Western University, along with McMaster and Waterloo, is receiving $35 million in provincial funding over the next five years for an Advanced Manufacturing Consortium.
The funding was announced at last week’s Ontario budget announcement.
The Advanced Manufacturing Consortium is a project that hopes to create the next generation of additive manufacturing, digital components and devices. In total, the project is expected to cost $50 million.
University Students’ Council president, Sophie Helpard, was in attendance at Queen's Park for the budget reveal and heard about the funding first-hand.
“Essentially the consortium was a proposal made by Western, McMaster and Waterloo," she said. "So the provincial government has decided to invest in it."
The project is part of Ontario’s goal to transition the traditional manufacturing sector to advanced manufacturing.
“Working together, our universities are uniquely positioned to build greater economic activity for our cities and region,” said Western University President Amit Chakma in a press release. “We are buoyed by the possibilities this funding holds for research, innovation and a dynamic knowledge-based economy in Ontario.”
According to Western’s press release, the three institutions were selected due to their strong research, training and commercialization capabilities.
The three insitutions have worked together in these areas in the past. For example, Western and McMaster have worked with the Fraunhofer Composites Centre at Western that develops, tests and validates new lightweight materials and advanced manufacturing processes.
“This is part of Western’s strategic goals in terms of their research capacities,” Helpard said. “Obviously Western has engaged in many different research projects at one time, but this has been one that has been very prioritized.”
Helpard is excited about the consortium and thinks the project will be very beneficial to Western.