A federal minister was in the region today to announce more than $73 million in funding to help post-secondary institutions, including Georgian College, that are linked to the manufacturing sector.
Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan was at Barrie’s Georgian College campus on Thursday to make the announcement, which includes $2 million toward local manufacturing competitiveness.
The money will flow over the next five years and assist in strengthening students' education, helping them get into the local workforce.
Duncan said two new programs will help with scientific research.
“This is a good day for research,” she said. “First, through NSERC’s (National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) college and community innovation program, we are providing more than $57 million for 77 college industry collaboration projects across the country.
"The second program we’re announcing is funding for the College-Industry Innovation Fund," Duncan added, "because if you do research, you need funding to do so, but you also need your labs and tools. And that’s what this will help with.”
Students will work on more than 100 projects with small- and medium-sized businesses in the region in the field of modern technology, virtual reality, 3D printing, automation and robotics.
“It will allow hundreds of industry experts, students and faculty to be trained in advanced manufacturing and the next generation of industrial technologies,” Duncan said. “More importantly, it will create jobs for this community.”
The funding is part of Canada’s Science Vision and the government’s commitment of more than $10 billion to science research.
Georgian College president and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes says the funding will help with research, technology and community jobs.
“We are truly grateful to be among the institutions receiving this grant here today,” West-Moynes said. “We know that, across Canada, it will make a difference, but here our research activity will engage more than 50 industry partners.
"We have over 6,000 employers who take co-op placements with our students every year, and its those partners who have come to the table on this research opportunity," she added.