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Economic development funding announced

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today

From left, Northumberland Community Futures Development executive director Wendy Curtis joined Northumberland County Warden Mark Walas, CFDC board member Rick Holmes, Northumberland-Peterborough South MP Kim Rudd, Ontario East Economic Development executive director Bonnie O'Neill and Northumberland County director of economic development and tourism Dan Borowec for several economic-development announcements at The Mill on Tuesday in Cobourg.
CECILIA NASMITH/Northumberland Today

From left, Northumberland Community Futures Development executive director Wendy Curtis joined Northumberland County Warden Mark Walas, CFDC board member Rick Holmes, Northumberland-Peterborough South MP Kim Rudd, Ontario East Economic Development executive director Bonnie O'Neill and Northumberland County director of economic development and tourism Dan Borowec for several economic-development announcements at The Mill on Tuesday in Cobourg. CECILIA NASMITH/Northumberland Today

COBOURG - 

A flurry of announcements at The Mill golf course in Cobourg Tuesday seemed to confirm Northumberland-Peterborough South MP Kim Rudd’s contention that a rural renaissance is going on.

“Many of you have heard me speak on several occasions of a rural renaissance, and I believe that is very much underway,” Rudd said at the event.

“I would argue we are seeing the genesis of the most important fundamental economic advance of the last half-century, moving toward new technological advances across the innovation spectrum.”

Several announcements bore out her contention, including a Northumberland Agri-Food Fund Pilot Program she announced with the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation.

The CFDC will support this initiative with $50,000 under the Eastern Ontario Development Program’s business-development stream for a total project cost of $150,000 to launch the program.

Its goal is to attract and support up to 10 projects focused in the local business sectors of agriculture, food and beverage with business-support resources and micro-financing of up to $10,000 per project.

Similarly, the CFDC is investing $100,000 in support of the development of a 3D digital archive of Eastern Ontario focused on rural-community business attraction and retention. It will invest the funds through the Eastern Ontario Development Program for a total project cost of up to $209,800.

The work will be done with Carleton University, bringing business, infrastructure, work-force and market data alive in 3D to deliver a robust economic-planning tool.

CFDC board chair Rick Holmes gave a little history of the agency’s annual N100 business-development contest that began about five years ago — its name meaning N for Northumberland and 100 for the $100,000 prize.

So much of their work is with young entrepreneurs, Holmes said, and they always hope to see them develop into businesses that will build the community and provide jobs for our neighbours and family members.

The competition has attracted the attention of Renfrew County, and they are working with the Northumberland CFDC in developing their own version, the RC100.

Meanwhile, Holmes used the occasion to announce this year’s winner, Ambience Data.

Ambience will establish a custom manufacturing operation in Northumberland for their proprietary line of environmental monitoring sensors that will create up to four new full-time positions.

Ambience chief executive officer Nisha Sarveswaran, whose background is in aerospace engineering, told of needing more data for that and other purposes — including raising her own family.

“We combine our hardware device data with open-source data such as traffic, pollution and weather information in real time. This allows us to analyze trends and provide useful insights to our customers,” Sarveswaran said.

The event was hosted by Qoints, a past winner of the N100 competition. Its chief executive officer Corey Rosenfield said his company helps marketers through advertising, especially digital, to get the best value and ultimately increase sales. Operating in a William Street office, they have begun to make their first few hires and are now dealing with a Wall Street group to sell their data to hedge funds to predict performance.

“We have to always make sure we are a full participant in a globally driven economy,” Rudd said.

“We love the community we live in, but recognize business happens outside of them and that we need to be fully part of that process.”

cnasmith@postmedia.com