ESRI Canada Congratulates the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre on 10 Years of GIS Success

Non-Profit Science and Technology Centre Recognized as a Leader in Community Information Utility Innovation

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – December 8, 2009 – ESRI Canada congratulates the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) on its history of success in using geographic information system (GIS) technology to support the information management needs and promote the development of knowledge-based industries in the City of Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma District in Ontario. The SSMIC has created an award-winning community information utility built on ESRI technology to support sustainable economic growth.

“The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre serves as an excellent example for other communities to follow,” said Alex Miller, President, ESRI Canada. “Through its outstanding vision and leadership, it has created a model to successfully share and use information, technology and knowledge to build a safer, healthier and more prosperous society.”

Founded in 1999, the SSMIC is a non-profit organization that leads in leveraging advanced and emerging technologies to create and add value to businesses in the Algoma District and strengthen the region’s economic base. Through its Community Geomatics Centre (CGC), it has developed and maintains one of the world’s most comprehensive community-based GIS, connecting more than 60 partners and thousands of layers of data from various sectors.

The CGC forms private and public sector partnerships and provides GIS, data analysis and integration services for use in government, utilities, health care, social services, education, emergency response and economic development. Since it began its operations, the centre has been using ESRI technology as its enterprise GIS platform to share and integrate data with its partners to enable broad analysis and visualization. This facilitates a better understanding of community needs and helps partners optimize the delivery of services and reduce costs.

It has produced numerous innovative GIS applications which have led to more effective use of budgetary resources and improved public services, safety and health care delivery in the district. The centre has also been recognized by international organizations such as URISA and ESRI for its unique community information utility model and advanced work in the health and human services sector.

The SSMIC has been involved in various projects including enhancing the delivery of diabetes services across Northern Ontario; optimizing emergency room and appropriate level of care (ER-ALC) in the Waterloo-Wellington region; tracking and reporting on the spread of C. difficile in the Sault Area Hospital; and developing a vulnerable citizens registry for Sault Ste. Marie. It has also collaborated with ESRI Canada, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and Algoma University to expand health care technology research in the district.

With the success of its GIS project, the SSMIC is working with other municipalities to facilitate knowledge transfer and replicate its effective community information utility model in other communities.  

“Over the past 10 years, the Community Geomatics Centre has played a key role in improving municipal and utility operations and enhancing public services in Sault Ste. Marie,” said Tom Vair, Executive Director, SSMIC. “We have accomplished this through passion for excellence and innovation, and through the help of our partners. Our partnership with ESRI Canada has enabled us to establish a solid GIS platform to stimulate innovation, achieve economies of scale and maximize business opportunities for our district and customers.”

To celebrate its tenth year, the SSMIC is holding a public event today at The Grand Theatre in Sault Ste. Marie, which will highlight the centre’s accomplishments, projects and future plans. Alex Miller, President of ESRI Canada will be among the event’s keynote speakers.


About the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre
The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre was founded in 1999 and serves as a catalyst for growth in the IT, science and knowledge-based sectors in the Algoma District. In 2009, they integrated with science enterprise Algoma (seA) and Upper Lakes Environmental Research Network (ULERN) to combine resources and accomplish their mutual goals of enhanced innovation capacity for both the IT and science sectors.  The Innovation Centre works closely with community partners to enhance and improve science and IT sector opportunities.  

The Innovation Centre is focused on four core areas: operating a business incubator to encourage the establishment and growth of business start-ups; providing support services to the SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) IT and science community; supporting the establishment and enhancement of advanced research projects in the region and undertaking strategic market development projects such as the highly successful GIS project.  

The Innovation Centre operates an award-winning GIS department that has been recognized internationally for its unique community information utility model and advanced work in the health and human services sector.

For more information, visit:

About ESRI Canada
Founded in 1984, ESRI Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography.   The company distributes the world's leading GIS software from ESRI, Telvent Miner & Miner, Azteca Systems and other technology partners. Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada. Information about ESRI Canada can be found at   

Media contacts:
Joy Chan
PR Specialist
ESRI Canada
+1 (416) 386-6488
Email Contact

Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre
1520 Queen Street East, NW 307
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2G4
+1 (705) 942-7927

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