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Richmond Hill Partners with OCAD University and eCampusOntario

Launches Centre of Local Innovation and Collaboration to Support Businesses

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RICHMOND HILL – The City of Richmond Hill has partnered with OCAD University and eCampusOntario to launch the Centre of Local Innovation and Collaboration (CLIC). This unique, design-driven centre for innovation is part of a broad-based approach to help accelerate recovery for local businesses post-pandemic.

CLIC brings together expertise from Richmond Hill’s Small Business Enterprise Centre and OCAD University to help businesses review their offerings and business models through a design-thinking lens.

Businesses work together with OCAD University researchers to uncover market insights and develop new product and service opportunities. Businesses can then leverage these proposals to tap into research and development project funding available through other government partners.

Seventeen businesses are currently piloting the program with plans in progress to welcome future cohorts. For more information on CLIC, visit

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the City has been behind local businesses as they have had to pivot and adapt to a constantly changing environment. The more support we can offer, the better it is for the entire community. By partnering with a well-known educator like OCAD University, we are providing businesses with an opportunity to tap into new expertise and creative thinking that can help accelerate business recovery and prosperity. That’s a goal we can all get behind – driving recovery and renewal of our local economy.”

– David West, Mayor of Richmond Hill

“This partnership exemplifies how strategic innovation design, human-centered processes and creativity are critical to business growth. OCAD U’s School of Continuing Studies and students and graduates of our acclaimed Strategic Foresight and Innovation program are excited to support the Richmond Hill business community, with providing just these types of expertise and services. We at OCAD University are dedicated to building partnerships across the GTA to power businesses and improve the lives of people within our communities as we recover from the pandemic.”

– Ana Serrano, President of OCAD University

“eCampusOntario is excited to partner with the City of Richmond Hill and OCAD University for this great opportunity. We are actively facilitating these types of engagements between Ontario businesses and higher education institutions to increase our competitive edge and support the province’s post-pandemic recovery. These partnerships not only help businesses grow and invest in research and development, they provide valuable learning opportunities for students to directly contribute to strengthening Ontario’s economy.”

– Dr. Robert Luke, CEO of eCampusOntario

About Richmond Hill’s Small Business Enterprise Centre
Richmond Hill’s Small Business Enterprise Centre is an innovative partnership between the Province of Ontario and the City of Richmond Hill, belonging to a network of 48 Small Business Enterprise Centres across Ontario that offers entrepreneurs various tools to start and grow their businesses. 

About OCAD University
OCAD University is Canada’s largest and oldest university for art and design. Students in 18 undergraduate programs and seven graduate programs learn how to use their creativity to address today’s challenges. Our students benefit from hands-on studio learning in small class sizes and have access to state-of-the-art shops and studios for both traditional and digital creation. Alongside a diverse and supportive team of instructors and peers, our students gain employable skills that will help them get paid doing what they love while driving Canada’s creative economy. Our graduates work in different sectors such as urban planning, environmental design, gaming, film, animation, publishing, illustration, graphic design, visual arts and arts administration.

About eCampusOntario
eCampusOntario is a publicly funded non-profit organization that leads a consortium of the province’s publicly-funded colleges, universities and Indigenous institutes that supports digital transformation and encourages innovation, collaboration and partnerships to connect Ontario’s campuses to the future of learning.

Additional Links

Media Contact

Patti Enright
Communications Advisor, Richmond Hill

Karen McCarthy
Senior Manager, Communications & Media, OCAD University

Jason Northway-Frank
Manager, Governance and Strategic Communications, eCampusOntario