New Fund to support manufacturers in southern Ontario

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Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) will receive $20 million in funding from FedDev Ontario to help manufacturers in southern Ontario adopt advanced technologies, enhance productivity and expand global competitiveness, the federal government announced last week.

The funding will be delivered to manufacturers through a new program called SMART Advanced Technologies for Global Growth that will launch on Dec. 1, 2014. The program will provide funding for manufacturers that are exporting, planning to export, or selling into a supply chain. Funding can be used to conduct technology assessments and to adopt advanced technologies in order to reduce production costs and expand production capabilities. Examples of advanced technologies include information and communications technologies (ICT), robotics, additive manufacturing (3D printing), sensor-based technologies, instrumentation, automated materials handling, nanotechnologies, advanced green technologies (cleantech), and advanced communications technologies.

Funding will be delivered to support two types of projects:

  1. Advanced Technology Assessments to identify how advanced technologies could be implemented to improve the company’s productivity and capabilities. Funding for these projects can reach up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum grant of $15,000.
  2. Advanced Technology Adaptation/Adoption projects to improve productivity through the adaptation or adoption of new or upgraded advanced technologies, materials or processes. Funding for these projects can reach up to 35% of eligible costs to a maximum grant of $100,000.

There are currently more than 32,000 manufacturing businesses in southern Ontario. CME expects the Fund to create more than 1,000 new jobs and maintain another 2,500 by providing funding to up to 200 manufacturers.

The funding to support the program was delivered through FedDev’s Investing in Business Growth and Productivity Initiative, which aims to help established businesses to expand their operations, invest in productivity improvements, and compete globally.

SMART Advanced Technologies for Global Growth is the new iteration in a line of funding programs previously administered by CME. Since 2009, FedDev Ontario has invested more than $38 million in the industry association’s SMART-branded programming.

“Minister [Gary] Goodyear’s announcement of the new SMART Advanced Technologies for Global Growth will benefit the bottom line of Ontario manufacturers as it will help them become more productive and more competitive, while enabling them to invest in new, leading-edge technologies,” said Jayson Myers, President & CEO, CME. “We are pleased to partner with the Government of Canada on this important initiative that will help manufacture the future of Ontario.”

In addition, FedDev also announced yesterday that it will provide $9 million to the Yves Landry Foundation (YLF) to continue delivering its Achieving Innovation and Manufacturing Excellence (AIME) Global initiative. The renewed program, which will also launch Dec. 1, will help export-oriented manufacturers provide employee training to support the adaptation of new technology, processes or procedures that increase productivity and competitiveness.

AIME Global supports manufacturers in southern Ontario to undertake training activities such as: the development of new engineering skills, training in the use of new software, hardware or other tools necessary to support innovation; and training to adopt and adapt new technologies, manufacturing methods or any other business area that will make the company more competitive in the global marketplace.

The program will provide between 25 and 50% of training costs up to a maximum of $50,000 per project.  Approximately 200 manufacturers will receive funding through this Initiative, which is expected to create up to 1,100 new manufacturing jobs, maintain another 1,000, and train more than 6,900 workers.

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