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Linamar awarded up to $100M for AI, advanced manufacturing development


January 15, 2018
By MA Staff

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Jan. 15, 2018 – The federal and Ontario governments have announced up to $100 million worth of combined grants today to help automotive parts maker Linamar Corp. develop advanced manufacturing technologies.

The funding will help create 1,500 new Canadian jobs and maintain more than 8,000 by supporting advanced manufacturing processes — including artificial intelligence and 3D printing — and cleaner automotive technologies, says Linamar. The manufacturer will also open a new innovation centre in Guelph, Ont., focused on technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and collaborative robotics.

Linamar employs more than 25,700 people worldwide, with more than 9,300 in Canada. It operates 59 manufacturing locations, six R&D centres and 21 sales offices in 17 countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

“Innovation is the single most important thing we can do in terms of product design, process design and material development to solve global problems and create opportunities for us all to succeed. To have our government support us in that endeavour is fantastic, further cementing the fact that Canada is a great place for advanced manufacturing to thrive,” said Linda Hasenfratz, Linamar CEO.

This is the first project announced under the Strategic Innovation Fund, a new program to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy.

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The federal government will provide a grant of $49 million to the company and Ontario will provide a conditional grant of up to $50 million.

“This investment will create and maintain middle-class jobs in southern Ontario and drive economic growth in the area. Investing in these projects also means that Canadian manufacturers can remain globally competitive and leaders in technological advancements,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

The announcement comes at a time of uncertainty surrounding the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In a Canadian Press report, Bains says he plans to refer to the investment when making a case for the importance of the trade pact during a visit to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

— With files from Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press