Trent Press Release


June 27, 2002

DNA Cluster Project at Trent Could Define Local Economy this Century

Representatives from local business and Peterborough's post-secondary institutions met with government officials at the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation (GPA EDC) yesterday to put the final touches on a feasibility/business plan for a project that could contribute substantially to the creation of well-paying, knowledge based jobs for the region.

The group has been working since last year to develop economic growth opportunities from the world-class DNA research activities at Trent University and the associated applied technology expertise at Sir Sandford Fleming College into the an economic cluster of expertise designed to attract new technology businesses and job opportunities.

"With a critical mass of expertise in Peterborough, the community is well-positioned to become an international centre for excellence in DNA research and its associated applications including environmental pollution control, DNA sample collection and automation and forensics", commented Susan Cudahy, GPA EDC President & CEO. "Yesterday's workshop was very encouraging with all of the stakeholders - both private and public sector - expressing strong interest and support. This project has the potential to define the economic future of the region through this century."

"The DNA Cluster Project is the ultimate example of an ideal partnership combining the best knowledge, expertise, and collaborative efforts from the public and private sectors throughout the region," said Bonnie M. Patterson, President of Trent University. "For Trent University, this is an opportunity to showcase and build on our leading edge DNA research capabilities and expand world class, real world applications for the benefit of the Centre at Trent - and the broader community. This will set Trent University apart as a centre for excellence nationally and internationally."

A key component of the project will be the construction of a multi-faceted research and development centre at Trent University that would provide space for private and public sector laboratories and associated uses. A business incubator to assist new start-ups related to the local research and expertise is also being considered for the centre.

Next steps for the project include securing funding from partners including all levels of government and the private sector. An Advisory Committee is currently being established to oversee the project and one of the first tasks will be to hire a project co-ordinator to implement the business plan. The GPA EDC will continue to facilitate the project.

Partners involved in the development of the project to date include Trent University, Sir Sandford Fleming College, several Provincial ministries and agencies, the National Research Council and private sector companies.

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For more information contact:

Susan Cudahy, GPA EDC (705) 743-0777 Ext 222 or

Marilyn Burns, Trent University (705) 748-1011 ext. 1303

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