Niagara College was host to an exciting federal funding announcement Monday, as the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced up to $990,000 for the college’s research division to assist Niagara manufacturers looking to access support and resources for growth.
Goodyear made the announcement, along with an announcement of funding for the Niagara Economic Development Corporation (NEDC), alongside Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, in the Rankin Technology Centre at the Welland Campus. The two then toured the construction lab and heard presentations about successful FedDev projects from Niagara Research, the college’s research and innovation arm.
“By supporting the Niagara-region manufacturing sector, our Government is not only helping to create more modern, efficient and market-ready manufacturers while creating jobs in Niagara, but we are also strengthening Canada’s position in the manufacturing sector in the global marketplace,” said Goodyear.
Through FedDev Ontario’s Prosperity Initiative, Niagara College is receiving up to $990,000 to establish the Industry Innovation Centre at Niagara (IIC@N), which will provide small regional manufacturers access to needed facilities, equipment, technical expertise, and services to assist them in product development, technology adoption, and expansion into new markets.
“Niagara has more than 800 small- and medium-sized manufacturers who are working hard to be competitive, yet do not have in-house research and innovation capacity,” said Marc Nantel, Associate Vice-President of Research, Niagara College.
“That’s where Niagara College’s Niagara Research comes in. Our faculty and students work with local manufacturers to improve their products and efficiency. The funding from the federal government allows Niagara Research to obtain state-of-the-market equipment and services to help more local manufacturers.”
Through Niagara Research, these projects are expected to contribute to job creation and the overall revival of the manufacturing sector in the region, they will provide support services and mentorship to hundreds of companies combined.
Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region’s strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. In Budget 2013, the Government of Canada demonstrated its continued commitment to workers, families and communities in southern Ontario with the renewal of FedDev Ontario. Economic Action Plan 2013 provides $920 million over five years for the Agency, starting on April 1, 2014. As part of the renewal, FedDev Ontario will be allocating $200 million over five years for a new Advanced Manufacturing Fund in Ontario.
Niagara Research, Niagara College’s Research and Innovation Division, works closely with business, industry and community partners to identify challenges that are in need of real-time solutions. Through applied research projects, skilled student and faculty teams help local businesses and community organizations become more innovative, overcome challenges, and develop, test or simulate new products or processes.
Working on real-world applied research projects provides students with the opportunity to bring the skills and knowledge they have learned in the classroom to a new level, presenting fresh and innovative ideas to industry partners.
The media release regarding yesterday’s announcement is available online.