Project aims to position Canada as leader of new technologies in life sciences

Toronto, May 12, 2003 – The Medical and Related Sciences Discovery District (MaRS) will formally launch the MaRS project, which brings together the best-in-class scientific and business communities to facilitate the commercialization of scientific discovery. Over 300 guests representing: the investment and life science business communities; Ontario universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutes; and private donors and all three levels of government that have contributed to the project, are expected today at the Design Exchange in Toronto. Mr. Gordon Nixon, President and CEO of RBC Financial Group, will be the keynote speaker for launch event.

“It is critical to strengthen our ability to commercialize the substantial public investment in academic research to benefit the health and economic future of Canadians,” said Dr. John Evans, Chair of the MaRS Board of Directors. “MaRS is committed to creating a coherent infrastructure to help entrepreneurs transform intellectual property into commercial potential and support Canadian companies for growth on a global scale.”

One of the platforms for MaRS commercialization programs is the MaRS Centre, a convergence facility for life science, information technology and other related disciplines. Phase One of the development, over 700,000 square feet, is currently being constructed between Elizabeth Street and University Avenue at College Street, the focal point of Toronto’s Discovery District. It is one of the largest concentrations of medical and scientific research in North America. Within two square kilometres in downtown Toronto are the University of Toronto, seven world-renowned hospitals, and more than 30 specialized research institutes.

The MaRS Centre will co-locate start-ups and established companies, business and scientific support services, and venture capital under one roof. From this site, scientific and commercialization services will be networked to support researchers and entrepreneurs across Canada.

MaRS Discovery District is a federally incorporated not-for-profit corporation founded by leaders from Canada’s academic, business and scientific communities.

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