The Accelerator Centre has opened a hardware innovation lab in downtown Kitchener, where client tech companies will work alongside people from the arts community in a collaborative space.

The 10,000-square-foot space at 44 Gaukel St., which offers prototyping and lab space as well as access to tools, is a partnership between the AC, headquartered in Waterloo’s David Johnston Research + Technology Park, and ArtsBuild Ontario, which supports development of creative spaces for local artists. The City of Kitchener is also a supporter of the new space.

The building, a former Canada Post depot, is also home to the University of Waterloo’s Critical Media Lab and part of Conestoga College’s School of Media and Design on its first floor. The new AC-ArtsBuild space is housed on the second floor, along with MyShop, an equipped industrial makerspace that AC clients will be able to use to quickly design and engineer products.

“With over 30 per cent of the companies we support involved in hardware, IoT, life sciences and advanced manufacturing, it’s critical for us to offer space that meets their unique needs, while at the same time continuing to deliver the excellence in programming and mentorship that we’re renowned for,” Paul Salvini, CEO of the AC, said in a release.

ArtsBuild, meanwhile, will provide access to rehearsal and administrative space for local artists. “We are excited by the potential for collaboration opportunities between the tech and the arts sector that this location can provide,” said Lindsay Golds, Executive Director of ArtsBuild Ontario.

An official opening will be held Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the second floor, where tenants from the arts and tech sectors will showcase their work.

Tenancy applications are available here, and inquiries can be directed to Emily Jackson at the Accelerator Centre.

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Anthony Reinhart
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Anthony Reinhart is a veteran journalist who left the Globe and Mail to join Communitech in 2011. Tony has covered everything from crime, politics and courts to business, the arts and sports, and his writing has won numerous journalism awards. He is Communitech's Director of Editorial Strategy and senior staff writer.