Harper government announces support for innovation in Manitoba

Tuesday March 05, 2013
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
The federal government is investing in Manitoba to help entrepreneurs develop and commercialize new products and process. Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety and Member of Parliament for Provencher, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, that Manitoba company AssentWorks Inc. would receive the funding in an attempt to drive innovation in the province. "Our Government is committed to creating jobs, economic growth and prosperity," said Toews in a statement. "This investment will remove barriers for new entrepreneurs who would not otherwise be able to purchase the specialized equipment necessary to undertake the research and development needed to produce new prototypes." The government is investing $467,000 through the Western Diversification Program into AssentWorks to expand and enhance the technological capacity to develop prototypes in Manitoba. This fabrication facility will work with existing and potential entrepreneurs, support skills development and applied research, as well as increase the commercialization of new products and processes. "This contribution has given us access to a new level of capability for Manitoba entrepreneurs to prototype innovative ideas and launch new businesses," said Michael Legary, AssentWorks chairman. "AssentWorks is about our Manitoba business community supporting new businesses and entrepreneurial activities not just here in Manitoba but right across Canada. Western Economic Diversification Canada understands the value in this type of initiative and we are excited to have them on-board as a strategic partner helping shape the future of entrepreneurship in Western Canada." AssentWorks Inc. is a non-profit workshop dedicated to providing hands-on access to fabrication and prototyping equipment, knowledge, and a community support for entrepreneurs, inventors, tinkerers, artists, and innovators. Launched in 2011, AssentWorks is the largest makerspace or fabrication facility in Canada-in terms of membership, square footage and tool capability. It is a place where people with common interests, like computers, technology and science, collaborate incorporating elements of machine shops, workshops and studios sharing resources and knowledge to build and make things.

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