Canada is to invest C$10m (US$8.2m) establishing McMaster University’s iHub to support more than 230 SMEs to commercialise new technologies for automotive and aerospace sectors.
IHub, located at the McMaster Innovation Park, will bring together industry experts to support manufacturers, automotive, aerospace suppliers and SMEs to develop, test and incorporate technologies required for production of electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as energy-efficient and intelligent aircraft.
IHub will connect participants with large automotive and aerospace manufacturers that require the solutions, expanding opportunities for local suppliers from across southern Ontario to integrate into global supply chains.
The project is expected to support more than 230 SMEs, spanning the automotive corridor from Windsor to Oshawa, to facilitate the commercialisation of 100 new products or services, support up to 170 direct jobs and leverage C$16.8m from industry partners including Ford, Honda, Bombardier, Stellantis, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and De Havilland. IHub will also provide direct industry training of at least 200 personnel in SMEs looking to join global aerospace and automotive value chains.
The Canadian government maintains the project will enhance Ontario’s position as a global destination to develop, test and commercialise hybrid, electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as 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.
“IHub will help position Hamilton as a global destination for electric automotive and aerospace technologies, while providing direct industry training for at least 200 highly qualified personnel to ensure our workforce is at the forefront of these technologies for the years to come,” said Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi.
For her part, Minister of Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, Mélanie Joly, added: “Our government is committed to supporting our innovators and businesses through the creation of good jobs, while creating a greener, healthier future for all Canadians.
“IHub will bring together the major players in the automotive and aerospace sectors to ensure Ontario SMEs have an opportunity to integrate their solutions into these global supply chains. Advancing the shift toward electrification in these sectors is critical for reaching the government’s goal of accelerating Canada’s net zero emissions future.
“The work accomplished by iHub will set us on the right path.”