Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

August 24, 2011 10:00 ET

Government of Canada Invests in McMaster University's Automotive Resource Centre

HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 24, 2011) - University researchers and the automotive industry will now come together to develop "green" automotive technologies, thanks to a new investment by the Government of Canada. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced the funding at McMaster's Innovation Park. Minister Goodyear was accompanied by David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale.

"Our government is committed to making sure the people, businesses and communities of southern Ontario have the tools they need to succeed," said Minister of State Goodyear. "This investment will not only create jobs but help build an automotive resource centre putting southern Ontario at the forefront in the development of green automotive technologies."

Through FedDev Ontario's Prosperity Initiative, McMaster University will receive up to $11.5 million to create the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC) for the research and development of innovations such as hybrid and electric powertrains, batteries and lightweight materials. The resulting collaboration between businesses, manufacturers, parts suppliers, and researchers will meet the growing demand for green and efficient automotive models. Once completed, the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre is expected to employ approximately 120 to 150 workers from the private, public and academic sectors and will provide training opportunities for highly qualified personnel that this sector requires.

"I am very pleased to see that with this support, our region will become more competitive and known for its leading-edge automotive technology," said MP Sweet. "Our government recognizes the importance of investing in businesses and post-secondary institutions so that southern Ontario can expand into promising new markets."

"The automotive sector is important to Canada's economy," said Patrick Deane, President and Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University. "MARC will allow our University to support this sector through industry-driven research and prototype development, as well as provide opportunities for students to work directly on priority projects with our industry partners."

The Prosperity Initiative is a direct result of feedback from business leaders, academics and community leaders from across southern Ontario, who suggested FedDev Ontario take a leadership role in bolstering innovation and economic growth in our region.

FedDev Ontario was created as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan to support businesses and communities in southern Ontario. Now in its third year of operation, the Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to support businesses and other organizations through partnerships and investments in skills and training; innovation; research and development; and increased productivity.

To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

BACKGROUNDER

McMaster Automotive Resource Centre

With a Prosperity Initiative contribution of up to $11.5 million, a former warehouse space will be renovated and equipped into a "green" automotive research facility that will house the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre – MARC. The new facility will provide a total of approximately 80,000 square feet of space for new development, prototyping, and large scale product trials in order to market newly developed automotive technology for mass production. This project will create 120 to 150 jobs related to research, development and knowledge transfer, foster new university-industry partnerships and train hundreds of students for industry.

The centre will draw upon McMaster University's automotive research strengths, which include the $10M Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain (held by Dr. Ali Emadi), and MacAuto, the University's coordinating body for automotive research and development. These strengths will complement the expertise found at CANMET, a federal government materials technology lab which opened at the McMaster Innovation Park in February 2011 to assist academic and industry partners with developing new materials and metal technologies.

Prosperity Initiative

FedDev Ontario's Prosperity Initiative is designed to encourage businesses, not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions in southern Ontario to undertake projects that will result in a more productive, diversified and competitive economy in the region.

Funding is available for projects that:

  • enhance productivity, by accelerating the adoption of new technologies, processes and skills to enhance businesses and sectors in southern Ontario to achieve higher output in relation to their investments;

  • diversify the regional economy, by increasing the number of new industries or opportunities in southern Ontario communities or regions with the potential to have long-term impacts on their economic diversity; and

  • build a competitive advantage for southern Ontario, by building on the assets and strengths of southern Ontario businesses and regions to create or expand economic clusters and enhance their global competitiveness.

Applications for funding are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis. For more information and to apply, please refer to the Program Guidelines available on the website at www.feddevontario.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Gary Toft
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    613-943-7599

    Media Relations
    FedDev Ontario
    519-571-6879