KINGBRIDGE NEWS

COLLABORATION ATTESTS TO THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING SUSTAINABLE FORESTS

By Mark Pavilons
Editor
King Weekly Sentinel – http://kingsentinel.com/?p=15006

The importance of Canada’s forests can not be understated.
In fact, forestry and forest products are integral to the economic, social and environmental health of our citizens.
The strong symbiotic relationship to our forests was stressed by an expert panel during a livestreamed discussion hosted by the Kingbridge Innovation Hub.
Kingbridge Centre and Forests Ontario are partnering to accelerate innovative solutions that contribute to the growth of the Ontario and Canadian forest industry and the related economic and community activities including among others large scale tree planting and forest management.
They will work together to develop and implement these key solutions using technology, research and education to address the risks caused by human impact on our climate.
By working with new technologies, data, and methodologies, they will enhance and augment activities that contribute to genetic preservation, endemic species management, seed collection opportunities, which in turn supports an increase in capacity to plant trees.
The two organizations will also work on developing a national forest restoration tracking tool, implementing novel technology to improve reporting on forest survival. Forests Ontario’s community engagement tree planting program, Take Root, will also benefit from this collaboration through cross promotion.
Malcolm Cockwell, president of Forests Ontario, and Prashant Pathak, Chair of Kingbridge Centre and Innovation Hub, sparked the conversation and awareness to viewers during the event last week.
“Forests Ontario is thrilled to be partnering with Kingbridge Centre,” said Malcolm Cockwell. “By working together with our unique sets of skills and expertise, we will make big strides in the areas of large-scale tree planting and forest management.”
Forests Ontario’s contributions to the collaboration include over a decade of tree planting experience. As the leading non-profit for afforestation tree planting, Forests Ontario has a vast network of partnerships with seed collectors, nurseries, tree planters, and others like conservation authorities, governments and First Nations, all of which bring crucial knowledge to the table for advancing innovation in the field.
“This partnership is of utmost importance to Kingbridge Centre and the Innovation Hub at Kingbridge. It is a cornerstone as our team works to curate, develop and scale solutions and businesses that will contribute towards mitigating the adverse social and economic effects of climate change,” said Pathak. “Forests are a well-known and critical part of the nature-based solutions that we need to fight climate change. We look forward to working together on new technologies to increase forest cover and to enhancing the contribution that the forest sector has for a more prosperous and healthy Ontario.”
Rob Keen, Executive Director of Forests Ontario, lauded the new partnership, noting all efforts help FO in being the “voice of our forests.”

