Zinc Ventures President Brad Zumwalt, who co-founded Platform. Zumwalt also co-founded Rainforest Alberta, an organization created to work together to improve Calgary’s innovation ecosystem. “By having both space and programming available to technology companies, especially in this new innovation corridor, we can be a catalyst for the ecosystem.”
There is a wide variety of facilities and programming already planned for Platform, including continuing education, expert advice, access to resident corporate partners, and a state-of-the-art maker space.
“Over the past year CTI has been repositioning itself to focus on the overall vitality of Calgary’s startup and innovation ecosystem,” said Evan Hu, Board Chair at CTI. “The renewed direction aligns with the 10-year Economic Strategy for Calgary, which aims to make Calgary a leading B2B innovation ecosystem. The establishment of a ‘Calgary Innovation Corridor’ is a key component of the 10-year strategy, and the Platform project immediately builds momentum towards that vision.”
Flanked by the new Calgary Public Library and the National Music Centre, the Platform Innovation Centre will feature ground floor public spaces, parking, and the CTI managed innovation areas. The building will also allow for future conversion of the parking spaces to commercial or residential uses.
For more information on Platform, please visit www.platformcalgary.com.