Archived — Harper Government Supports Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships

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For immediate release
November 5, 2012

London, Ontario – Manufacturers in southern Ontario working on the production of innovative lightweight materials will benefit from Western University's new Fraunhofer Project Centre and a centre for commercialization of advanced manufacturing technology, thanks to an investment from the Harper Government. The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), made the announcement today at the grand opening of the Fraunhofer Project Centre.

"Our Government's top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians," said Minister Finley. "By supporting the advanced materials manufacturing market, our Government is not only helping to create high-quality jobs, but we are also positioning this region to be a leader in the increasingly important field of lightweight construction."

With the Harper Government's $13.7 million contribution through FedDev Ontario, in addition to contributions from Western University, the City of London, the Government of Ontario and the private sector, the university is creating two Centres at its Advanced Manufacturing Park that focus on the composite materials industry. A composite is a material made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different properties, combined with the goal of creating superior performance in the finished product.

Both Centres will create opportunities for businesses to develop and test innovative composite lightweight products, systems and materials for the automotive, aerospace, defence, construction, medical devices and renewable energy sectors. This will help to speed up the research and development process and help the region's manufacturers get their products out to the global market. It is anticipated that these Centres will create 20 high-quality research and technical jobs. But more importantly, hundreds of businesses will be able to work with the Centres on new product development, potentially creating thousands of new jobs and benefiting communities and individuals all over southern Ontario.

The Fraunhofer Project Centre will offer a real-world manufacturing setting and complete production equipment. The Centre's relationship with the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology in Germany will allow businesses to access Fraunhofer researchers and expertise.

The centre for commercialization of advanced manufacturing technology will offer small- and medium-sized enterprises industrial research space, business services and access to research staff.

"Today's opening of the Fraunhofer Project Centre at Western represents a banner day for the University and for our great many institutional, community and industrial partners," said Western President, Amit Chakma. "FedDev Ontario's investment supports our efforts to create jobs and stimulate regional economic growth, while advancing scientific knowledge and innovation."

For more information on this project and the Prosperity Initiative, please see the backgrounder.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. 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 encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit or call 1-866-593-5505.

Follow us on Twitter @FedDevOntario

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For more information, contact:

Stephanie Thomas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario


Contribution to Western University's Centre for Technology Commercialization and Fraunhofer Project Centre

FedDev Ontario, through its Prosperity Initiative, is providing Western University with a non-repayable contribution of up to $13.7 million to create the Fraunhofer Project Centre (FPC) and a centre for commercialization of advanced manufacturing technology. The Centres are located at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) just north of Highway 401, off the Veterans Memorial Parkway, near London.

The 12,000 square foot FPC will serve as an applied research facility, featuring industrial-scale production equipment. It is a collaboration between Western and the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology. The German-based institute is part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Society, the largest applied scientific research organization in Europe. The institute is a world leader in the development and testing of advanced composite materials particularly for growing sectors such as automotive, aerospace, defence, construction, medical devices and renewable energy sectors, and it chose Western as a strategic North American partner. The Fraunhofer connection will help to attract foreign direct investment to the region, as Fraunhofer's European clients looking to manufacture in North America will want to locate close to these facilities in this region.

The 50,000 square foot centre for commercialization of advanced manufacturing technology will provide manufacturers with industrial research space, business services, contract research services, and access to Western and Fraunhofer research staff and expertise, as well as access to production and testing equipment. It will have the capacity to house 10 to 20 businesses at a time and will also serve as the headquarters of the AMP.

Founded in 1878, Western University is home to more than 30,000 faculty, staff and students. It is a Canadian leader in industrial contract and applied research, making it an ideal partner for Fraunhofer.

For more information, please visit

Prosperity Initiative

FedDev Ontario's Prosperity Initiative encourages 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.

Funding is available for projects that meet the following objectives:

  • enhance productivity, by accelerating the adoption of new technologies, processes and skills to achieve higher output in relation to investment;
  • 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

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