The bigger picture

Cockwell stressed Canada’s forest inventory is so vast, it makes our country a “superpower” when it comes to forestry.
Forests, he pointed out, are part of an intricate eco-fabric that includes water, air, soil and wildlife habitat. They all act together in harmony in this perfect “biological machinery.”
Pathak confirmed that Canada is in the top 10 countries globally in terms of managed forests. This, he said, means Canada has a significant role to play, economically and geo-politically.
Cockwell observed that some 200,000 jobs across Canada are tied to forests and products, from planting trees to consumer products. It’s a fundamental part of our economy and the supply chain. Forest products run the gamut in everything from railway ties and shipping pallets to edible items and cardboard packaging.
Pathak added that the lifeblood of many communities in rural Canada depend on forestry. The industry reaches far beyond merely the consumptive part.
The extraction efforts work hand in hand with sustainability, and forests also provide tourism opportunities and a chance for urban residents to connect to nature.
Pathak noted that new opportunities are arising all the time. Using forest products for natural sweeteners, and using pulp-based fibres for textiles are growing in popularity. This, he says, could end up being bigger than cotton-based products.
The uses and opportunities are almost limitless and using low quality wood is also part of sustainable forests.
Keen added it’s amazing just how integrated forest products are. To secure our future, improving forest cover will create a healthy environment and this ensures a healthy society and economy.
Pathak said forests figure prominently in solving the climate change dilemma.
Getting the word out ­ ­ –  increasing awareness­ – is key to getting Canadians at all levels on board. Pathak said it’s a matter of connecting all the dots on a day-to-day level.
Cockwell said Canadians should be proud of the fact our forests are among the best managed in the world.
He said the path forward is pretty clear – get more trees in the ground.
Work by FO, along with other public and private initiatives, are helping. The federal government’s proposal to plant some two billion trees is a start but to really make a difference, the number has to be 10 times that, according to Pathak.
“The best time to plant trees was 20 years ago,” he said. “The second best time is today.”
Keen pointed out the logistics of planting even two billion trees is complex. It involves everything from seeds, nurseries, securing proper species, planting, working with landowners, and monitoring the results. It’s a huge integration and coordination of all sectors.
The infrastructure needs to be in place to ensure success, Cockwell stressed. To that end, partnerships like the one between FO and Kingbridge will go a long way.
“This partnership will give us the yardstick on things,” Keen said.
Kingbridge Centre will bring their proficiency in innovation and commercializing of innovative ideas to the forefront by offering new research and technologies to create inventive solutions. The Innovation Hub’s ability to develop, test, and scale ways to increase tree planting capacity will be an important part of the partnership.
Pathak said there are many things that can be done at the local level. Leveraging expertise, gathering knowledge and using these at the municipal level to help make informed decisions, will further the goals.
Organizations interested in the work that Forests Ontario and Kingbridge Centre are undertaking should contact Karen Dubeau at karen.dubeau@kingbridgecentre.com.

COMPASS AND KINGBRIDGE PARTNERSHIP YIELDS SWEET RESULTS

The Kingbridge Centre is more than a conferencing centre – they have an Innovation Hub that works on high impact projects to showcase environmentally sustainable solutions.  As part of their work, they welcomed 80,000 honey bees in May of this year, which had unrestricted access to the 113 acres for foraging from flowering plants and trees.  Over the summer, the number of bees increased to more than 150,000, a wonderful indication of how happy they were in their new home.

The honey harvest from the beehives took place last week, coinciding with the Kingbridge Centre hosting 28 students and faculty from the McMaster Executive MBA program for 10 days, and the  Compass team leading the food services for the conference.  The two organizations collaborated on designing an immersive learning experience for the Executive MBA participants, with the opportunity for guests to participate in removing the frames, uncapping the honey, spinning and straining it, and putting it into jars.  The Compass team created a unique cocktail using the freshly-harvested honey, and passed delicious honey-themed appetizers.  While the conference guests sipped the refreshing drink and raved about the appetizers, the Master beekeepers answered their questions about the bees and the role they play in securing our food supply.

Honey bees are prolific pollinators and are responsible for pollinating 3/4 of the plants that produce 90% of our food.  However, they have been dying at high rates since early 2000, due to pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, air pollution and climate change.  The Innovation Hub is working with academic partners to develop and test new solutions to mitigate the impacts of these changes, and to protect these fuzzy, busy bees so integral to our food supply chains.

The honey harvest generated 250 lbs of premium, raw, organic honey, about 2/3 of the total honey created by the bees.  The remaining third of the honey was left to support the bees over the coming winter.  The Kingbridge team is already planning on increasing the number of hives and expanding the pollinator gardens, in addition to other agri-food innovation projects.  High tech vertical farms, at-scale food forests, growing diverse fungi and innovative ways of composting of food waste are all areas that Kingbridge is actively exploring.   With so many exciting projects underway, there will be lots of collaboration opportunities with Compass in the future.

FORESTS ONTARIO AND KINGBRIDGE CENTRE COLLABORATE ON INNOVATION TO ENHANCE TREE PLANTING INITIATIVES

[Barrie, ON September 21, 2021] – Kingbridge Centre and Forests Ontario are partnering to accelerate innovative solutions that contribute to the growth of the Ontario and Canadian forest industry and the related economic and community activities including among others large scale tree planting and forest management. They will work together to develop and implement these key solutions using technology, research and education to address the risks caused by human impact on our climate.

