VINELAND, Ontario - Horticultural innovation in Niagara Region is getting another boost with re-opening of The Lodge at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. A historical building on campus, The Lodge offered on-site living for students and visiting researchers between 1950 and the 1970's. Residents within the community and alumni of Vineland remember The Lodge fondly when local accommodations were at a minimum.
In the spring of 2010, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) invested up to $1,062,000 to renovate The Lodge as part of a larger Vineland strategy to create a world class horticultural centre with regional business impact. The Lodge doors are now open to agriculture and agri-food start-up companies and related organizations focused on bringing new products to market and facilitating growth in agriculture.
"This project will bring long-term benefits to the local economy by stimulating the creation of new companies and attracting private sector partners and investors," said Dean Allison, Member of Parliament for Niagara West-Glanbrook, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario. "It will also bring a new focus on innovation in the region, particularly in the areas of food processing, produce storage and food marketing."
Today, new partners at The Lodge include the Wine Council of Ontario, Twenty Valley Tourism Association, and Friends of Lincoln's History historical archives. These organizations join stakeholders Hoogendoorn, The Foreign Affair Winery, Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, and Flowers Canada (Ontario) who are already located at the Vineland campus.
"The commitment from FedDev Ontario, with support from the Province of Ontario and the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario, has made it possible to create a place for horticultural businesses to leverage research and innovation right here at Vineland. Niagara Region's Agricultural Economic Impact Study has also clearly made the point that an economic development strategy is needed to further promote agriculture and agriculturally- related businesses locally, we take our role in that effort seriously. " said Dr. Jim Brandle, CEO Vineland.
Vineland is funded in part by Growing Forward, a federal‐provincial‐territorial initiative.