FedDev Ontario invests $7.3M in new SONAMI advanced manufacturing network

Thursday December 22, 2016
Written by MA Staff
Dec. 22, 2016 - The federal government has announced a non-repayable contribution of up to $7.3 million to support a new advanced manufacturing network that aims to help Canadian small- and medium-sized manufacturers adopt new technology.

Available through the Investing in Commercialization Partnerships Initiative, the investment will help Niagara College create the Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation (SONAMI) in partnership with Mohawk College, Sheridan College and McMaster University. SONAMI will offer a “single-window” approach to support manufacturers’ research and development needs, encourage them to adopt and integrate disruptive advanced manufacturing technologies into their operations with the help of the network, said the parties.

“We at Niagara College are proud to be the leaders of this unprecedented network, which will be a key resource and fill a demonstrated need for small- and medium-sized businesses in the Golden Horseshoe. According to recent research in southern Ontario, there are more than 6,500 manufacturers; nearly 4,000 of them have fewer than 10 employees,” said Dr. Dan Patterson, president of Niagara College.

“Through our Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies, Sheridan brings a breadth of expertise to SONAMI in the areas of additive manufacturing, sustainable energy systems, robotics and automation,” said Dr. Mary Preece, president and vice chancellor of Sheridan College. “By combining our strengths with our partner educational institutions, SONAMI will deliver compelling value to industry while advancing economic growth in the Golden Horseshoe.”

The project is expected to create or maintain 186 jobs, result in 170 new prototypes and up to 85 new products being commercialized, they added, as well as provide opportunities for students from the SONAMI partner institutions.

“We’re proud to join the Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation and we look forward to putting our technology students to work in helping industry partners bring innovative solutions to market,” continued Ron McKerlie, Mohawk College president.

“This project exemplifies the type of collaboration between business, academia, research institutions and government that we need to foster innovation,” said Navdeep Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, in a statement.

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