York a key part of new Innovation Synergy Centre in Markham

Growing a home-based operation into a small company can happen in a few short years for businesses offering a unique product or service. The next step, becoming a larger enterprise, requires advice, planning and support.

York has partnered with the Town of Markham and National Research Council Canada (NRC) to create the Innovation Synergy Centre in Markham (ISCM), which is opening today. The ISCM is a business advisory “hub” that offers a pool of mentors and advisors who will provide appropriate services when approached by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that need help. The intention is to make the experience one-stop shopping. “To be effective in the global economy, as entrepreneurs grow their businesses they may need assistance with expertise in areas such as marketing, finance or human resources,” says Don Cousens, mayor of Markham, “and the ISCM is now there to help.”

Specifically, ISCM will provide targeted business and scientific assistance to companies that aim to accelerate the growth of their businesses in both the domestic and international marketplaces. Although located in Markham, the centre is designed to reach beyond the town into the GTA. Key to the centre’s services is York’s role; ISCM will serve as a point of contact to the University’s research expertise in business, human resources management, and science and technical support.

As a founding partner, the University welcomes the chance to play a leadership role in this exciting initiative, says VP Research & Innovation Stan Shapson. “York views the ISCM as an important opportunity to focus its strong research outreach strategies,” he said. “York University is now acknowledged as one of Canada’s fastest growing research universities. York’s attention to expanding and exchanging knowledge through interdisciplinary and collaborative research in the major fields of business, science and technology, and social science is a valuable asset for SMEs. The ISCM now becomes a visible contact point for York’s value-added research services.”

This partnership is an example of York’s research outreach, designed to make the surrounding community more aware of the value that York offers and facilitate further contacts between community members and faculty expertise across the University.