THUNDER BAY – Special to NNL – While it was the first time for RBC President and CEO Gordon Nixon to visit Thunder Bay, he didn’t have a complete impression of the city, only to say “Why isn’t the convention centre built by the lake?” and “I find Whitewater to be spectacular”.
What has Nixon, who also serves as Chair of MaRS Innovations, excited about our one-time sawmill town, was how successful collaborative research is in Thunder Bay.
“The collaboration of Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute is quite remarkable, you have everyone working together to accomplish some of the same goals.”
“We at MaRS are proud to be part of the launch of XLV Diagnostics Inc.” XLV is a new medical imaging, prime sector start up company and this is first commercialization coming out of the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute.”
MaRS Innovations is a not-for-profit organization that connects science, business and capital.
Commercialization is the first stage; partners building a working prototype to take to market. It could lead to manufacturing.
“I’ve witnessed it before where “Google” showed up in Kitchener, bought up some small web innovators and they ended up staying, expanding what they had to offer and creating more jobs.”
“I do know most big companies like to be near the innovators and the research centres. New companies start small, evolve, expand and create jobs.”
Some developments didn’t go unnoticed, added Nixon. “There is good opportunity for economic development in the region, with mining and health related research. Transportation is opening up in a big way with the airport and highway developments”.
“Porter Airlines doesn’t come to Thunder Bay out of their good graces. They are here because the demand is there, and that is always a good thing,” stated Nixon.
Nixon was in Thunder Bay addressing the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute. The RBC is expanding in Thunder Bay with new branches slated to open in the coming months.