Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre announces new strategy geared for growth

The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) announced its new multi-year strategic plan to expand its mission to support and initiate economic growth across the Algoma region.


“We share the responsibility to create more jobs within our region and our plan includes making significant investments into our programs and services to help accomplish that,’ explains Peter Bruijns, Executive Director at SSMIC.  “We believe our region needs a strong core technology group to support the community and our Acorn Information Solutions team is well positioned to fill this need and act as an important talent development team for the region.”


The technology focused division of SSMIC, Acorn Information Solutions, will be expanding outside of Algoma to offer its award-winning geomatic services including leading edge utility network migration services, data analysis, and custom industrial and govtech software solutions to help generate revenues that will be invested back into our community.


“Part of our mandate is to encourage and develop technology talent locally and we plan to accelerate our service offerings so we can invest surpluses into our programming that serves not only the youth in our community, but the larger business community as well,” says Bruijns.


The multidivisional Innovation Centre plans for growth don’t end there.


The award-winning agricultural technology team, RAIN (Rural Agri-Innovation Network) will further expand its services to create and support a commercial kitchen and training services to help regional food entrepreneurs take their products from local to wider markets.


“We want to help build food processing businesses here and ultimately support up to six companies to build a new industry vertical over time,” explains Bruijns. “Work is already underway to source the location to implement this plan.”


As a Regional Innovation Centre, SSMIC has a core group of employees that work to help Algoma’s entrepreneurs from concept to commercialization and into growth stages of their business ideas. SSMIC’s business services team plans to continue to facilitate funding programs delivered on behalf of the province of Ontario and Fednor, as well support other SSMIC divisions with their growth goals.  The team will continue to offer training opportunities for local businesses and youth in the region.


The SSM Academic Medical Association (SSMAMA) will continue growing medical and health research and training services within Algoma.  Later in 2023, SSMIC with SSMAMA expects to launch a proposed new research initiative that aims to expand training, research, and commercialization in multiple health applications.  SSMIC will be a key anchor partner in these initiatives.


A new event for the organization, Stir the POTential, planned for October 2023 aims to attract people to our community to ideate business ideas in multiple climate impact areas. SSMIC will bring 250 entrepreneurs, students, business service providers, engineers, research centres and more from across the country to discuss entrepreneurship in the north focused on business opportunities arising from the climate crisis.   SSMIC has already secured a passionate speaker, Bob McDonald of CBCs Quirks and Quarks to share his thoughts on climate solutions.


“Sault Ste. Marie is well positioned to be a change agent in the climate space and SSMIC is here to be a catalyst of change in our community. As such, it is our responsibility to be a major part of stimulating and supporting more entrepreneurs into taking on global challenges from right here in Sault Ste. Marie.”


Bruijns continues, “Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma region can engage more aggressively into global competition for jobs and wealth. This strategic plan aims to boldly address this and will be executed by the strong management team we’ve established in recent years across the organization.”

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