Western Research Parks named among world’s best

Western’s Research Parks have been ranked No. 22 in the world by Swedish research company UBI Index in its Global Top 25 University Business Incubators 2014.

Western Research Parks performed well compared to UBI’s global benchmark on post-incubation performance indicators. This signifies clients of Western Research Parks generate positive economic impact for the region. Furthermore, Western Research Parks’ clients have higher survival and growth rates than the global average.

“Western has clear goals to create a world-class research and scholarship culture at the university and across the region,” said Paul Paolatto, director of Western Research Parks. “These rankings demonstrate that the investment in these facilities, and the research expertise we are able to offer our industry partners is drawing attention from around the world and benefitting the local economy.”

UBI assessed 800 business incubators, accepted 400 into the program and finally benchmarked more than 300 university-affiliated business incubators in 67 countries, ultimately placing Western in the Top 25.

The United States had the most incubators on UBI’s Top 25 with four. Canada and China tied for second, each with three incubators on the list. Joining Western in the ranking from Canada are Ryerson University’s DMZ and University of Alberta’s TEC Edmonton.

Incubators were compared in three performance categories:

  • Value to the ‘ecosystem,’ which includes economy enhancement and talent retention;
  • Value to the client, including access to funds, competence development and access to a network; and
  • Attractiveness of the incubation program, including the incubator’s offer to stakeholders and post-incubation performance.

In total, more than 60 key performance indexes have been used to compare the incubation programs worldwide.

“Western Research Parks is one of the top business incubators in the world,” said Dhruv Bhatli, co-founder, UBI Index. “It provides great value to its clients which generate high economic impact on the region.”

For nearly three decades, Western Research Parks have served as a strong link between academics and commerce. The parks are currently housed on three sites.

Western’s Advanced Manufacturing Park is home to the Fraunhofer Project Centre for Composites Research, the WindEEE Research Institute and The Collider, a facility opened earlier this week.

The original park, now called Western Discovery Park, is home to more than 200,000 square feet of office, lab and industrial-grade space, including the Stiller Centre for Technology Commercialization, one of Canada’s most successful biotechnology incubators.

The Western-Sarnia-Lambton Research Park was established in 2003 as a joint initiative of the County of Lambton, the City of Sarnia and Western. Located adjacent to Lambton College, the park is home to the Bowman Centre for Technology Commercialization, Canada’s largest clean-tech incubator, focused on large scale industrial biotechnology.