The 151 lakes surrounding Peterborough & the Kawarthas may be a major tourist attraction, but they’re also drawing people to the region for more than just a visit.
Peterborough & the Kawarthas have long been known as a hub of aerospace and advanced manufacturing. Thanks to the area’s reputation as a “living lab for water,” cleantech is the newest sector playing a crucial role in the region’s growing economy.

Strategic partnerships and technological innovations

The local cleantech industry is about more than a fortuitous proximity to water. It’s about leveraging the area’s entrepreneurial culture and accelerating growth via innovations in technology, while maximizing potential through strategic partnerships with surrounding research facilities.

“We have an environment that fosters growth for cleantech companies, primarily due to Trent University and Fleming College, but also leveraging the nearby University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa,” says Rhonda Keenan, President and CEO of Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, the organization tasked with promoting the region for growth and investment. “In the cleantech sector, these institutions are recognized as first-class, and they have the research facilities and expertise to match.”

Trent University boasts eight Canadian Research Chairs, 72 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council-funded projects, and 70 faculty conducting research related to the environment and bioscience. The University is currently in the process of developing the Trent Research and Innovation Park, an 85-acre facility that’s being built in partnership with the City of Peterborough and is scheduled to break ground in 2018.

“[The region] has demonstrated a real strength in building cross-sector collaborations, as well as in engaging our local municipalities and non-profit organizations that promote innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Dr. Neil Emery, the Vice President of Research and Innovation at Trent University. “This strength is a significant advantage for cleantech companies wishing to establish operations here.”  

Educational institutions provide excellent talent pool

These institutions also provide cleantech companies with an enviable local talent pool, while a reduced cost of living as compared to nearby major urban centres keeps both labour and infrastructure costs reasonable. But at the end of the day, it’s not the cost but the quality of life that is most important.

“One of the nicest parts about Peterborough & the Kawarthas is that we do have that elusive work-life balance, thanks to the unique intersection of urban city and rural cottage country,” says Keenan. “We have the best of both worlds in one location, along with a diverse economy, lots of opportunities, and room to grow.”