Cornwall Innovation Center is now CREATE

Eric Bergeron, seen here during a December 2018 council meeting, is the executive director of the Cornwall Innovation Center. The CIC has launched a new identity and plan called CREATE. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – With a new name and a new direction, officials with the Cornwall Innovation Center unveiled their new identity Friday.

It’s called CREATE – an acronym for Cornwall and Region Entrepreneurs Artists and Technologists Exchange.

The CIC started in April 2017.

Executive Director Eric Bergeron says this new blueprint is modelled on other innovation centers, such as Toronto and Kingston.

Instead of asking for money from Cornwall and SD&G municipalities, Bergeron expects the new entity to be self-sustaining within two years.

The main thrust of CREATE will be a rent-based co-working space with up to a dozen offices and 30 so-called hot desks. Also in the plan is an event venue and a technology-driven makerspace.

The exchange will still be running the Ontario Emerging Jobs Institute and will be working on better business investment connections.

Today’s event at ESCA was a soft launch for CREATE because the co-working space at the Cotton Mills isn’t expected to open until the new year.