WELLAND, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 6, 2013) - Niagara manufacturers looking to access support and resources for growth will benefit from two new projects delivered through the Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology (Niagara College) and the Niagara Economic Development Corporation (NEDC), thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), made the announcement today alongside Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, at the Niagara College Welland Campus.
"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 Minister Goodyear.
Through FedDev Ontario's Prosperity Initiative, Niagara College is receiving up to $990,000 to establish the Industry Innovation Centre at Niagara-or "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.
Also through the Prosperity Initiative, the NEDC will receive up to $580,000 to establish an initiative intended to support Niagara small- and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises through activities such as business mentoring, referral services and strategic partnering, so they may improve productivity and market opportunities.
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.
Together, these two projects will create an environment that encourages the growth and revitalization of the Niagara region by helping businesses to identify areas for expansion, as well as providing the tools and referrals necessary to take action.
"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."
"We are excited that FedDev Ontario has recognized the importance of manufacturing to Niagara's economy," noted Diane Simsovic, Managing Director of the NEDC. "This investment will help our companies access the tools and supports they need to compete successfully in the global economy and our partnership with the Niagara Industrial Association will ensure that this initiative is sustainable and relevant well into the future."
For more information on these projects and the Prosperity Initiative, please see the backgrounder.
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.
As outlined by the Prime Minister, the Government of Canada remains focused on what Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and their personal financial security.
To learn more, please visit www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.
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This news release is available online at: www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca.
Contribution to Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology and the Niagara Economic Development Corporation
FedDev Ontario, through its Prosperity Initiative, is providing Niagara College with a non-repayable contribution of up to $990,000 to establish the Industry Innovation Centre at Niagara (IIC@N). The Niagara Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) is receiving a non-repayable contribution of up to $580,000 to establish an initiative aimed at revitalizing the overall manufacturing base in the Niagara region.
The IIC@N will use the funding to provide equipment and services to small regional manufacturers and sustain three main objectives:
- Support and carry out innovative research & development-based product development: the Centre will support SMEs with engineering design, technology development, prototyping and testing.
- Technology development or adoption: the Centre will evaluate clients' processes and identify areas for upgrades or efficiency.
- Commercialization and market access: the project will help small manufacturers identify the best channels to target for their new products, and include services such as market intelligence and research, competitive analyses, marketing strategies and web design.
The NEDC's project will establish an initiative aimed at strengthening the manufacturing cluster and will include the following activities:
- Conduct 300-350 surveys to identify 120 high growth potential firms and mentor 75 companies to determine their needs and potential for expansion or diversification of their products and operations;
- Provide active follow-up and referrals to resources and services delivered by partner organizations, such as Niagara College's IIC@N;
- Establish an interactive manufacturing network by creating an interactive manufacturing website, and holding educational and training events;
- In collaboration with the Niagara Industrial Association, establish an Industry Liaison Office to help local firms access business opportunities with major projects.
For more information, please visit www.niagaracollege.ca and www.niagaracanada.com.
FedDev Ontario's Prosperity Initiative, as part of the Southern Ontario Advantage initiatives, is encouraging businesses, not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions in southern Ontario to undertake projects resulting in a more productive, diversified and competitive economy in the region.
To date, over $420 million in funding has been committed to 240 projects under the Southern Ontario Advantage initiatives, resulting in partnerships with more than 5,000 organizations, and over $1.2 billion in additional leveraged investments from almost exclusively non-government sources.
For more information, please visit the website at www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca.