Catalyst in technology partnership with Canadian city Brampton

Pictured announcing the MOU are (from left) Adrian Johnston, director of strategic business development at Catalyst; Patrick Brown, City of Brampton mayor; Clare Barnett, director of economic development and international relations; and Councillor Michael Palleschi, Regional Councillor Wards 2 and 6 in Brampton

Technology hub Catalyst has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the city of Brampton in Canada in w move which will strengthen the innovative ecosystems and support entrepreneurs, innovators and companies in both locations.

Brampton, part of the Greater Toronto Area, is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada and has seen impressive growth fuelled by burgeoning innovation manufacturing, logistics, food production and life sciences sectors.

Following the visit of a Northern Ireland delegation to MaRS Discovery District and Communitech Waterloo in Canada, led by Catalyst’s director of strategic business development Adrian Johnston, with Belfast City Council and CSIT of Queen’s University Belfast, the MOU was signed with the intention of developing a closer relationship and enhancing opportunities for links between Catalyst and Brampton.

Catalyst, which runs multiple innovation programmes including INVENT, Co-Founders, Generation Innovation and STRYVE, is committed to creating opportunity for all, including those furthest from it in society.

The MOU states that Catalyst and the City of Brampton will explore and develop opportunities to cultivate closer relations with one another through cooperative activities including:

  • Encouraging and facilitating cooperative efforts for mutual growth and collaborative research and development in the cyber security system.
  • Collaboration on innovation initiatives such as growing Innovation Districts, cluster internationalization, cybersecurity education and training and soft-landing pads for foreign entrepreneurs.
  • Mutual participation in a start-up exchange programme, with a focus on emerging digital technologies and particularly cyber security.

Adrian Johnston from Catalyst said: “Entering this joint collaboration with the City of Brampton is an incredibly exciting development for us and demonstrates our ambition to expand our strategic links with Open Innovation partners and entrepreneurial communities around the world.

“Brampton’s innovation and technology sector is booming, and Mayor Patrick Brown is leading the city through an ambitious and impressive economic innovation strategy, with an exciting future ahead and the building blocks in place to develop a world-class Innovation District.

The Catalyst innovation hub in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.
The Catalyst innovation hub in Belfast's Titanic Quarter

“We feel Brampton’s vision for how entrepreneurship should be supported aligns with Catalyst’s own vision and we look forward to learning from Brampton and sharing our expertise with then through this partnership.”

Brampton mayor Patrick Brown added: Innovation and entrepreneurship drive economies forward and unlock untapped potential in the community. The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is another step towards realizing this potential.

“BHive’s incubator program will welcome new start-ups from Catalyst and provide them with the skills and resources needed to succeed in the North American market. By joining forces, we not only strengthen our respective entrepreneurial ecosystems but also inspire innovation that transcends borders.”

The MOU was signed following a visit to Canada facilitated and supported by Invest Northern Ireland’s Americas office, which included time at MaRS, North America’s largest urban innovation hub. Occupying 1.5 million square feet in downtown Toronto, MaRS is a diverse community of more than 120 tenants, including research labs and global tech companies, each selected to create a community that is collaborating on real solutions to important problems.”