New strategic plan being developed at Western Research Park

The Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park - March 20, 2019 (Blackburnnews.com photo by Melanie Irwin)

A new multi-year strategic plan is being developed at the Sarnia-Lambton Western Research Park.

It will focus on developing innovation opportunities and strengthening the park’s reputation as a hub for business development and technology commercialization locally.

Executive Director Katherine Albion said there are a few key priorities.

“We’re going to be building on the success of our past plan to initiate this new plan which will make us an essential pillar of economic growth,” she said. “We’ll be continuing to maximize the value of the park’s assets, enhance our focus on research and commercialization, and look to become the knowledge centre for Sarnia-Lambton.”

Under the 2013 strategic plan, the park’s occupancy reached 50 companies at its peak, and over 20 graduates moved on to additional commercialization or business establishment.

Albion said the park is key for technical-economic development in the region.

“We’ve really been the hub and the incubator for a lot of the development of the hybrid chemical cluster here in Sarnia-Lambton. We’ve had links with a lot of those industries. We’ve got a lot of tenants here on site that will be looking to expand and grow as well when they graduate from the park.”

The new plan will be presented to the County of Lambton for approval in September, with implementation set to begin in 2021.

Tenants at the Modeland Road facility, created in November 2003, include research centres and international companies, many of which are from outside of Sarnia-Lambton.

There are currently 45 tenants at the park, including 10 combined new ones in January and February.