NEONET’s Move to Northern College Timmins Campus Paves Way for New Centre of Excellence for Productivity and Innovation

Northern College News and Events

TIMMINS, ON: As of October 7th, 2013, Northern College Timmins Campus will be home to NEOnet and the newly established Centre of Excellence for Productivity and Innovation. The centre, which will be managed by NEOnet, aims to assist regional small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) build productivity and innovation capacity. The plan to establish the centre was put forward by the Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC). NEOnet and the centre will be housed in newly-renovated offices located in Northern College’s B-Wing.

The Centre of Excellence for Productivity and Innovation will assist SMEs throughout northeastern Ontario in increasing productivity through the utilization and development of innovative techniques and technologies. NEOnet will provide the centre’s services to SMEs with assistance from Northern College and other community partners. Plans are in place to have the centre operational in 2014.

“NEOnet is excited about relocating to Northern College, as it brings together two regional organizations with the common goal of making northeastern Ontario a viable player in the world market,” said Chris McLaughlin, Director of Operations at NEOnet. “Our move aims to further enhance our working relationship with the college in order to provide small and medium sized enterprises a sole location to address their marketing, technology adoption, applied research, and productivity and innovation needs.”

Northern College’s Timmins Campus was selected as the site for NEOnet’s new offices and the Centre of Excellence for Productivity and Innovation due the strength of the college’s ICT infrastructure. Technologies like video conferencing and Blackboard Collaborate – which are used for communicating and collaborating across vast distances – are already used extensively by the college. This infrastructure will allow the centre to make its services accessible to SMEs throughout northeastern Ontario.

The similarity in scope of the Northern Office of Applied Research and Innovation (NOARI) and the Centre of Excellence for Productivity and Innovation will create opportunities for collaboration between these entities. This collaboration could realize great potential for the region’s business community and potentially engage students in components of applied research, commercialization and technology transfer. The centre will also help NOARI and NEOnet build internal productivity and innovation expertise.

“We’re excited to have NEOnet and the new Centre of Excellence for Productivity and Innovation move to the Timmins Campus,” said Fred Gibbons, President of Northern College. “Northeastern Ontario has a strong tradition of innovation and we’re looking forward to working with our new neighbours to help the region continue that tradition. Increasing productivity and the adoption and development of innovative technologies will create new job opportunities, strengthen the regional economy, and impact the quality of life within the communities we serve.”

Statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) indicate that Canada has fallen behind all other G8 countries (excluding Italy) in productivity growth from 2001 to 2009. A 2013 study by professional services firm Deloitte indicates that Canadian workers currently produce only 80% of the GDP per working hour of their American counterparts, and this percentage will continue to decrease unless Canadian firms invest more into the development and use of innovative techniques and technologies. The Centre of Excellence for Productivity and Innovation aims to make northeastern Ontario a leader in productivity growth.

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Media Contact:
Crystal Bresson
Manager, Marketing and Communications
705.235.3211 ext. 2253
bressonc@northern.on.ca