An architectural rendering of the Innovation Complex. MEDIA PHOTO

The City of Mississauga will invest $10 million over 10 years into the University of Toronto Mississauga’s (UTM) construction of the Innovation Complex (IC). This is the largest municipal grant ever made to UTM. The university will also invest $25 million to finance the project. The four-storey building is scheduled to open in September 2014.

The new facility will house UTM’s Institute for Management & Innovation (IMI). The Institute is intended to be a gathering place for students, faculty, external businesses, and community stakeholders.

In addition to the IMI, the building will accommodate the Office of the Registrar and the Li Koon Chun Finance Learning Centre. It will also feature extended space for the Economics and Management departments.

Former U of T president David Naylor and current UTM principal Deep Saini first approached Mississauga’s city council on May 15, and were met with overwhelming support. A formal approval was secured in council on December 11, 2013.

“This is an investment in the economic future of not only Mississauga, but the province of Ontario and Canada,” said Missisauga Mayor Hazel McCallion.

“As a special levy, the people of Mississauga will know that they are contributing $1.34 per person to the Mississauga campus of the University of Toronto,” added McCallion.

President Meric Gertler lauded the investment, saying: “This commitment is a testament to the visionary leadership shown by Mayor Hazel McCallion and her council colleagues on behalf of the citizens of Mississauga. We are fortunate to have such a forward-thinking civic partner, one that understands the economic and social significance of universities in creating a prosperous urban environment.”

Saini also praised the investment, saying: “We are delighted that council has approved this investment that will build substantial competitive advantage for the city, help to generate new ideas and leaders, and develop a strong base of human talent. This $10-million grant will produce major economic benefits for Mississauga and our region by creating an innovation culture, building a knowledge economy and attracting global business.”

The project is a response to “high demand” by students, according to Saini, who oversees a campus where over 2,300 of 13,000 undergraduate students are enrolled in a management program. Such programs include Business administration (BBM) and commerce (BComm). Saini has indicated that enrollment is expected to grow to 3,000 students in the future.

According to Saini, the complex will be the first attempt to organize varihous management programs at the Mississauga campus “under a single umbrella, similar to a business school.”

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