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Feds invest $7.5M for automobility accelerator in Windsor-Essex


The Windsor-Essex region will be home to Canada’s first automobility accelerator, the federal government announced today alongside an investment of $7.5 million.

The non-repayable funding from FedDev Ontario will go to Invest WindsorEssex (IWE) to support the development of secure, zero-emissions vehicles technologies.

Tailored to the needs of start-ups and scale-ups in the automobility ecosystem, with a focus on electric vehicles (EV), connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), and cyber security firms, the investment will allow IWE to help entrepreneurs accelerate the commercialization of their technologies.

It will also position the region as a hub for automobility innovation and investment, in addition to its recognition as an automotive and advanced manufacturing excellence.

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“Capitalizing on our location advantages, highly skilled workforce and growing automobility sector, this funding will continue to encourage diversification and continued prosperity in Windsor-Essex,” says Stephen MacKenzie, CEO and president, Invest WindsorEssex, in a statement.

With the federal contribution, plus $12.3 million in private sector and matching funding, IWE will offer training and other programming to support the upskilling of 1,350 automobility entrepreneurs and scaling firms.

The accelerator is expected to attract $40 million in new foreign direct investment to the region.

The investment builds on an initial $5 million supplied by FedDev Ontario in September 2019 to help IWE establish and catalyze the growth of an automobility cluster, attract investment to the region and create jobs.

That project initiated over 30 partnerships and projects to date, resulting in more than 300 new jobs created and nearly $50 million in funds leveraged for the region.