Education & Training
Three Ontario universities receive $35M in funding to create manufacturing consortium
February 29, 2016 by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Feb. 29, 2016 – Three research-intensive universities — McMaster University, University of Waterloo and Western University — have received $35 million in funding over five years from the Government of Ontario as part of a $50-million project to create an Advanced Manufacturing Consortium.
The consortium, according to the parties, is meant to “lead Ontario in advanced manufacturing in the broadest sense,” including emerging sectors like next-generation additive manufacturing, digital components and devices, across a variety of sectors with the potential to make significant impact on a global scale. By leveraging existing research strengths, infrastructure and research capacity, the government says the centre will boost the “development of new technologies, creating new products and production methods and generating new highly-skilled jobs.”
“Manufacturing isn’t disappearing but it is being reshaped in revolutionary ways. That shift opens the door to new opportunities in advanced manufacturing,” said Patrick Deane, McMaster president. “We have a great history of working with industry and university partners to create new products and processes to give companies a competitive advantage. Ontario’s support for this partnership is a vote of confidence in our researchers and students and signals the province’s commitment to the economic future of our region.”
The universities are already working together on a smaller scale in some of these areas and achieving “significant results,” said the government. For example, Waterloo and McMaster have been successful with the Initiative for Automotive Manufacturing Innovation and Western and McMaster have a successful partnership for many projects involving the Fraunhofer Composites Centre. All three universities have collaborated on a project for lightweighting of automotive components using magnesium in an Automotive Partnership Canada project.
“Our universities are uniquely positioned to lead the transition to manufacturing driven by knowledge and innovation and make a lasting impact on the economic prosperity of our province,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo.
“We are buoyed by the possibilities this funding holds for research, innovation and a dynamic knowledge-based economy in Ontario,” added Amit Chakma, Western University president.