Trent University and the City of Peterborough have announced the appointment of Martin J. Yuill as the executive director of Cleantech Commons, signaling that the research park is open for business and ready to welcome tenants focused on cleantech, green, and environmentally-related business.
Mr. Yuill brings significant management accomplishments and international work experience to the executive director role. A seasoned executive in both the corporate and non-profit sectors, Mr. Yuill has enjoyed success launching new initiatives and driving organizational growth across Canada. His background includes building innovation hubs, developing investment networks, animating startup communities and ecosystems, and helping entrepreneurial ventures to start and grow.
Mr. Yuill currently serves as director of Emergence, a national bioscience business incubator headquartered in Charlottetown, PEI, as well as director of incubation services at the PEI BioAlliance Inc. He is the former president and CEO of the Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster (GPIC).
“I am delighted to play a role in making Peterborough’s Cleantech Commons research park Canada’s premier clean technology research, innovation and commercialization location, and the centre of a cluster of next-generation technology companies and start-up ventures,” Mr. Yuill said. “By creating a collaborative innovation district that brings together the academic, research, investment and business communities and provides critical value-adding business support services and mentorship to drive company growth, Cleantech Commons is set to become a critical component in Canada’s cleantech innovation infrastructure. The Commons will support entrepreneurship and the accelerated commercialization of academic research outcomes as well as innovative new global technologies, enhancing economic prosperity and skilled job creation, and helping retain talented graduates in the local community.”
As executive director (ED), Mr. Yuill will oversee all operations, functions and activities of Cleantech Commons at Trent University and will be responsible for providing strategic direction for the research park and implementing a progressive vision for its future. Working with the vice president of finance and administration at Trent and the commissioner of infrastructure and planning services at the City, Mr. Yuill will promote, encourage, and support a new high-skills economy for the City of Peterborough through business development and entrepreneurship activities and the enhancement of research and commercialization activities with Trent University’s faculty, research staff, and students. The position is jointly funded by the City and the University.
“This is an exciting time for Cleantech Commons,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “Martin brings a wealth of experience in launching community economic development initiatives and the commercialization of university research. Combined with his enthusiasm for inspiring students in entrepreneurship and innovation, Martin will benefit Trent, and the City of Peterborough and impact the Ontario economy at an exciting time for our region.”
With growing interest from potential tenants at Cleantech Commons, Mr. Yuill will collaborate with Peterborough & Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) to develop and promote economic development strategies, develop and implement marketing and branding strategies, and promote community outreach.
“Cleantech Commons is designed to attract businesses that create jobs and economic activity in the green and clean tech economy. This is not your ordinary business park. It uniquely ties together research, innovation and commercialization of that knowledge,” said Sandra Clancy, chief administrative officer of the City of Peterborough. “Martin’s experience working with post-secondary institutions, economic development agencies and the startup sector make him the ideal person to lead Peterborough’s newest employment and research park.”
Mr. Yuill first came to Peterborough from Kelowna, British Columbia in 2013 to lead GPIC, where he was responsible for launching The Cube, a best-practice technology incubator located at Trent University’s DNA building. In 2016 he took on a new role leading the growth of Emergence, a national life science-based business incubator, which today boasts clients from “Vancouver to St. John’s”. An active and engaged community member, Mr. Yuill has served on the board of the Centre of Excellence for Goat Research & Innovation, was instrumental in launching the FastStart youth entrepreneurship initiative, and served on the advisory board of the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission. In addition, he participated as a volunteer design consultant to the Trent Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, was a member of the management committee of the Peterborough Community Innovation Forum, and served on the Trent University Business Council. In recognition of his work, in 2014 Mr. Yuill was named one of Peterborough’s most influential people by Peterborough This Week. He holds an MBA degree from the University of South Africa.
Mr. Yuill will take up his new role as ED on March 1, 2019.
About Cleantech Commons
A partnership between Trent University and the City of Peterborough, Cleantech Commons is set to become Canada’s premier green technology research and innovation site, hosting a cluster of companies and start-up enterprises. Cleantech Commons will be a point of convergence for industry and academic partners who are driving advancements in water management and treatment, contaminant analysis, agro-biotechnology and biomaterials. Based on an extensive Master Plan, Cleantech Commons will be flexible to accommodate a range of enterprises and uses in a unique setting, fostering an innovation community culture encouraging social interaction and collaboration in all seasons. Integrated with Trent University’s Campus physically, visually and socially, the Commons will be a leader in sustainable design that is landscape-led to maintain natural features and existing topography.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
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