The project is a collaborative effort with regional and community partners, who ensure the benefits of this project are more widespread through the western region. This project aims to provide the scaffolding to spark long term transformational change in the western Newfoundland region, a goal which will require all project partners to play a pivotal role. Partnerships for the Centre of Research and Innovation include CBPPL, GC, CNA, and the City of Corner Brook. Benefits are expected for all partners involved, including CBPPL, the two post-secondary institutions, and the City of Corner Brook.
Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited (Kruger)
continues to be a significant employer and industry in Corner Brook and the western region; however, international competition, declining demand for newspaper production and limited innovation and research has challenged its economic footing. Additional challenges such as the rising cost of disposal of waste products and the increasing expectation of environmentally sustainable practices and products motivated the establishment of the Centre of Research and Innovation collaborative partnership project with the goal to secure the place of the mill as a significant regional employer and industry into the future.
The City of Corner Brook
The City of Corner Brook
is located on Newfoundland’s west coast. The City’s Council comprises 1 Mayor and 6 Councillors and is a legislative body representing the citizens of Corner Brook. The Executive Team led by the City Manager is responsible for carrying out City Council’s policies.
City Councillors and staff have partnered with Memorial University on several projects related to the economic development and sustainability of Corner Brook, including the running of a semester-long "City Studio
" class jointly held at GC and at City Hall. The City of Corner Brook is supportive of the Centre of Research and Innovation project and is hopeful that its actualization will be beneficial for the economic and social wellbeing of the city (Jim Parsons - Mayor of City Council).
College of the North Atlantic
Along with Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus, the College of the North Atlantic
is one of two public post-secondary institutions in the western Newfoundland region and a major contributor to the workforce development and training for both CBPPL and the wider Corner Brook. CNA’s Corner Brook campus has been integral to the development of the proposal through its development of the training and research components of the project. CNA faculty and staff are very familiar with the training needs of the mill through curriculum such as its Millwright program, and on this basis, the institution aims to further enhance the training capacity of the mill by developing programming to support succession planning for skilled mill employees, expand skills development and training in new trades related to innovation, and run training programs out of the new Innovation Centre building. CNA has contributed significant time and resources to the Center’s planning process to date and will continue to be a major partner in the project.
Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Over the last 10 years, GC
has significantly increased its capacity to become a high-level producer of research, development, and entrepreneurship around provincial agriculture and food studies. By increasing the number of faculty positions, academic programs, business development and entrepreneurship support and adding the building of environmental and agricultural labs, the campus is well positioned to support the research needs of the agricultural sector of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Together with CNA, GC plays a significant role in the planning and implementation of the research, innovation and training components of the Centre of Research and Innovation Project. Grenfell is responsible for funding student interns to assist their faculty with research on CBBPL by-products. Student interns’ work is overseen by faculty of the Boreal Ecosystems and Agricultural Sciences program (BEAS) and faculty of the Environmental Policy Institute (EPI) of the campus. Due to a lack of laboratory facilities at CBPPL, analysis of research samples requiring laboratory equipment takes place at Grenfell Campus. Grenfell will also be involved in developing student training opportunities as they are needed.