Smartpark Research & Technology Park
The University of Manitoba’s Smartpark has the mandate to develop a designated 100 acres of university land as Smartpark Research & Technology Park. Smartpark's vision is “Building a Community of Innovators” adjacent to The University of Manitoba. Smartpark's mission is developing space for lease to research and technology companies and organizations involved in research areas that complement the University’s academic and research mission, including the following broad areas:
- Information and Communications Technology
- Engineering and Advanced Materials
- Health and Biotechnology
- Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences
As all industries strive to compete in the new global economy, innovation is the fundamental characteristics of those who are successful. Innovation is a product of the synergy and energy generated by clustering inquiring minds and encouraging critical, creative and adaptive thought in an environment of research and learning. Smartpark has developed this unique work setting to create just that environment to capture the value that innovation creates, to further:
- facilitate university and industry collaboration and partnership
- foster creation and application of knowledge-based technology and economic development
- nurture and stimulate a culture encouraging commercialization and entrepreneurship of local start-ups
- create new employment opportunities and provide numerous other benefits for the community, the University, tenants, skilled students and researchers
Smartpark continues to advance its mandate, vision and ongoing mission, positioning itself as a symbol of science, innovation and advanced technology at the University of Manitoba, playing a wider role in the innovation ecosystem and the knowledge-based economy in the Province of Manitoba.
Smartpark opened its first facility in 2002. Today, the Community of Innovators is home to 26 tenants and 22 commercialized startups, employing 1,500 people in ten buildings, comprising 500,000 square feet of research facilities across the park.
Development and leasing opportunities
Land lease opportunities
Smartpark is a maturing research park development that has room to grow. The park contains 105 acres of land owned by the University of Manitoba and operated by Smartpark. All 105 acres are complete with property services, 34 acres are developed with buildings and grounds, 37 acres are used for roads, berms and retention ponds, and the remaining 34 acres of serviced land are available for future park development.
The following serviced parcels are available for lease:
- Parcel G – 2.02 acres (adjacent and west of Lake 1 Retention Pond)
- Parcel F – 1.44 acres (south 1/3 remaining)
- Parcel E – 4.20 acres (west half of Parcel E)
- Parcel R – 4.40 acres (adjacent and west of One Research Road)
- Parcel B – 21.34 acres (between Technology Trail and Pembina Hwy)
The two core design principles of the Innovation Hub are to create gathering spaces and commercialization spaces for the tenants of Smartpark.
The Smartpark Innovation Hub has the following features for use:
- Large open Atrium
- Two state of the art multi-purpose rooms (MPRs), accommodating 50 people in one room, or 100 people when both rooms combined. Each multi-purpose room features:
- video presentation walls
- servery stations
- MPR parking (PDF)
- 4th Floor Boardroom – 14 person capacity
- Common meeting rooms
- Licensed food service location with a full service kitchen
- Outdoor patio
Our tenants and partners
Full list of tenants
Technology Centre (Commercialized startups)
More about Smartpark
Context and background
1982 – UM Board of Governors approves the establishment of a Research Park (PDF) on March 25, 1982 and designates 100 acres of university land. Investigative and development work is put into the formation of the Smartpark concept led by the VP Research Office.
1998 – Smartpark Development Corporation (SPDC) was formed to oversee the development of the Park and transition from the planning to operational stage. SPDC is a subsidiary corporation of the University of Manitoba. As a separate legal entity from the University, the first Board of Directors meeting was held on September 15, 1998. President represented by the AVP (Admin) and small staff, the Corporation has the 1982 Mandate to develop a designated 100 acres of university land as Smartpark Research & Technology Park.
1999 – Smartpark Business Plan (PDF) was drafted on April 26, 1999 creating the vision "Building a Community of Innovators" and mission of developing space for lease to research and technology companies and organizations involved in research areas that complement the University's academic and research mission. UMA Engineering performs detailed design work, and completed Conceptual Master Plan (PDF) and drawing/tender package for site servicing in October 1999.
2002 – The first building Smartpark developed on a commercial basis was 135 Innovation Drive, which was preleased and completed for occupancy November, 2002. Building #1 marked the end of the incubation phase of the 1982 investigative and development work put into the formation of the Smartpark research park concept, and also marked the beginning rapid development period of buildings and grounds of Smartpark Research & Technology Park.
2011 – SPDC assets and liabilities are transferred to the University of Manitoba into an income funded department continuing the mandate, vision and mission. The Smartpark Advisory Committee (SAC), created in 2012, is chaired by the Vice-President (Research and International) and is advisory to the V-P (Admin). The membership is represented by University administration, several Faculty Deans, external business leaders and the Province.
2019 – The Smartpark Innovation Hub is a transformative project providing fundamental change to Smartpark reaching a success threshold becoming a mature and sustainable research park. An image of success playing a key role in retaining students and researchers, in attracting tenants, talented people to work for the tenants and in building collaborative research partnerships among market, business and the university.
The new Innovation Hub consolidated the steady growth of park developments since 2002, with two core design principles: i) gathering spaces creating a destination to encourage interaction and build the community of innovators, and ii) commercialization spaces to improve the scale and quality of facilities for research and innovation for use by start-ups and tenants.
Purpose and terms of reference of the advisory committee:
- To oversee and advise on promotion of networking and research collaborations between the Smartpark and University communities.
