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Platform Innovation Centre breaks ground in Calgary’s East Village

It’s touted as a place that will transform ideas into action.

Ground broke Thursday on Calgary’s new Platform Innovation Centre, a partnership between the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA), Calgary Technologies Inc. (CTI) and Zinc Ventures.

The building, which will be erected in the East Village near the new Central Library and the National Music Centre, will have ground floor public spaces, parking, and innovation areas managed by CTI.

The $80 million, five-level project will house more than 500 parking spots, a cafe and outdoor activity area and will eventually have 50,000 square feet of space for collaboration.

“The addition of Platform to CTI’s strategy significantly increases our ability to promote the kinds of relationships that characterize the world’s strongest performing innovation ecosystems. These changes mark a new commitment to developing the innovation ecosystem, beginning with the transformation of CTI, largely inspired by the grassroots Rainforest movement in Calgary, ” said Terry Rock, PhD, President & CEO, CTI.

CTI and CMLC have struck a deal to have the 5,300 square foot Hillier Block to serve as the interim location for work in the early stages, with the Platform East Village location to open in the fall of 2020.

The Platform website says the planned facilities include a school for continuing education, experts who can provide advice and support on starting projects, investors that help push innovative projects along and a maker space go from plan to product.

“Platform is a key piece of the puzzle as we work towards transforming Calgary into a global innovation hub,” said Zinc Ventures President Brad Zumwalt, who co-founded Platform.

“By having both space and programming available to technology companies, especially in this new innovation corridor, we can be a catalyst for the ecosystem.”