Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Feds invest $8.2M in U Waterloo for additive manufacturing network

July 7, 2021
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

The University of Waterloo will establish an Additive Manufacturing Alliance (AMA) with $8.2 million in funding from the federal government.

The alliance will leverage the school’s Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing (MSAM) Lab, a research and development facility for metal additive manufacturing that also works with manufacturers to test new technologies.

A collaboration between post-secondary institutions and major industry partners, the AMA will help businesses across southern Ontario overcome barriers to adopting cutting-edge advanced manufacturing technologies by providing access to the MSAM’s specialized metal 3D printing equipment and expertise.

Using the funding from FedDev Ontario, AMA will help companies grow and move their technologies from prototype to production-ready. It will also facilitate industry connections to integrate businesses into established supply chains and develop a talent pool of next-generation additive manufacturing workers through training and upskilling.


AMA will connect participants from academia, government labs, as well as companies from the aerospace, energy, defence, nuclear, automotive, communications and other sectors.

The project will support more than 90 businesses to commercialize nearly 30 advanced manufacturing technologies, create and maintain over 275 jobs and provide training and outreach opportunities for about 1,500 students, research associates and industry personnel.

It will also expand MSAM’s geographical reach beyond Kitchener-Waterloo and the Greater Toronto Area, with new participating companies from across southwestern Ontario.

“This funding is instrumental in capitalizing on an unprecedented interest in additive manufacturing tech adoption in Canada,” says Mihaela Vlasea, assistant professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo.

“It will be used to scale up research and development activities and move them into more mature stages of the product development cycle and stimulate technology transfer to achieve tangible economic benefits for SME partners.”

In May 2017, FedDev Ontario announced $8.9 million for the University of Waterloo to establish the Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab (MSAM). To date, the lab has supported 25 companies to commercialize more than 30 new products, services and processes, trained more than 50 personnel in the next generation of AM innovations, and created and maintained 115 jobs.

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