Sarnia-Lambton is a leader in research and development (R&D) as well as commercialization in the petrochemical, bio-chemical and energy industries. The community is host to many key resources that support innovation and commercialization. In addition to access to R&D resources and according to the 2014 KPMG Competitive Alternatives Report, Ontario offers the greatest cost advantage for research and development in the G7, citing a cost advantage of 18.8% relative to the U.S. average.
Lambton College’s Applied Research & Innovation department works with industry partners to develop working models to meet client needs, including direct research contracts as well as collaborative research projects supported by public funding. The College can support research projects from proof of principle and testing to market research and commercialization.
The Advanced Materials Engineering Research (AMER) Lab located at the College is dedicated to the use of polymer and biodegradable materials and advanced manufacturing technologies. The AMER lab has been used for multi-national as well as local chemical and biochemical process industries in order to further pursue research and development.
Lambton College is also home to the Suncor Sustainability Centre – the region’s core for sustainability initiatives. The Suncor Sustainability Centre brings together business, industry, and civic organizations who share a vision of Sarnia-Lambton as a hybrid green community that is recognized worldwide.
The Lambton Water Centre was established in 2013 and is based on a five year College and Community Innovation Program – Innovation Enhancement Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The Water Centre received this grant to respond to the growing provincial and federal interest in the improvement, development and commercialization of water and wastewater treatment technologies, and systems for both municipal and industrial applications.
Lambton College’s Bluewater Technology Access Centre (BTAC) serves as a technological innovation hub for regional organizations by providing access to applied research and technology development, research and technical services, and training.
The Lambton Energy Research Centre aims to advance the research, development and commercialization of renewable energy management and optimization technologies. It was established to respond to the growing provincial and federal interests in the improvement, development and commercialization of energy storage, process optimization, management technologies and systems for residential, commercial and industrial applications. The Centre’s Sustainable SmartHouse serves as an educational facility and testing laboratory for industrial partners pursuing research in renewable energy management and optimization, end-use hydrogen and fuel cells.
Top Priority Areas of Applied Research:
- Instrumentation, Process Control, and Optimization
- Advanced Manufacturing – 3D Printing
- BioTechnology – Bioprocess, biofuel, biomaterial, bio analysis, process design, optimization, control
- Chemical Process Design
- Water and Wastewater Research
- Energy Conversion, Storage, and Management
- Information Technology – App development and building databases
The Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park is located at 1086 Modeland Road, Sarnia. For over a decade, the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park has served as a strong link between concept and commerce, and a key contributor to the movement of an idea or a discovery from the lab bench to the marketplace. The Park is home to the Bowman Centre for Technology Commercialization, Canada’s largest clean-tech incubator, focused on large-scale industrial biotechnology.
The Research Park offers resources, including:
- Leading research from the University of Western Ontario, one of Canada’s top research-intensive universities, and other academic partners across the country or around the world.
- Expertise of world-renowned scientists, engineers and scholars.
- Talented undergraduates, graduate students and experienced hires.
- Cutting edge equipment, one-of-a-kind facilities and fully equipped labs.
- Access to government grants, low cost services, venture capital, and other ways to maximize the return on innovative investments.
- Growing innovation community and partners throughout the region.
The Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) business accelerator is located at the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park. It is a national government-supported Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, in which the Centre has become a leader in turning renewable resources into energy and value-added chemicals for large-scale industrial use.
The BIC is home of the Bowman Centre – Canada’s largest clean-tech incubator. Having the BIC as part of the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park gives companies access to labs, analytical and bioprocessing equipment, on-site scientists, and pilot plant facilities.
Other Research and Development Resources in Sarnia-Lambton
Imperial Oil’s world-class Sarnia Research Centre houses scientists, engineers, technologists, and support staff who are engaged in developing and improving petroleum products, carrying out crude oil analysis, providing technical support, and introducing new technologies to enhance environmental performance. The engineering test lab provides a range of industry, standard and in-house tests, as well as customized tests to meet clients’ unique needs.
Generous R&D tax incentives
According to the 2014 KPMG Competitive Alternatives Report, Ontario offers the greatest cost advantage for research and development in the G7, citing a cost advantage of 18.8% relative to the U.S. average.
Combined with Federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program, Ontario’s R&D tax incentive program can reduce your after-tax cost of every $100 in R&D spending to between $37 and $61.
- Ontario’s R&D tax incentive program is available to qualified businesses of any size and applies to a range of eligible costs that is broader than in the U.S. and many other countries.
- There is no cap on the program and tax credits can be carried back for three years or forward for 20 years.
- Ontario’s focus on low development costs and simplified tax programs contribute to a combined federal-provincial corporate income tax rate substantially lower than in the United States.