Federal government invests in Southern Ontario R&D facility

Thursday November 08, 2012
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
The federal government has made an investment in Western University's new Fraunhofer Project Centre and a centre for commercialization of advanced manufacturing technology, which could benefit manufacturers in southern Ontario working on the production of innovative lightweight materials. Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced the funding on Nov. 5 at the grand opening of the Fraunhofer Project Centre. "Our Government's top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians," said Finley. "By supporting the advanced materials manufacturing market, our Government is not only helping to create high-quality jobs, but we are also positioning this region to be a leader in the increasingly important field of lightweight construction." With the government’s $13.7 million contribution through FedDev Ontario, in addition to contributions from Western University, the City of London, the Government of Ontario and the private sector, the university is creating two Centres at its Advanced Manufacturing Park that focus on the composite materials industry. Both Centres will create opportunities for businesses to develop and test innovative composite lightweight products, systems and materials for the automotive, aerospace, defence, construction, medical devices and renewable energy sectors. This will help to speed up the research and development process and help the region's manufacturers get their products out to the global market. It is anticipated that these Centres will create 20 high-quality research and technical jobs. Local businesses will also be able to work with the Centres on new product development, potentially creating thousands of new jobs and benefiting communities and individuals all over southern Ontario. The Fraunhofer Project Centre will offer a real-world manufacturing setting and complete production equipment. The Centre's relationship with the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology in Germany will allow businesses to access Fraunhofer researchers and expertise. The centre for commercialization of advanced manufacturing technology will offer small- and medium-sized enterprises industrial research space, business services and access to research staff. "Today's opening of the Fraunhofer Project Centre at Western represents a banner day for the University and for our great many institutional, community and industrial partners," said Western President, Amit Chakma. "FedDev Ontario's investment supports our efforts to create jobs and stimulate regional economic growth, while advancing scientific knowledge and innovation."

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