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Feds pledge over $5.2M for technology assessments in manufacturing SMEs


March 10, 2020
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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The Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is receiving over $5.2 million from the federal government to help manufacturers in southern Ontario to increase their productivity and competitiveness.

The new Technology Assessment Program will provide up to 175 small- to medium-sized manufacturers in southern Ontario with in-depth productivity and technology assessments, aimed at stimulating investments and the adoption of new technology solutions.

These assessments, valued at up to $25,000, will position businesses to improve their overall productivity, grow and diversify into new markets, increase competitiveness and bring higher-paying jobs and skills into southern Ontario.

Companies accepted into the program will be matched with a qualified service provider, who will develop a strategy on how to grow the business based on current technology and opportunities for new technologies.

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Technology adoption lagging

According to a recent CME report on technology adoption among manufacturers, 42 per cent identified uncertain return on investment as the primary reason they are not investing in new technology.

“Businesses that invest in new technologies have a considerably better growth outlook than their non-adopting counterparts, at home and in global markets,” says Dennis A. Darby, president and CEO of CME, in a statement.

“This program will help manufacturers adopt new technologies sooner and access its wide range of potential benefits like lower operating costs, increased product quality, higher innovation capacity and, increased customer satisfaction.”

Application deadline

The funding was made through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), whose support for the Technology Assessment Program is expected to generate up to $40 million in follow-on investments.

Since 2009, FedDev Ontario invested more than $58 million through CME, which has helped to fund more than 1,600 projects and created or maintained more than 22,000 direct jobs through CME’s SMART program.

Applications for the funding will be accepted until December 31, 2021 with a completion date of no later than January 31, 2022.