David Johnston Research + Technology Park

Carol Stewart

The David Johnston Research + Technology Park (R+T Park) is one of the largest research parks in Canada and is uniquely located on the University of Waterloo's North Campus. Designed to accommodate 1.2 million square feet of office space on 120-acres (49 hectares), the Research Park houses thousands of ICT industry researchers, and technology jobs. The Research Park has generated an economic impact of $602 million in spending, $428 million in GDP, and $319 million in labour.

The cornerstone of the park is the Accelerator Centre (AC) which is a world-renowned, award-winning centre for the cultivation of technology entrepreneurship located at the gateway of the R+T Park in Waterloo, Ontario. The Accelerator Centre has graduated over 48 companies from their Accelerator Program , and has been ranked 9/10 for overall experience by their clients. Today the park is home to 50+ companies and 3,000 knowledge workers.

Connecting to Community

There's a saying that "every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together." The same can be said for Waterloo Region, where we have been able to build an exceptional, supportive ecosystem consisting of academics, entrepreneurs, established business leaders, builders, and the many companies, services and people who support them.

In this special, expanded issue of Watch, we are all about the community, exploring the following stories:

In the "Birth of a District" we learn more about a new initiative involving the David Johnston Research + Technology Park (R+T Park) and other critical stakeholders to rebrand and reinvent Phillip Street corridor in Waterloo - an area formerly dominated by BlackBerry as the Idea Quarter.

•We visit with Accelerator Centre CEO Paul Salvini at the AC's new 8,000 sq. ft. "Reactor" facility, dedicated to earliest stage tech start-ups.

•We take a tour of the community activities that bring R+T Park to life everyday.

•We sit down with Sandra Banks, University of Waterloo's new VP of University Relations to talk about the university's important connection to community; and

•In a visual spread, we revisit some of the Accelerator Centre's graduate start-ups - to learn what's up with their business since they headed out of the incubator and into the world.