Kingston Economic Development wins gold award for cross-border collaboration

The 1000 Islands Bridge connects Canada and the USA, bridging the expanse of the St. Lawrence River. Photo by Christopher Howitt.

Kingston Economic Development Corporation (Kingston EcDev) won a Gold Rank for the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway, a collaboration in the category of Regionalism and Cross-Border Collaboration from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) 2022 Excellence in Economic Development Awards Program.

The honour was announced during the IEDC Annual Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

According to a release from Kingston EcDev, the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway is a cross-border partnership that provides a soft landing program to facilitate successful international market entry for entrepreneurs and innovators by providing them access to the resources needed to expand into the U.S. or Canada. The formal memorandum of understanding further supports cross-border academia research, innovation in the health care sector and collaboration opportunities between partners, the organization stated.

“The relationship between Kingston and Syracuse has continued to grow over the years with the support from partners on both sides of the border,” said Donna Gillespie, CEO of Kingston EcDev. “This unique partnership between Central New York Biotech Accelerator, CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO), Upstate Medical University, Queen’s University Office of Partnerships and Innovation, Kingston Health Sciences Centre and our organization recognizes the tremendous opportunities we collectively have and the strength our corridor brings when working together, especially in the health innovation sector. We are honoured to receive this distinguished recognition from our international colleagues.”

Established in 2018, the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway is the fourth cross-border collaboration in Canada between business, government, and academic leaders. According to the release, the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway maximizes the competitive advantages of Kingston and Northern and Central New York State by facilitating a formal cross-border collaboration on cutting-edge research and development, unlocking new global markets for entrepreneurs, startups, SMEs and improving connectivity between governments. The overall vision of the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway is to enhance connectivity and position the region as a leading global innovation ecosystem, Kingston EcDev shared.

“Cross border work is essential to what economic development organizations located near international boundaries need to do today.  We recognize that there are many important assets and resources located less than 100 miles from Syracuse, but they are in Canada. Finding reliable partners such as Kingston Economic Development Corporation and Queen’s University is essential when businesses interested in international trade need to approach a new market. It is essential when we are working together addressing medical issues that affect both of our nations. International cooperation is vital,” said David Mankiewicz, Senior Vice President of Research, Policy & Planning at CenterState CEO.

Recognized each year during the IEDC Annual Conference, the Excellence in Economic Development Awards honour organizations for exemplary economic development marketing campaigns, projects, and programs. Twenty-five award categories honour organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban and rural communities.

“Communities need our profession now more than ever. This year’s awardees exemplify the ingenuity, leadership, and determination needed to meet the challenges of today and the future. The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and demonstrate the level of leadership that our profession strives for every day,” shared IEDC President and CEO Nathan Ohle.

“This year’s awards selection process was especially competitive. We are honoured to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing submissions, projects, and partnerships have improved regional quality of life,” added IEDC Awards Advisory Committee Chair Christina Winn.

According to the release, the awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world. IEDC received over 500 submissions from the United States and four additional countries around the world.

To learn more about the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway visit

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