University of Toronto to build a massive new innovation complex

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The University of Toronto recently announced the construction of a 750,000-square-foot complex that will, “turbocharge the next wave of Canadian innovation, advancing how AI, biomedicine and other disruptive technologies can enrich lives.”

Renderings for the facility have been revealed. It is designed by New York architecture firm Weiss/Manfredi. It will change the landscape with the building towering over Ontario’s legislature and anything else near its intended site at College and Queen’s Park.

Once completed, this multi-building complex will be the largest university-based innovation node of its kind and will be home to the largest concentration of student-and- faculty-led start-ups in Canada.

“This new complex will contribute enormously to innovation at U of T,”AI pioneer and U of T Professor Emeritus Geoffrey Hinton said in a release from the school on Monday.

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“It will help consolidate Toronto’s leading position in the AI world. The Centre will attract other AI experts and help to spark additional AI-based innovations,” he continued.

“It will also bring together scholars from an array of disciplines to study the implications of AI in today’s world.”

Called the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre, the new complex will be named for Canadian philanthropists Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman, whose recent $100-million donation is said to be making the project possible.

A new Institute for Technology and Society, also named for the couple, will “facilitate cross-disciplinary research and collaboration and will draw on U of T’s signature strengths in the sciences, humanities and social sciences to explore the benefits and challenges that AI, biotechnology, and other technological advances present for our economy, our society and our day-to-day lives.”

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The second phase of construction will produce a 500,000-square-foot, 20-storey tower with laboratories “for some of the world’s top researchers and innovators in regenerative medicine, genetics and precision medicine.”

Both are expected to further amplify U of T’s position as a leading centre for innovation and entrepreneurship within both Canada and the world at large. -CINEWS

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