Global think tank recognizes use of broadband and information technology for economic development

Toronto, June 12, 2006 –- The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) announced MaRS Centre as the winner of its Intelligent Building of the Year at the annual Intelligent Community of the Year Awards in New York City on Friday, June 9th. MaRS Centre was selected among three finalists that included the University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, and Ballantyne Village, Charlotte, North Carolina, which represented a North American sweep of the category. ICF cited MaRS as a development that would feed innovation and economic progress for the community.

The Intelligent Community Forum (www.intelligentcommunity.org) is a global think tank, formed by World Teleport Association in 2000, that focuses on the uses of broadband and information technology for economic development by communities large and small. Its annual awards give a significant profile to communities leading the way in the Digital Age.

Nearly 200 delegates from around the world, representing governments and leading technology company executives, were in attendance at the annual conference and awards presentations to discuss and recognize ways that broadband communications is making a practical but profound impact on the infrastructure, economy, businesses, governments and social growth.

MaRS Discovery District aims to improve commercial outcomes from Canada’s foundation of science and technology innovation to position Ontario and Canada as powerful and competitive players in the global knowledge economy. MaRS is leading the new field of convergence innovation by connecting and fostering collaboration between the communities of science, business and capital through co-location in the MaRS Centre, catalytic programs and structured networks that extend virtually through its web portal.

MaRS Centre is located in Toronto’s Discovery District, in the heart of Toronto’s downtown research cluster. Phase One, 700,000 sq. ft., comprising office and lab space for researchers, start-ups, mid-sized and multinational high-technology companies, venture capital firms and services such as technology transfer groups, accountants, lawyers, networking organizations and funding agencies, officially opened in September, 2005. Phase Two, another 1,000,000 sq. ft., will commence this fall with expected completion in 2008.

Partnering with industry leaders such as APC, Apple, Applied Electronics, Bell Canada, Christie Digital, Harman Pro Group, Nortel, Sun Microsystems, Samsung and Tandberg, MaRS Centre is the first building of its kind to leverage emerging IP based technologies to offer a fully connected community for tenants located physically in the building and to a broader stakeholder community connected virtually over broadband networks. The MaRS Collaboration Centre conference facility located within MaRS Centre is the first venue of its kind to adopt a fully converged audiovisual infrastructure that allows anywhere/anytime access and control using a local or wide area IP network. Additionally, MaRS will anchor the rollout of a Discovery District-wide wireless network.

“We are very honoured to be the recipient of the Intelligent Building of the Year Award. MaRS is growing technology-based companies and fostering the ecosystem in which such companies flourish. By integrating emerging technologies into the foundation of the MaRS Centre, we are pushing the boundaries of convergence and the use of technology as a true collaboration platform in a way that is unique in the world. We thank the ICF for recognizing MaRS as a leader in this arena,” said Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District.

“Congratulations to the MaRS Discovery District on winning the Intelligent Building of the Year Award,” said Ontario Premier and Minister of Research and Innovation Dalton McGuinty. “Research and innovation are critical to building a high-wage, high-quality-of-life economy for Ontario families. That’s why we’re so proud to work with this world-class centre to ensure Ontario stands above the crowd in the knowledge-based global economy.”

The Province of Ontario and the Canadian Consul General of New York hosted a reception honouring the top seven Intelligent Communities and the finalists of the three other awards on the evening of June 8th at the Bank of New York.

About MaRS

MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ventures into global market leaders in life sciences and health care, information, communications and digital media technologies, cleantech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose business.

For more information, contact:
Linda Quattrin
Director Communications
MaRS Discovery District
416.673.8104
lquattrin@marsdd.com