Federal funding is helping to support regional innovation, create jobs and strengthen the economy of Northeastern Ontario.
That’s according to Anthony Rota, MP for Nipissing-Timiskaming, who announced $3,218,500 to support four initiatives led by Innovation Initiatives Ontario North (IION) and Canadore College.
“What we’re seeing is existing companies expanding and innovating so that they can do much better as far as manufacturing goes, creating new jobs and maintaining jobs,” Rota says
The bulk of the money goes to IION to implement three programs, which are expected to help create up to 145 new jobs and maintain another 245.
- $1.1 million goes to the Step Forward Entrepreneurs Program, which provides up to $10,000 in non-repayable funding to qualifying businesses for sales and marketing, product development or business enhancement initiatives.
- $925,000 builds on the IION-Research and Prototyping in Development initiative, helping up to 75 businesses accelerate commercialization activities.
- $473,500 goes to phase three of the Skills Development Placement Program, which provides qualified workers with a 16-week work placement and matches them with innovative companies.
Canadore College is also receiving $750,000 in FedNor funding to implement the Responsive Innovation 4.0 initiative.
Over the next two years, officials say Canadore’s Innovation Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping (ICAMP) will undertake up to 30 individual research projects to help develop and commercialize new or modified products, processes, services or technologies and bring these new products to market.
George Burton, Canadore President and CEO says innovation is key to economic prosperity.
“This is all about preserving what we have and not only making life better for this generation, but the next one,” he says. “So that’s through application of technology, developing new products and processes so our products and processes are not only sought after within Canada, but worldwide.”
The ICAMP initiative is expected to create 65 new jobs and maintain 60 others.