The ONE Nova Scotia Coalition came together in 2014, at the request of the Government of Nova Scotia with a mandate to develop a 10-year plan to help achieve the ambitious goals set out in the report of the Commission on Building Our New Economy – commonly known as the Ivany Report.
The ONE Nova Scotia Coalition Collaborative Action Plan presents Action Points, including recommending “Nova Scotia Universities as Innovation Hubs”. The idea is to place universities at the centre of innovation “ecosystems”: a network of individuals and groups — post secondary institutions, entrepreneurs, incubators, governments, labs — that conduct and support innovative activity through research, product development, and more. As the only Atlantic Canadian member of the U15 - Canada’s group of leading research universities - Dalhousie University has a particularly crucial role to play as an Innovation Hub for our region.
The IDEA (Innovation in Design Engineering & Architecture) Project was conceptualized in 2008, arising from the need for a revitalization of Dalhousie’s downtown campus. The IDEA Project evolved under the lens of the ONE Nova Scotia Coalition, Nova Scotia’s participation in the MIT REAP program, and Dalhousie’s Strategic Priorities. The IDEA Project leverages the unique capabilities of Dalhousie and unites universities, the corporate sector, entrepreneurs, venture capital, and government into a coordinated network to advance Atlantic Canada’s innovation ecosystem. The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) from the Government of Canada further leveraged partner funding and the IDEA Project resulted in a $64-million revitalization of the downtown Sexton Campus putting research and innovation front and center.
Taking the IDEA Project a step further - and with a shared vision and commitment to create a Hub in response to the ONE NS Action Plan - Dalhousie is proud to have partnered with Emera, Micco Companies, and Clearwater to fill a critical gap supporting product based startups in Nova Scotia’s innovation ecosystem. The Emera ideaHUB is a strong response to the report, which included a call to action to increase new startups in the province; improve the youth unemployment rate; double business enterprise and university research and development partnerships; and improve venture capital investment. Dalhousie’s Emera ideaHUB will play an important role in meeting these key ONE NS Goals.