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Summerside Awarded Ecosystem Best Practice as Part of International Tele-communication Union Global Innovation Challenge through United Nations

Summerside, Prince Edward Island was recognized as one of the Global Cities furthering Innovation through building ecosystems and was awarded an Ecosystem Best Practice Award as part of this global challenge. Summerside is now part of a leading global group of change-makers for its work in the city’s Living Lab Program.

The International Union Global (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs that sponsors this global competition. The Global Challenge competition seeks best practices that enable innovators to develop ICT centric solutions that can be globally recognized and scaled. The Ecosystem Best Practice Challenge selection process was conducted by an international jury, and the projects received useful feedback from other ecosystem builders for further improvement. The Innovation Ecosystem Program was held from September 9-12 in Budapest, Hungary during the ITU Telecom World 2019 and organized by Input Hungary a high tech accelerator promoting young tech start-ups and global expansion.

Summerside is now part of prestigious alumni of cities from around the globe in countries including Brazil, Moldova, South Africa, Ghana, Mexico, Switzerland, Rumania, UAE, Pakistan and Chile. Being part of the international network of global changemakers enables Summerside to further improve/develop the Living Lab concept, and to attract international world-class technologies to scale their projects in Summerside, and with that increase the competitiveness of Summerside & Prince Edward Island.

Summerside’s Living Lab is founded on collaboration and has been created so that companies, researchers, and developers can work directly with the community through a unique infrastructure. The goal is to further innovation through open infrastructure. Being part of this prestigious network allows Summerside access to an open network of ecosystem builders, and this network enables members to share best practices, and as a result, further improve the Living Lab by adapting good practices of fellow members.

The Living Lab enables product development, the creation of program applications and product testing in a real-world setting. The Living Lab is the key to successful enterprise development in a real-life environment that ties directly into Economic Development pursuits. The Summerside Lab provides both virtual and physical assets that innovative enterprises require. 
Construction Investments on the Rise
Summerside’s Total Construction values leaped to an increase of over 40% year to date (September 2019) over the same time last year in 2018, with Commercial and Residential permits leading the way.  Residential values are up over 146% this year compared to last and Commercial is up over 20% compared to last year. Overall, Canada building permit activity is up roughly 6% and PEI has seen a jump of 48% year over year, which is one key measure of providing insights into the health and vitality of a market.

In terms of pure dollar investment of activity, building activity has topped the $30 million mark so far this year, over a little more than $21 million last year at this date, surpassing annualized norms for construction activity in Summerside. 

Downtown Leading the Way in construction activity, including highlights: 
  • — Inspire Learning Centre addition
  • — ADL Water St. addition
  • — 70-unit apartment on Water St.
  • — Summerside Port addition
  • — Market St. Apartments
  • — Court Street Apartments
Summerside is trending towards an even stronger 2020 construction season with the addition of the new Eco Park, local and foreign investment discussions and some pipeline projects looking to start in the 2020 construction seasons. 

Summerside’s longer-term vision is to grow and address gaps in the community, diversify its investment suite of offerings and continue to be a leader in innovation and enabling municipal investments in stabilizing infrastructure to attract and grow private sector investment — a priority objective in 2019. Summerside’s goal is to not only provide sound business fundamentals, stable and predictable cost structures and innovative municipal infrastructure to collaborate with our partners but to also look to the future for investment, all of which continue to bode well for Summerside. Summerside’s economy continues to be a progressive success story driven by and large by our private sector partners seeing the intrinsic investment value in our community. 


Summerside Eco Park Breaks Ground
Construction has begun on Summerside’s Eco Park bringing with it the future supply of fully serviced non-residential building lots. This park represents a strategic long-term investment to bring a much-needed stock of business space to the market, something Summerside has been severely lacking. The 14-acre park will see just over 133,000 square feet of building inventory when fully complete and will feature the latest in innovation and adaptability to “green and sustainable” practices and technologies that build on what Summerside is known for.

The Eco Park will embrace five Main Principles in its Design and Future Growth:
  1. 1. Implementing global environmental policies stewardship
  2. 2. Establish collaborative partnerships
  3. 3. Measurable resource costs savings in electric, water, sewer
  4. 4. Reduction in overall corporate carbon footprint for all tenants
  5. 5. Preserve and integrate natural habitats
The initial design and layout will see fully serviced lots available for lease or sale ranging in sizes from just over a ½ acre to over 1 ½ acre with a variety of options for build-to-suit opportunities.

The development of the infrastructure is being broken into two phases with phase one representing the development of all utility infrastructure, shared parking and lot servicing to be completed by early December 2019 while phase two will see the servicing of the final two lots, stormwater retention pond and pedestrian pathways linking area amenities and services. As part of phase 2, Summerside hopes to include some speculative buildings as part of the next phase to begin early in 2020.

It checks another box in the council’s 4-year strategy mandate to bring our non-residential assessment up to today’s norms and will allow for our existing business owners to expand in Summerside as well as attract new business enterprises to the city.

This is a long-term investment to help set our community up for success to grow and attract critical jobs and businesses to the area. Summerside Eco-Park is a belief and approach that establishes a balance between social, economic and environmental objectives.

Our Goals in approaching Employment Lands within the park include:

  • — Attract and provide for more progressive development
  • — Develop more resilient employment areas
  • — Create a diverse employment base
  • — Focus on high performing export focussed businesses
  • — Instill and provide for Infrastructure and operational savings 
  • — Better integration of industrial lands into the city core for greater community benefit
  • — Enhance the culture of conservation
  • — Building a collaborative business community
  • — Improved sense of identity through better building and public realm design
  • — Minimize the environmental impact
  • — Demonstrate environmental leadership and stewardship

Key Statistics
Total Site Area: 
14.2 Acres

Phase 1 Includes:
Completion of all water, sewer electric and full servicing of 5 of 7 lots

Phase 2 Includes: 
Final servicing of 2 lots and building of naturalized pond used for stormwater retention

Total Square Feet When Complete: 
110,000 Square Feet of Mixed Use Business Space, with tenants operating in premises ranging from 10,000 to 25,000 square feet

Innovation Investments Include: 
Utilization of off-peak renewable energy for shared use and reduce electrical consumption, shared parking to minimize environmental footprint, shared shipping and receiving opportunities, passive design strategies to utilize solar potential, Low Impact development approaches to respect and provide natural habitat opportunities for business, incubation space for industrial clients as part of Summerside’s Living Lab.
To learn more about Summerside’s and PEI’s most Innovative Business Park contact the Office of Economic Development at 


If interested in learning more about investment opportunities, economic development support or opportunities for growth, please call our Economic Development Professionals.
We would love to chat.

Alternatively, you can email us at
It could be 
the most profitable email you have ever sent.

Michael Thususka
Director of Economic Development City of Summerside
275 Fitzroy Street, Summerside PE C1N 1H9
M: 902.432.0103, E:

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