Northern College Receives Over 1.5 Million Dollar FEDNOR Investment to Boost State-of-the-Art Innovation

November 16, 2020

TIMMINS, ON: Northern College is very pleased to announce that it will be receiving over 1.5 million dollars in funding to grow innovation, applied research and development (R&D) activities, and product commercialization, due to a generous investment from the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FEDNOR).

A FEDNOR investment totaling $1,581,748 will substantially boost the already impressive and expanding powerhouse of an Innovation Hub at the College.

$1,203,748 of that investment will enable Northern College to purchase state-of-the-art equipment to enhance its innovative research and development capacity at its recently established Innovation Hub.

To help accelerate further industry and academic partnerships for research and development projects, another $378,000 of FEDNOR funding will see Northern College hire additional staff, including an industry liaison coordinator and a pre-commercial research technician, to initiate and complete late-stage industry-academic applied pre-commercial projects, such as prototype testing and demonstrations.

Keenly aware of the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on local, regional and national economies, the Federal Government is using funds like FEDNOR to create strategic investments that aide in the creation, expansion and adoption of new technologies as a pathway for job creation.

“With a particular focus on mining technology, the Innovation Hub will focus on leading-edge, automation and advanced manufacturing, robotics and information and communications technology,” stated Dr. Audrey J. Penner, President and CEO of Northern College. “The funding received on Friday will see our impressive 23,000-square-foot facility provide an experiential learning space to accelerate industry research and product commercialization,” she added.

The Innovation Hub at Northern College features welding and machine shops, as well as a series of specialized labs that focus on resource exploration technology, advanced manufacturing, prototyping and testing, augmented and virtual reality, analysis and isolated research, and alternative energy. FEDNOR’s investment will help support the immediate goal of Northern College’s applied research and development initiative that spans over three years to support groundbreaking local and regional applied R&D activities.

The strategic investment supports the Government of Canada’s Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario by targeting investment towards creating more incubators, accelerators, and innovation hubs in the region.

“The Government of Canada has a phased plan for a robust, lasting recovery from the coronavirus recession. We will do whatever it takes to protect Canadians’ health, jobs and living standards, and to put COVID-19 behind us as quickly as we can and then to foster the strongest, most resilient, innovative, globally competitive and inclusive economy possible,” stated The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister of the investment in Northern College.

Responsible for FEDNOR as one of her portfolios, Minister Joly added, “This announcement will help connect communities and allow businesses to leverage technology and innovation to enhance productivity, commercialize new products and expand their operations.”

Northern College’s substantial win-fall is one of four regional initiatives that will help businesses innovate, commercialize new products and expand their operations. It will also help Northern College establish an innovation hub at its Timmins campus and enable NEOnet to improve information and communication technology (ICT) networks in the Cochrane and Temiskaming Districts.

“This is an exciting moment for technology and innovation in the Timmins-James Bay region. FEDNOR support will allow us to enhance broadband and telecommunications services and help businesses adopt digital technology and e-commerce solutions to improve productivity and profitability,” stated NEOnet Chairperson, Gerard Bruneau.

Northern College’s Board of Governors applauds the Federal Government’s commitment to seeing economic growth and stability in northeastern Ontario.

“We are proud to partner with FEDNOR and the Government for Canada to establish and equip an Innovation Hub at our College,” stated Doug Walsh, Chair of the Northern College Board of Governors. “This announcement will also allow us to facilitate an increased number of industry and academic partnerships for late-stage and pre-commercial projects, with a particular focus on automation and advanced manufacturing, robotics and information and communications technology, and we are grateful to have this level of support.”


Media Contact:
Kyle Gennings
Marketing & Communications Officer
T. 705-235-3211 ext. 2276
F. 705-235-6888
C. 705-288-1101

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