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Ignition Week to celebrate new innovation space at Mitchell Hall

Entrepreneurship event marks opening of the Rose Innovation Hub.

SparQ Studios Makerspace inside the Rose Innovation Hub
The Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre's SparQ Studios Makerspace inside the new Rose Innovation Hub.

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) will celebrate the opening of the Rose Innovation Hub at Mitchell Hall with the first-ever Ignition Week – five days of activities for the Queen’s and Kingston community members interested in entrepreneurship and innovation.

“This new facility in Mitchell Hall will allow the DDQIC to strengthen the university’s support of student design and experiential-learning, and foster ideas with incubation and acceleration opportunities,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “Exploring the entrepreneurial spirit at Ignition Week will be a fitting way to celebrate the Rose Innovation Hub’s opening, as it captures the essence of our greater pursuit: ideas, innovation, and invention.”

Running Jan. 14-18, Ignition Week’s program will feature sessions on e-commerce, innovation and invention, social entrepreneurship, and more. Established entrepreneurs, including many from start-ups founded by past and present Queen’s students, will also be on hand for lectures, panel discussions, and networking and recruitment sessions.

“Developing an entrepreneurial mindset is critical to getting the most out of higher education,” says Greg Bavington, Executive Director of DDQIC, and Special Advisor to the Provost on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “In today’s rapidly changing markets, with evolving realities around steady and predictable careers, an entrepreneurial education can help students apply their knowledge and skill sets in new ways, to better understand and solve real-world problems, and to value teamwork, risk and resilience.”

Ignition Week events will take place throughout the Rose Innovation Hub facilities to showcase its new spaces, including the event commons, 10 new group rooms for early-stage innovators, the LinQLab workshop space with modern multimedia capabilities, and the SparQ Studios makerspace – equipped with 3D scanners, 3D printers, laser cutting, wood and metal working, and more.

“From fundraising and planning to construction project management, the Queen’s community worked for years to make a home for innovation on campus a reality,” says Mr. Bavington. “Throughout this process, we have seen a pent-up energy and demand among entrepreneurs at Queen’s to put the Rose Innovation Hub to work supporting ventures that go beyond campus to create a societal impact. We’re excited to now be able to welcome students, staff, faculty, and the Kingston community into just such a space.”

As part of Mitchell Hall, DDQIC will now be housed alongside a number of campus services and initiatives at Queen’s, enhancing potential for new collaborations, connections, and opportunities. Located at the corner of Union and Division streets on the former site of the Physical Education Centre, Mitchell Hall was made possible through over $50 million in philanthropic support. The federal and Ontario governments also contributed $22 million to the project.

Learn more about Mitchell Hall and all of its current and future tenants, on the website. The building’s formal opening ceremonies will be held on March 30.