This strategic partnership will see Kingbridge Centre and Forests Ontario collaborating on several long-term projects. By working with new technologies, data, and methodologies, they will enhance and augment activities that contribute to genetic preservation, endemic species management, seed collection opportunities, which in turn supports an increase in capacity to plant trees. The two organizations will also work on developing a national forest restoration tracking tool, implementing novel technology to improve reporting on forest survival. Forests Ontario’s community engagement tree planting program, Take Root, will also benefit from this collaboration through cross promotion.

Malcolm Cockwell, President of Forests Ontario, and Prashant Pathak, Chair of Kingbridge Centre and Innovation Hub, will announce the partnership and discuss future initiatives in a live, virtual event on Wednesday, Sept. 22nd at 11:30am. Interested parties can tune in at https://kingbridgeinnovation.live/Forests.

“Forests Ontario is thrilled to be partnering with Kingbridge Centre,” said Malcolm Cockwell. “By working together with our unique sets of skills and expertise, we will make big strides in the areas of large-scale tree planting and forest management.”

Forests Ontario’s contributions to the collaboration include over a decade of tree planting experience. As the leading non-profit for afforestation tree planting, Forests Ontario has a vast network of partnerships with seed collectors, nurseries, tree planters, and others like conservation authorities, governments and First Nations, all of which bring crucial knowledge to the table for advancing innovation in the field.

“This partnership is of utmost importance to Kingbridge Centre and the Innovation Hub at Kingbridge. It is a cornerstone as our team works to curate, develop and scale solutions and businesses that will contribute towards mitigating the adverse social and economic effects of climate change,” said Prashant Pathak. “Forests are a well-known and critical part of the nature-based solutions that we need to fight climate change. We look forward to working together on new technologies to increase forest cover and to enhancing the contribution that the forest sector has for a more prosperous and healthy Ontario.”

Kingbridge Centre will bring their proficiency in innovation and commercializing of innovative ideas to the forefront by offering new research and technologies to create inventive solutions. The Innovation Hub’s ability to develop, test, and scale ways to increase tree planting capacity will be an important part of the partnership.

Organizations interested in the work that Forests Ontario and Kingbridge Centre are undertaking should contact Karen Dubeau at karen.dubeau@kingbridgecentre.com.

-30-

About Forests Ontario
Forests Ontario is a not-for-profit charity dedicated to re-greening the province through the support of forest restoration, stewardship, education and awareness. We promote Canada’s greatest natural resource – our forests – because healthy forests sustain healthy communities and healthy economies. Forests Ontario is the voice of our forests. Visit www.forestsontario.ca or follow us @Forests_Ontario to find out more.

About Kingbridge Centre and Innovation Hub
The Kingbridge Innovation Hub is dedicated to fostering the next generation of solutions to advance the ecologically responsible economy, including technologies and business models providing economic, social and environmental benefits.  High impact, high-risk projects with global market potential are supported with patient capital and broad partnerships, accelerating initiatives in agri-food innovation, clean energy, water preservation, restoration and re-naturalization of land, and solutions geared to circular economy.  Visit www.kingbridgecentre.com to find out more.

For more information, photos, or to arrange an interview please contact:

Karen Dubeau
Executive Director
Kingbridge Innovation Hub
289.231.4562
Karen.dubeau@kingbridgecentre.com

Colleen Mahaffie
Communications Officer
Forests Ontario / Forest Recovery Canada
416.646.1193 ext. 225
cmahaffie@forestsontario.ca

SENECA AND KINGBRIDGE CENTRE TEAM UP TO SUPPORT ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION IN YORK REGION

Innovation hub will provide resources and expertise for entrepreneurs in the green economy

[King Township, York Region May 5, 2021] – Seneca and Kingbridge Centre are creating an innovation hub that will deliver a real-world setting and programs to help entrepreneurs build and scale businesses in the agriculture, food production and processing, energy and environmental sectors.

