About this Network
In 2019, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) initiated a two-year project to create the North American EcoInnovation Network to cultivate youth and community leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship for environmental protection and sustainable development in North America.
The CEC and the founding members successfully established the Network’s core membership, developing foundational and strategic documents and coordinating activities that built rapport among the members and young entrepreneurs and informed the development of useful resources and tools.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, prevented the project from reaching its full potential and achieving self-sustainability.
As a last activity of the CEC’s project, a transition plan was developed to create a path for moving the Network from the CEC to a new host institution. Within this context, the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) came forward in March 2021 to serve as manager of the Network and to make additional financial and in-kind contributions.
Accordingly, in December 2022, the CEC Council approved a follow-up project to create a financially independent and sustainable EIN by 30 June 2023, transferring the financial, operational, and governance responsibilities of the Network from the CEC to the EIN members as partners, with the University of Waterloo as managing institution, and build the necessary operational and financial capacity for the Network to continue its efforts in the future. During this two-year transition project, the CEC will also continue supporting the operations of the Network.
Innovation centers play a key role in sustainable economic development and job creation within and beyond the communities they serve. A key feature of the innovation centers is to provide inclusive and equal access to students and the public to capitalize on training, tools and resources for innovation, sustainable design, entrepreneurship, and business development and sustainable innovation for students and communities in North America.
To create an EcoInnovation Network, independent of the CEC, with renewed and strengthened membership and a sound framework and strategy, that operates within a governance scheme led by the University of Waterloo during its initial period of self-sustainability.