Colleges launch innovation centres
Help for product development, smart manufacturing.
Conestoga College in Cambridge and Fanshawe College in London, both receiving federal funding, are providing small and medium-sized (SME) businesses in Southern Ontario with access to centres that will help drive innovation.
Fanshawe College is building the 20,000 square-foot Canadian Centre for Product Validation, with some help from a $8.1 million FedDev Ontario investment, which will allow companies to test and validate their products. Funding from the Investing in Commercialization Partnerships initiative will be used for construction and start-up in 2016.
The ISO-certified facility at Fanshawe College, the only one of its kind in Canada, will provide developmental multi-modal (electrical, mechanical, environmental and thermal systems) product testing services to various industry sectors including military and defence, automotive, aerospace, renewable energy, building products and consumer goods.
The project is expected to create 115 permanent jobs, 50 temporary jobs and up to 105 jobs at companies.
In Cambridge, the Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning has opened an applied research facility.
The Centre for Smart Manufacturing, which received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), will provide manufacturers with access to seven dedicated labs at the Cambridge and Doon campuses.
The centre will support new product and process development across a number of technologies, including advanced sensors, electronic systems, software, light manufacturing production and assembly, prototype production, 3D-printing and materials.
Conestoga’s School of Engineering and Information Technology faculty will also provide expertise and student research teams that will work with industry partners.
© 2015 The Canadian Press