Through shared resources in business development and applied research, Seneca and Kingbridge Centre will help companies grow and solve challenges related to technology, infrastructure and sustainability. The collaboration is the latest addition to the thriving innovation ecosystem in York Region and will harness the unique assets located in King Township.

“We are delighted to partner with Kingbridge Centre to help grow the green economy in King Township and York Region,” said David Agnew, Seneca President. “The innovation hub will provide entrepreneurs access to resources and networks to scale up and turn innovative ideas into sustainable businesses.”

Seneca’s contributions to the initiative include applied research infrastructure and faculty expertise and access for aspiring entrepreneurs to HELIX, Seneca’s business incubator and accelerator. HELIX has built a strong reputation in York Region helping young business owners with mentorship, infrastructure, access to investors and professional development opportunities.

Kingbridge Centre, and its affiliated entity, Ekagrata Inc., will leverage innovation expertise, executive management strengths and risk capital investment experience, as well as a robust global business network to collaborate on joint projects, venture referrals and extending training and education programs.

“The partnership between Kingbridge Centre and Seneca is an action-oriented collaboration, combining resources and best practices to drive the development of impactful solutions that are pragmatic and benefitting the community and region,” said Prashant Pathak, Chair, Kingbridge Centre. “This collaboration provides a unique infrastructure platform for innovative companies and for creators and researchers to develop and transform innovative ideas and concepts into successful enterprises and businesses.”

Seneca and Kingbridge Centre will also engage with community members directly to identify and address employment gaps for those adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The green business development goals for the hub align with the economic development strategies for the Township of King and York Region.

“We are very excited to see these two organizations working together on initiatives that benefit the residents and businesses in King,” said Steve Pellegrini, Mayor, King Township. “The innovation focus is very much aligned with our municipality, including our economic strategy and the Climate Action Plan currently under development. We look forward to working with the many businesses, startups, innovators and researchers from around the world, right here in our community.”

Businesses interested in being a part of the living lab should contact Karen Dubeau at karen.dubeau@kingbridgecentre.com

About Seneca  

Seneca is taking on the great challenges of our time – rebuilding the economy, equity and sustainability – while navigating through the pandemic safely. We’re delivering great polytechnic education that combines rigorous academics with practical training. From health care to technology, business to creative arts, community services to arts and sciences, we help students get ready to make their mark in the world. We’re #Senecaproud of our expert faculty, excellent staff and outstanding facilities. We have deep connections with industry and offer thousands of co-op and work placements to get our graduates job-ready. Full-time or part-time, in-person or online, students choose the option that suits them. Learn more: senecacollege.ca 

About Kingbridge Centre

Building on the foundation of innovation excellence and discovery created by original Kingbridge Centre founder, John Abele, new owners Prashant Pathak and the Pathak Family Trust are leading the evolution of an innovation centre and living lab in the heart of King Township. The Kingbridge Centre is a mission-based business, leveraging its reputation as a distinctive off-site location for residential convening, conferencing, leadership development, corporate training and strategic retreats.  The innovation hub activities include building strong collaborations for making impactful change, harnessing a global business network to grow companies, and catalyzing new initiatives that produce positive change in communities and the region.

For more information, please contact:

Seneca

Caroline Grech
Associate Director, External Relations and Public Affairs
Media.relations@senecacollege.ca 416.491.5050 ect. 77948

Kingbridge Centre

Karen Dubeau
Executive Director, Kingbridge Innovation Hub
Karen.dubeau@kingbridgecentre.com  289.231.4562

view of pond with three story hotel room balconies over looking fountain
private reception area with three large leather sofas

THE KINGBRIDGE CENTRE CHANGES OWNERSHIP AND EXPANDS BUSINESS PURPOSE

[King Township, York Region March 3, 2021] – Founded in 2001 by John Abele, cofounder of Boston Scientific and a global leader in the field of less invasive medicine, the centre’s vision encompassed a passion for technological inventions, concepts and ideas made to benefit communities and society as a whole. His involvement in these areas influenced him to envision a living learning place that supports innovation where groups of people could come together to collaboratively solve problems. The Kingbridge Centre’s infrastructure is a cornerstone of its mission and vision. The Kingbridge Centre property encompasses 113 acres of rolling hills, several kilometers of managed woodland trails, 124 spacious guest rooms, 44 conference rooms and extensive recreational amenities.

