Canada is home to 26 research and innovation parks, each with their own scope or focus. The vision for Cleantech Commons at Trent University is to become Canada’s premier green technology research and innovation site, hosting a cluster of companies and start-up enterprises in environmentally-focused fields including clean technology, environmental services, advanced material sciences, biotechnology, agri-food, and agri-business, to name a few. The Park will seek out tenants who will foster connections between the research underway at the University, provide experiential learning opportunities for students, engage with the local business community, and contribute to the innovative culture of the park.
Trent University has set aside 85 acres of land for Cleantech Commons. This area was first identified in the 2006 Endowment Lands Master Plan and supported by the 2013 Trent Lands Plan. The creation of a research park at Trent was limited in the past due to the lack of municipal services on Trent’s East Bank. The City of Peterborough has recently agreed to extend servicing to the park to realize the many benefits of this development.
Following six design principles, Cleantech Commons will:
- be integrated with Trent’s main campus physically, visually and socially
- foster an innovation community culture encouraging social interaction and collaboration in all seasons
- be a leader in sustainable design
- be based on a design strategy that is landscape-led to maintain natural features and existing topography
- be flexible to accommodate a range of enterprises and uses in a unique setting
- be well-connected to the City, County and Region
The research park will be guided by a Master Plan developed by BrookMcIlroy and DM Wills Engineers. This plan was approved by Trent’s Board of Governors (June 2017) and the City of Peterborough Council (July 2017).
As is the goal for any development on Trent’s Endowment Lands, Cleantech Commons will provide experiential learning and employment for students, forge new research partnerships, create a revenue stream for the University, and bring economic development to the region. Its most important contributions, however, may come as a result of the advancements in environmentally beneficial technologies and innovations from the firms located at the Park.
The Cleantech Commons Master Plan was approved by Trent University's Board of Governors on June 16, 2017. The Master Plan and Draft Plan of Subdivision were approved by the City of Peterborough on July 31, 2017.