Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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New investment to boost manufacturing in Niagara region


May 6, 2013
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Niagara manufacturers looking to access support and resources for growth could benefit from two new projects delivered through the Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology (Niagara College) and the Niagara Economic Development Corporation (NEDC), with an investment from the Government of Canada.

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), made the announcement today alongside Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, at the Niagara College Welland Campus.

“By supporting the Niagara-region manufacturing sector, our Government is not only helping to create more modern, efficient and market-ready manufacturers while creating jobs in Niagara, but we are also strengthening Canada’s position in the manufacturing sector in the global marketplace,” said Goodyear.

Through FedDev Ontario’s Prosperity Initiative, Niagara College is receiving up to $990,000 to establish the Industry Innovation Centre at Niagara—or “IIC@N”— which will provide small regional manufacturers access to needed facilities, equipment, technical expertise, and services to assist them in product development, technology adoption, and expansion into new markets.

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Also through the Prosperity Initiative, the NEDC will receive up to $580,000 to establish an initiative intended to support Niagara small- and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises through activities such as business mentoring, referral services and strategic partnering, so they may improve productivity and market opportunities.

These projects are expected to contribute to job creation and the overall revival of the manufacturing sector in the region, they will provide support services and mentorship to hundreds of companies combined.

Together, these two projects will help create an environment that encourages the growth and revitalization of the Niagara region by helping businesses to identify areas for expansion, as well as providing the tools and referrals necessary to take action.

“Niagara has more than 800 small- and medium-sized manufacturers who are working hard to be competitive, yet do not have in-house research and innovation capacity,” said Marc Nantel, Associate Vice-President of Research, Niagara College. “That’s where Niagara College’s Niagara Research comes in. Our faculty and students work with local manufacturers to improve their products and efficiency. The funding from the federal government allows Niagara Research to obtain state-of-the-market equipment and services to help more local manufacturers.”

“We are excited that FedDev Ontario has recognized the importance of manufacturing to Niagara’s economy,” said Diane Simsovic, Managing Director of the NEDC. “This investment will help our companies access the tools and supports they need to compete successfully in the global economy and our partnership with the Niagara Industrial Association will ensure that this initiative is sustainable and relevant well into the future.”