Feds renew CME SMART program funding with $20M investment

Program meant to encourage advanced technology adoption to enhance productivity and competitiveness.

November 18, 2014   by PLANT Staff

BURLINGTON, Ont. — The federal government has awarded Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) funding of up to $20 million for its SMART Advanced Technologies for Global Growth program to encourage the adoption of advanced technologies, enhance productivity and improve competitiveness for southern Ontario’s manufacturers.

The funding, announced Nov. 17 at the Advanced Manufacturing Summit in Hamilton, Ont., will provide resources for manufacturers who are exporting, planning to export, or selling into a supply chain, to conduct technology assessments and adopt advanced technologies.

CME said technologies such as robotics, 3D printing and automated materials handling help reduce production costs and expand production capabilities, enable businesses to become more competitive and strengthen participation in global supply chains.

The investment is being made through the federal government’s Investing in Business Growth and Productivity initiative, which is aimed at helping established businesses to expand their operations, invest in productivity improvements and compete globally.

The program will support two types of projects: advanced Technology Assessments by qualified professionals who will examine manufacturing performance. Recommendations will be made referring to how advanced technologies could be implemented to improve productivity. Assessments will be eligible for funding of up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum non-repayable contribution of $15,000.

Advanced technology adaptation or adoption projects that focus on improving productivity through new or upgraded advanced technologies, materials or processes. Advanced technology projects will be eligible for funding up to 35% of eligible costs to a maximum non-repayable contribution of $100,000.

CME said up to 200 manufacturers are expected to participate in the program. Eligibility requirements and further details will be available on Dec. 1.

The new program is expected to create more than 1,000 new manufacturing jobs and maintain 2,500 additional positions.

FedDev Ontario expects the investment to leverage between $18 and $51 million from southern Ontario manufacturers.
Since 2009, FedDev Ontario has invested more than $38 million in CME to deliver its SMART-branded programming, which it said supported more than 730 projects, created more than 5,400 jobs and maintained more than 11,000 positions.

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