- To provide feedback on opportunities and initiatives for the growth of the park and development of new space in the specified sectors.
- To be a forum for the exchange of information contributing to the success of the research park vision.
- Dr. Mario Pinto - Vice President (Research and International)
- Ms. Raman Dhaliwal - Associate Vice-President (Administration)
- Mr. Brian Eckhardt - CEO, InfoMagnetics Technologies Corporation
- Ms. Joelle Foster - North Forge Technology Exchange
- Dr. Marcia Friesen - Dean, Faculty of Engineering
- Ms. Kathryn Gerrard - Deputy Minister, Economic Development, Investment and Trade
- Mr. Harris Liontas - CEO, Novra Technologies Incorporated
- Dr. Brian Mark - Dean, Faculty of Science
- Mr. Douglas McCartney - President & CEO, CIC Engineering
- Dr. Peter Nickerson - Dean, Max Rady College of Medicine
- Mr. Larry Paskaruk - Director, Property Development and Management, Smartpark
- Dr. Martin Scanlon - Dean, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences
- Dr. Bruno Silvestre - Dean, I. H. Asper School of Business
The Smartpark model supports commercialization and entrepreneurship, and encourages partnerships that will drive the creation of knowledge-based technologies, and ultimately increase the number of local start-ups. The Smartpark model works to enable a broader reach from upstream university research to downstream factories of the future, improve linkages and brand UM Research Park as a global marketing platform to the innovation ecosystem. Smartpark continues to advance its mission, its vision and its mandate toward becoming a symbol of science, innovation and advanced technology at the University and in Manitoba playing a wider role within the regional knowledge economy.
October 1999 – Start of Phase I development was announced
November 2002 – Completion of 135 Innovation Drive, a 30,000 square foot office/computer lab multi-tenant facility
October 2003 - Completion of Cangene Corporation’s 76,000 square foot expansion of packaging, office, and warehouse space
November 2003 – Completion of 137 Innovation Drive, a 28,500 square foot office/computer lab/manufacturing multi-tenant facility
November 2004 – Completion of 78 Innovation Drive (Unit 100), a 9,000 square foot facility, the new home to IMRIS, a spin off of National Research Council – Institute for Biodiagnostics (NRC-IBD)
October 2005 - Completion of Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, a 55,000 square foot research lab facility
November 2005 - Completion of 78 Innovation Drive (Units 200 and 300), a 23,500 square foot facility for Industrial Technology Centre and Composites Innovation Centre
December 2005 - Completion of One Research Road, a 42,000 square foot multi-tenant facility for BASF Canada, DMT Development Systems Group Inc., Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council Inc., Monsanto Canada Inc., and Wolf Trax
April 2006 - Completion of Cangene Corporation's 40,000 square foot expansion of its plasma fractionation facilities
July 2006 - Monteris Medical Inc. joins Smartpark and subleases 100 - 78 Innovation Drive
October 2006 - Completion of Phase II infrastructure (roadway, water and sewer services)
January 2007 - the eureka project: Smartpark's Incubator opens
December 2008 - edna fedya, Smartpark's first restaurant opens in One Research Road
Smartpark clients who graduated from the park
In 2004 IMRIS moved to 9,000 square feet at Smartpark from early stage development at the NRC incubation facilities downtown Winnipeg to commercialize its Innovative Magnetic Resonance Imagining System – a fully integrated image guided therapy environment that delivers timely information to clinicians for use during surgical or interventional procedures “move the scanner not the patient”. In 2006 graduated from Smartpark to 70,000 square feet at Sony Place in Winnipeg. IMRIS is a global company with locations in Canada, USA, Europe, China and Japan.
In 2002 Apptius moved to a small office at Smartpark’s Incubator. There Apptius commercialized its IT consulting services and work flow products to private and public organizations. In 2007 Apptius graduated to 2,500 square feet of commercial premises at Smartpark as the first business incubation success story from Smartpark’s incubator.
In 2003 IDERS moved to 12,000 square feet at Smartpark to further commercialize the turnkey design and produce secure wholly novel electronic payment transaction systems for CIBC, Canada’s largest chartered bank. These systems set the standard for secure mag stripe and smartcard terminals and pinpads deployed across North America. In 2008 IDERS tuned the design and process before transitioning the design to a contract EMS provider with systems in operation in over 80 countries worldwide. IDERS is located in 18,000 square feet at Oakbank Manitoba employing 60 staff.
Composites Innovation Centre
In 2004 Composites Innovation Centre moved to 1,000 square feet at Smartpark from early stage incubation at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba to commercialize its research, development and application of composite materials and technologies for manufacturing industries. CIC is a not-for-profit corporation that is jointly sponsored by private industry and government to support and stimulate economic growth. In 2005 CIC expanded operations at Smartpark to 5,000 square feet, and in 2011 moved to 20,000 square feet at Commerce Place in Winnipeg focusing on key sectors: aerospace, bio-materials, ground transportation, and civil infrastructure.
In 2005 BASF moved to 3,500 square feet at Smartpark. BASF Canada is dedicated to helping customers be more successful by providing intelligent system solutions and high-quality products. BASF Canada’s portfolio includes agricultural and nutrition products, chemicals, plastics, performance products, and fine chemicals. BASF moved to Lorimer Blvd in Winnipeg in 2012.