Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

February 17, 2012 13:15 ET

Harper Government Announces Support for New Innovation Centre for Alberta's Composites Manufacturing Sector

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 17, 2012) - Entrepreneurs and manufacturing companies in Alberta will soon have access to a new leading-edge facility for developing new composite-based products as a result of funding from the Government of Canada.

A federal investment of $3.5 million, announced today by the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, will enable the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT Polytechnic) to establish and equip a centre for innovation to support companies working to create new products that use composite materials.

"The manufacturing of new composite-based products represents an important opportunity for Alberta entrepreneurs to grow their companies and diversify their markets," said Minister Yelich. "Our Government's investment in this initiative will help ensure innovators from any industry or sector can access state-of-the-art equipment and services to test and develop their products, which in turn will help support economic growth and create jobs."

SAIT Polytechnic will collaborate with Alta Injection Molding (AIM), an Alberta-based company, to establish the new facility. The Centre will offer a variety of commercialization services that span from product design and testing to production and packaging. Clients will also have access to an advisory team to assist with patents, mentoring, and connecting to investors.

"Alta Injection Molding is pleased to partner with SAIT Polytechnic and welcomes the support of the federal government in this collaborative initiative," said Brett Darichuk, General Manager of Alta Injection Molding. "The new facility will help foster the further growth and competitiveness of Alberta's manufacturing industry while supporting entrepreneurs in bringing their ideas to market."

This new facility will help to increase the number of new products using composite materials that are commercialized and manufactured in Alberta. The Centre will also create opportunities to train students preparing for careers in the composites industry.

"This investment allows us to optimize resources and give SAIT students, faculty and clients access to facilities that otherwise we wouldn't be able to extend to them," said Dr. Alex Zahavich, SAIT's Director of Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS). "This significant public partnership also gives AIM and its industry partners access to SAIT for future workforce development and will help retain intellectual capital."

Composites are broadly known as reinforced plastics. Composite materials can be used to produce a large variety of high quality products ranging from sporting goods and automobile parts to corrosion resistant pipes and commercial aircraft components. Benefits of using composite materials include features such as higher strength, lighter weight, corrosion resistance, design flexibility and durability.

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

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Contact Information

  • Jerra Byrne
    Office of the Minister
    Western Economic Diversification

    Brett Darichuk
    General Manager
    Alta Injection Molding

    Carly McConachie
    SAIT Corporate Communications
    (403) 284-7167
    Mobile: (403) 651-9879

    WD Toll-Free Number: 1 888 338-WEST (9378)
    Teletypewriter (TTY): 1 877 303-3388
    Website: WD is online at www.wd-deo.gc.ca