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Formal Partnership Set to Drive Business Innovation Across Chatham-Kent

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent, the University of Windsor, and SOAR Innovation have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship, and business and economic growth across the region. 

The MOU’s stated is to facilitate and implement opportunities for a long-term collaborative relationship that advances the incubation and commercialization of innovation and research in food, agriculture, energy, water and rural affairs related to processes, technologies, systems, market development, investment and venture attraction, solution oriented research, and globally competitive advanced technologies.

“I want to see a new wave of business development and an explosion of industry growth in Chatham-Kent,” said Mayor Darrin Canniff. “I believe that this partnership is vital to making that happen as it opens up a wide variety of avenues for new and existing businesses to see products developed that are on a global scale.”

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are key priorities of the University of Windsor. We are confident that this partnership will bridge the gap between academia and industry,” said Dr. K. W. Michael Siu, Vice President, Research and Innovation, University of Windsor. “By providing SOAR Innovation’s clients with access to UWindsor expertise needed to support the development of new technologies, and supporting UWindsor startups through resources provided by SOAR Innovation, this partnership will ultimately contribute to a stronger economy in our region.””

The MOU is a three-year agreement with the opportunity to extend the timelines based on needs and outcomes.

“As a firm, our businesses focus on the very long-term, which is our aspiration for Soar; to identify, assist and accelerate building businesses for the next 50 years and more,” said Prashant Pathak, Founder of SOAR Innovation. “Working closely with our municipal and education partners is key to ensuring that businesses we incubate and accelerate have access to the resources they need to scale up and become a force on the international stage.”

SOAR Innovation has agreed to act as the central hub in order to keep all partners, businesses, and stakeholders informed of progress and results. By acting as the primary facilitator, SOAR Innovation will be able to react quickly to business, market, and industry demands, which is essential for timely action when windows of opportunity are presented.

“In Economic Development our goal is to be able to move at the speed of business, and having SOAR as a partner gives us another tool to move at the pace of cutting edge innovation,” said Stuart McFadden, Director of Chatham-Kent Economic Development. “This partnership will benefit not just the start-up community, but is also a huge opportunity for our existing agriculture and manufacturing companies as it will give them resources to bring new products and services online.”

As part of the MOU, formal understandings of key elements such as collaborative approach and confidentiality have been defined. This will ensure that businesses and entrepreneurs are working with a set of collaborative and trusted partners.

“We are in the business of trust,” said McFadden. “It is essential for open and constructive cooperation. This MOU helps to further solidify and ensure that all parties are on the same page when it comes to confidentiality.”

The next steps for this collaborative will be to engage with local business, entrepreneurs, researchers, and industry. To find out more information and to discover how this new team can support your business, please reach out to Chatham-Kent Economic Development at 1-866-542-5994, or visit them online at



Left to right: Gaurav Gupta, Soar Innovation; Wen Teoh, Director of EPICentre University of Windsor; Darrin Canniff, Mayor
Left to right: Gaurav Gupta, Soar Innovation; Wen Teoh, Director of EPICentre University of Windsor; Darrin Canniff, Mayor of Chatham-Kent

Additional Details:

  • SOAR Innovation Development Initiative Inc. (“SOAR”) a not-for-profit corporation created to build investable ideas into businesses and grow successful businesses into larger international companies with the higher order objective to drive economic development and prosperity areas
  • University of Windsor ("Windsor"), is a post-secondary educational institution incorporated in 1963 under “An Act to Incorporate the University of Windsor”, located at 401 Sunset Avenue, Windsor, ON  N9B 3P4
  • Learn more about Chatham-Kent Economic Development on our website:

Media Contact:

Andrew Tompsett
Marketing and Communications Officer, Economic Development Services
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
Phone: 519-352-8401 x2039
Fax: 519-436-3237