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Feds invest in Centre for Smart Manufacturing in Cambridge, Ont.

Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) will invest $2.3 million over the next five years for the establishment of a new Centre for Smart Manufacturing at Conestoga College in Cambridge, Ont. The Centre will accelerate innovation and support the region’s manufacturing sector. Written by MA Staff

The funding, announced by Minister of State (Science and Technology) Ed Holder on April 17, was awarded through NSERC’s College and Community Innovation program, which supports applied research partnerships between colleges and local businesses to move ideas into the marketplace, create jobs and contribute to greater economic prosperity for Canadians.

“This investment in applied research at Conestoga will be instrumental in expanding the college’s capacity to partner with manufacturing enterprises to support innovation, commercialization, productivity and competitiveness in our region’s most economically significant sector,” said Conestoga president John Tibbits. “The new Centre for Smart Manufacturing will also provide our students with additional opportunities to develop the advanced skills that today’s employers are seeking as they propel their businesses forward.”

The centre will provide industry-focused, applied research for the development and implementation of technologies and processes that will improve the performance of participating manufacturing enterprises. Building on Conestoga’s established strengths in automation technologies, software and hardware design, the centre’s activities will generate innovative manufacturing solutions focused on high-performance manufacturing, and information and computer technology (ICT)-enabled manufacturing.

The Centre for Smart Manufacturing will undertake a variety of projects, including the design of new manufacturing processes, the creation and testing of prototypes, the design of embedded systems, and the development of new visualization and software-related systems. Projects will draw on resources provided through Conestoga’s state-of-the-art labs for prototyping, advanced sensors, applied software, embedded systems, advanced materials, welding and robotics.

Research projects will be led by faculty experts in engineering, information technology and business, with additional expertise provided by partners from area post-secondary and research institutions and commercialization centres.