This year Mr. Abele made the decision to retire, entrusting the ownership of the Kingbridge Centre to the Pathak Family Trust and its affiliated entity Ekagrata Inc.

The Kingbridge Centre will continue to deliver world-class residential convening, leadership development, corporate training, conferencing and retreat services while engaging local community for shared discovery and problem solving. The Pathak Family Trust is committed to upholding the standard of innovation, discovery, and excellence long represented by the Kingbridge Centre, and to continue the strong partnerships with local community, government and academia. Kingbridge’s new Chairman, Prashant Pathak, has been involved in Mr. Abele’s vision and mission alongside the Kingbridge team for over 15 years and is excited to carry on the legacy of collective learning, problem solving, and innovation. Mr. Abele will continue to advise Mr. Pathak and the rest of the Kingbridge team as Chairman Emeritus.

General Manager of the Kingbridge Centre, Lisa Gilbert who shares a similar passion for creating learning and collaborative problem solving infrastructures, will continue to work with clients, oversee business operations and evolve the vision with Mr. Pathak and the Kingbridge team.

King Mayor Steve Pellegrini and King-Vaughan MPP and Education Minister Stephen Lecce toured the facility last week and met with the Kingbridge team.

“I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Mr. Abele for his service to the King community and his vision for The Kingbridge Centre, providing a living learning space for community to come together,” said Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan. “I am thrilled that Kingbridge Centre will continue to be a centre of excellence for innovation and entrepreneurship in the heart of our community under the leadership of Mr. Pathak. I am committed to supporting jobs and growth in King as we look to drive Ontario’s economic recovery.”

Pathak has begun to expand The Kingbridge vision by engaging with key stakeholder partners to harness the infrastructure of the Kingbridge Centre to drive economic prosperity by accelerating ground breaking innovations that drive community transformation, and scale up environmental sustainability initiatives which make a positive impact in the world. Food, agriculture, energy and water are four of the key focus areas aligned with economic priorities of King Township and York Region. Programming will be developed and offered to support these objectives, helping to foster the next generation of leaders and convene people who are interested in exploring new ideas and collaboratively solving problems from a higher level of thinking and shared purpose.

“We are excited that Mr. Pathak is committed to growing the strong tradition of innovation at the Kingbridge Centre”, said King Township Mayor Steve Pelligrini. “King Township is a very special place, with a rich inheritance of protecting the environment and growing fresh produce to feed the world. Having a place that fosters citizen-led innovations contributing to enhancing those legacies is a wonderful opportunity for our community to imagine and realize the next chapter of King Township”, he added.

The Kingbridge Centre is currently serving as a Temporary Transitional Shelter for York Residents in need, through a partnership with The Regional Municipality of York and Salvation Army.

“On behalf of York Regional Council, I commend Kingbridge Centre for their ongoing commitment to collaboration and innovation,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “Kingbridge Centre has been an exceptional community partner in helping keep our residents safe during the pandemic; opening their doors to some of our most vulnerable residents and offering temporary transitional shelter to self-isolate during COVID-19. York Region welcomes future opportunities to partner and support our community together.”

Looking beyond the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kingbridge Centre team is excited to build impactful partners in supporting economic recovery efforts, and growing innovative businesses. Mr. Pathak’s extensive global network, experience with risk capital investing and building businesses will support those efforts. Plans will be announced later this spring.

In the meantime, Kingbridge Centre will continue to be a strong community partner. Mr. Abele, Mr. Pathak and Lisa Gilbert warmly welcome you to the Kingbridge Centre and look forward to many years of learning, collaboration and innovation.

King Mayor Steve Pellegrini and King-Vaughan MPP and Education Minister Stephen Lecce tour facility and meet with Kingbridge team.

Start typing and press Enter to search