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Cleantech Commons

Aerial view of the Trent University property in the summer sun

Cleantech Commons

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Research Park?

Research & Technology parks are communities of innovation that link industry with government and academia. Developed in partnership with key stakeholders such as municipal, provincial and federal governments, affiliated universities, and economic development agencies, a university research and technology park typically has:

  • A master development plan with the potential to accommodate new and expanding knowledge-based businesses.
  • An incubation and/or acceleration centre.
  • A collaboration agreement with the affiliated university to drive new innovations to the market and increase technology transfer opportunities.
  • A role in promoting innovation-led economic development for the community or the region.

Why this location?

The interaction with the University community, whether through student placements or engagement with Trent labs, is a fundamental element of the Park. Examining the success of other research parks showed that integrating the park physically and functionally with the campus is highly recommended. With science facilities on the East Bank, and sufficient available land further east within walking distance of this part of the campus, the Endowment Lands Master Plan (2006) confirmed the location of the Park. Moreover, this site offers accessible transportation routes that do not interfere with the core campus.  

If this has been in plans since 2006, why is the University building now?

The development of the Endowment Lands and the creation of a research park was crystallized in the Endowment Lands Master Plan (2006) and reaffirmed in the Trent Lands Plan (2013). Limitations such as lack of servicing restricted Trent’s ability to move ahead and develop the research park until now. Through pre-planning and mapping out a shared vision for the Lands, the University has been ready to respond to opportunities as they arose. The recent arena development with the City of Peterborough requires services be brought up the East Bank, which allows for development to move ahead on the Cleantech Commons.

What is a Master Plan?

The Cleantech Commons Master Plan will guide the long-term implementation of the research park, providing an overall development plan, as well as detailed guidance on elements like streets, trails, development sites, landscaping and natural features. It will be used by the City of Peterborough and Trent University to develop the park and guide the individual tenants in the design of their individual lots and buildings. The Master Plan is not a blueprint for building construction, but a plan and vision for the space.

What studies have been done on the land so far?

In addition to the Endowment Lands Master Plan and the Trent Lands Plan, stage 1 and 2 Archaeological Assessments were completed in 2016. This study found no archaeological indications of settlement and no further archaeological work was recommended. Prior to that, a Trent Research Park Servicing Study was completed in 2015 to review the municipal and servicing requirements necessary to develop the Cleantech Commons lands. The North End – Trent University Area Transportation and Wastewater Management Class Environmental Assessment is currently ongoing and includes work in the area around Cleantech Commons, including the realignment and reconstruction of several roads and bridges in the area, as well as stormwater and a sanitary sewage servicing plan. The 2012 Transportation Master Plan also indicated traffic management plans and dictated the ongoing redevelopment of Pioneer Road. In addition, the Draft Plan of Subdivision is complete and has been approved by City Council. This is a formal planning process under the Planning Act and is the equivalent of an Environmental Assessment under Provincial rules. View Reports related to these studies on the City's website.

How will Cleantech Commons be managed?

Cleantech Commons will be overseen by a joint management committee with senior staff from Trent and the City, reporting jointly to the City of Peterborough and the Trent Board of Governors.

Why is the City managing the lease and overseeing the park?

The University’s primary business is education. The City of Peterborough will be responsible for providing services to the research park and building common park infrastructure. The City has significant experience managing business parks across Peterborough, in successful partnerships such as the Peterborough Airport, and attracting business through Peterborough Economic Development.

Why is Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development involved in Cleantech Commons?

Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) has a mandate to seek out businesses to open or expand operations in Peterborough. PKED is funded jointly by the City of Peterborough and the County of Peterborough. The Trent Research Office will work in partnership with PKED and the City to attract tenants.

Will Trent faculty have research labs at Cleantech Commons?

Cleantech Commons is intended to include research and innovation facilities for businesses. Trent faculty will continue to conduct their research in the existing Trent labs and in the field. As Cleantech Commons grows, there is always potential and opportunity for faculty to partner with TRIP’s tenants on relevant research, but the University will not be building additional faculty lab space at Cleantech Commons.

How will you include indigenous perspectives in the development of Cleantech Commons?

Trent University prides itself on our legacy of leadership and relationships with indigenous people and communities. Under the leadership of the First Peoples House of Learning, the University is developing an indigenous consultation plan to help guide and inform the developments on Trent’s Endowment Lands and the Cleantech Commons.

The process will include consultations with eight to ten indigenous communities, followed by a large roundtable session with chiefs and senior administration at Trent. These indigenous communities include:

  • First Nations (i.e. Curve Lake, Hiawatha, Alderville, Scugog Island, Tyendinaga)​
  • Métis (i.e. Peterborough and District Wapiti Métis Council)
  • Urban Aboriginal (i.e. Peterborough Friendship Centre, Kawartha Aboriginal Fist Nations and First Nations Women’s Association)

During these consultations, Trent and First Nations representatives will discuss ways that we can bring an indigenous perspective to the park, respect indigenous land practices in the developments, and how we can support indigenous entrepreneurship and innovation through programming.

Consultation Reports will be shared on the Trent Lands Plan website as they become available. 

How will Cleantech Commons generate income for Trent, if it’s being managed by the City?

Trent will lease the land to the City, which will, in turn, enter into subleases with each of the Park’s tenants. Initially, the net lease revenue will be split between Trent and the City, to recoup the costs of providing services to the Park. After the City’s costs are reimbursed, all net lease revenue will flow to Trent.