Spark Centre

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Place Category: General Services

  • Vision.

    Spark Centre envisions a thriving entrepreneurial community that embraces innovation and technology to compete in the global business world. Our community recognizes the interconnectedness of all things, and at the same time recognizes that our economy needs to support a high quality of life, social and cultural development, and personal fulfillment.


    MissionTo inspire entrepreneurs to start and grow successful, innovative companies in Durham Region and Northumberland County with success measured through sustainable business, economic growth and local job creation.


    Creativity, Teamwork, Professionalism, Innovation, Integrity


    At Spark Centre, we recognize three levels of responsibility:

    Regional Responsibility

    Primarily, we work to improve Durham Region and Northumberland County’s competitiveness and visibility as a world-class innovation cluster. We elevate key industry sectors including Energy, Health, Manufacturing and High Tech.

    Provincial Responsibility

    As a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, Spark Centre functions as the implementation arm of the Province of Ontario’s commercialization and economic development.  We work closely with many organizations such as MaRS, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Ministry of Research and Innovation, Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

    National Responsibility

    Spark Centre is a proud supporter of Canada 3.0 and the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN), and we celebrate our Federal Governments’ strategy to make Canada a world leader in innovation.  We work closely with the National Research Council and Federal Economic Development Agency.

    History of Spark Centre

    In December of 2010 the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation announced the funding and opening of Innovation Durham Northumberland (IDN).  This new Regional Innovation Centre was part of a province-wide network providing resources for on-the-ground commercialization and services to innovative and technology based entrepreneurs and businesses in Durham Region and Northumberland County.

    The formation of IDN was the culmination of a five-year visionary process and funding support driven by the Durham Strategic Energy Alliance (DSEA) in conjunction with the Region of Durham and the Northumberland Manufacturer’s Association.  Initially IDN began activities housed at Durham College’s Whitby Campus with satellite locations in Cobourg and at the University of Ontario of Information and Technology north Oshawa campus.

    In September of 2011, Martin Croteau was brought on to provide leadership and strategic direction for this innovation centre.  Within the first few months IDN grew from its initial 2 employees to a team of 6 and had a new look and feel under a revised brand Spark Centre.  The idea was for Spark Centre to work cooperatively with local entrepreneurs and organizations to cultivate and support a strong entrepreneurship culture within Durham Region and Northumberland County.

    In July of 2013 Spark moved its office to one of Durham’s newest collaborative working spaces for entrepreneurs and small businesses at Core 21 in downtown Oshawa.

    After two years of leadership and rallying for local entrepreneurs, Martin Croteau has now passed the Executive Director reigns over to Dennis Croft.

    Dennis brings over 20 years of high tech experience and has already proven to be a strong voice and champion for local entrepreneurs.

    In culmination, Spark Centre has now helped over 360 clients, and is positioned to accelerate the entrepreneurship further in Durham and Northumberland!