A Message from Judith Morris, President & CEO, Lambton College - Subject: Successful Establishment of Bio Cluster a Result of Leadership, Innovation and Community Collaboration

March 23, 2018

Together, our community has built a centre for sustainable chemistry that provides a platform on which to diversify our economic base.
Together, our community has built a centre for sustainable chemistry that provides a platform on which to diversify our economic base.

Sarnia-Lambton is deeply rooted in innovation. Together, our community has built a centre for sustainable chemistry that provides a platform on which to diversify our economic base.

Our region is the largest hub of chemical companies outside of Alberta, and has long been a base for multi-national corporations, many who helped create the infrastructure that exists in our community today. As industry evolved, and Sarnia-Lambton moved into the 21st century, our community, industry leaders, and local innovators collectively put their minds and resources together to create a vision for our future.

Using the innovative base on which the economic foundation of our community was built, we are now home to one of the leading clusters in North America for bio-industrial technology.

It is important that our community fully understands some of the amazing work being done in Sarnia-Lambton, and we take a moment to celebrate the successful achievement of our goal to establish a Bio-Hybrid Chemistry Cluster. The companies that we are attracting, the projects we are executing, and the promising technology with which we are working, has demanded the attention of many new bio-companies who have chosen to establish operations in Sarnia-Lambton.

Recently, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) supported a study, which identified key factors in the development of a successful cluster. Of the 12 main requirements, three stood out as critically important: collaboration, access to an educational institution, and people.

It is the strong collaboration amongst the government, academia and private sectors that has allowed us to build the Bio-Hybrid Chemistry Cluster.

As indicated, a vital piece of the essence of cluster building has been identified as access to an educational institution with applied research and training. Lambton College’s Centre of Excellence in Energy & Bio-Industrial Technology has been a key contributor in our ability to provide the support required by the incoming bio-industry. This contribution has been in two streams: Education and Applied Research.

The Centre has allowed us to ensure our region can meet the skills demanded by this emerging industry. Evolving teaching methodologies coupled with industry-supported work integrated learning or “applied learning” results in the provision of highly qualified personnel for the future of the industry.

In conjunction with our training efforts, our applied research initiatives have been key in the successful development of this cluster because we understand the needs of the industry, and can effectively provide access to skilled personnel and funding.

It’s also worth noting that a bio-hybrid cluster isn’t an easy cluster to establish. In fact, it is a capital intensive, complex and demanding industrial cluster. Thankfully, Sarnia-Lambton is an innovative community with visionary leaders who have never shied away from challenge and hard work.

Without partnerships and a collective community goal to build this bio-hybrid cluster, without support, without infrastructure, without the highly-skilled professionals who have been driving this vision, our region wouldn’t be in the position that it is today.

People, access to an educational institution, and collaboration.

If our community lacked in these areas, our goals would not be met. This is why other regions are using our cluster as a conceptual model to build similar hubs within their own communities. This is the reason companies such as BioAmber, Origin Materials and AChT are locating in Sarnia-Lambton.

I am incredibly proud of being a member of this innovative and supportive community. We are a community that works together to identify new opportunities for economic growth, to utilize collective resources, and to support the evolving needs of industry. Our ability to establish a clear vision has not only helped us succeed, it has helped us lead. And when we lead together, we create opportunities to grow and shape the future of our region.

For media inquiries or more information:

Jami Kloet
Corporate Communications Coordinator
Lambton College
Telephone: 519-542-7751 ext. 3337
Mobile: 519-328-2081
Email: jami.kloet@lambtoncollege.ca