Auto Service World
News   June 15, 2021   by Christine Hogg

Government of Canada invests in Hamilton-based clean automotive hub

The integration of advanced technology across the automotive and aerospace sectors is transforming the way we travel and transport goods, while offering substantial environmental benefits by reducing emissions and moving us closer to a zero emissions future.

Manufacturers integrating new technology are growing in number and SMEs will be required to quickly pivot their operations and seize new supply chain opportunities as the automotive and aerospace sectors embrace greater electrification.

On June 14, Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas, announced a $10-million FedDev Ontario investment for McMaster University to establish iHub, a university-based integrated automotive, aerospace and advanced manufacturing network. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario.

iHub, located at the McMaster Innovation Park, will bring together industry experts at state-of-the-art facilities to support manufacturers, automotive and aerospace suppliers and SMEs to develop, test and incorporate the latest technologies required for the production of next-generation electric and autonomous vehicles and energy-efficient and intelligent aircrafts. iHub will then connect participants with large automotive and aerospace manufacturers that require these solutions, expanding opportunities for local suppliers from across southern Ontario to integrate into these global supply chains.

The project is expected to support more than 230 SMEs, spanning the automotive corridor from Windsor to Oshawa, to facilitate the commercialization of 100 new products or services, support up to 170 direct jobs and leverage $16.8 million from industry partners including Ford, Honda, Bombardier, Stellantis (Fiat Chrysler), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and De Havilland. iHub will also provide direct industry training of at least 200 high-quality personnel in SMEs looking to join global aerospace and automotive value chains.

This project will enhance Ontario’s position as a global destination to develop, test and commercialize hybrid, electric and autonomous vehicles and intelligent aircraft technologies while accelerating the path to net zero emissions.

iHub will provide access to expertise and resources in electrification in southern Ontario to support the shift to electrification, encouraging investments in expertise to be made domestically. As we work towards recovery from the global pandemic, protecting our environment and continuing to innovate while creating good jobs is essential to creating a brighter, healthier future for all Canadians.

Quick Facts

  • McMaster University was recently named the most research-intensive university in the annual ranking of Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities for the fourth year in a row.
  • In 2011, FedDev Ontario provided $11.5 million in support of the establishment of the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC), a globally-unique facility supporting the development of next-generation vehicles, housed at the McMaster Innovation Park.
  • FedDev Ontario has invested over $42 million in projects in the Hamilton Census Division since November 2015, including a recent $6 million in Innovation Factory to establish an innovation hub for businesses to commercialize made-in-Canada healthcare solutions.
  • Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested more than $567 million in 261, in both advanced manufacturing and manufacturing sectors and $162 million in 86 clean tech projects across southern Ontario.
  • Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested $136.7 million in the automotive sector, including support for Area X.O. and the recently announced Windsor automobility accelerator.
  • In Summer 2020, electric-powered vehicles accounted for 3.5 percent of total new vehicles registered in Canada with zero-emissions. More than 70 percent of these vehicles were battery-operated, with over 95 percent registered in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

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