It’s the beginning of a new era for research and innovation in Niagara’s agri-food industry, with the opening of Niagara College’s latest addition to its trailblazing Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.
On Tuesday, September 3, federal, provincial and regional representatives, community donors and industry partners joined staff and students at Niagara College to mark the official grand opening of the new Marotta Family Innovation Complex, which will not only enhance student learning opportunities, but will support the region’s agri-food and agri-business sector.
The four-story complex is the centrepiece of a $34-million investment in the agri-food sector, and includes more than 50,000 square feet of newly constructed space – including three research areas that expand the College’s Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre. New beverages will be prototyped and processed for shelf life and microbial safety in a new processing lab, and analyzed in its new beverage analysis cluster lab; while food and beverage companies can further their product development in a new agri-business commercialization space.
“Thanks to a generous donation from community donors Benny and Louise Marotta, and family; support from our Student Administrative Council; and vital funding from our federal, provincial and regional governments; our Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus is set to become a hub for research and innovation in Canada’s agri-food industry,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson, PhD. “The strong support for this new complex is a testament to the power of a Niagara College education, not only in the high-quality experiential learning we offer to our students, but in the strong role we play in our communities, helping small- and medium-sized enterprises innovate, which, in turn, generates jobs and stimulates the economy.”
“This is an exciting day for Niagara College’s Research & Innovation Division. The expansion of our Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre within the new Marotta Family Innovation Complex supports the agri-food and agri-business sectors in Niagara,” said Marc Nantel, PhD, NC’s vice-president of Research, Innovation and Strategic Initiatives. “It also enhances experiential learning opportunities for our students, which will, in turn, expand the pool of highly qualified personnel in the food and beverage labour market to meet industry needs.
“We thank the generosity of the Marotta family, our Niagara College Student Administrative Council, and funding from our federal, provincial and regional governments for this vital investment.”
~ By Julie Greco