Canadian gov’t investing $10 million in smart factory for Manitoba tech companies, aerospace students

Manitoba Smart Factory

The Government of Canada announced that it is investing $10 million over the next five years to support Manitoba’s aerospace industry. The investment is being provided through Western Economic Diversification Canada, a program that promotes economic development in Western Canada.

The Government of Canada said that Winnipeg’s Red River College will use the funding to create a new space, dubbed the Smart Factory. The Smart Factory will be dedicated to connecting aerospace and other manufacturing organizations with specialized equipment and technology to support advanced manufacturing processes.

The funding will also be used to expand the Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training (CATT), an industrial campus where people can test new processes and materials without interrupting production flow.

“These new facilities will ensure our students and industry partners in aerospace and manufacturing remain at the forefront of research and training.”
– Paul Vogt, president, Red River College

In addition to investing $10 million, the Canadian government is also partnering with Red River College and Winnipeg-based aerospace company StandardAero, which are contributing $4.5 million and $1.2 million, respectively, to the Smart Factory and CATT’s expansion.

“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring manufacturing and aerospace sectors remain a source of well-paying jobs in Manitoba,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development. “By expanding the technological capabilities at Red River College, we are helping to align the needs of industry with the expertise of post-secondary institutions.”

In a blog post, Red River College said the new Smart Factory — which is expected to open in 2018 — will act as an applied research space, experiential learning facility, and technology demonstration site. Students will experience working in a factory and learn skills related to the aerospace industry, while Manitoba’s tech companies will gain access to equipment, instructors, and researchers to test and build out their solutions.

Red River College also said that with the funding, CATT, which is located at StandardAero, will undergo its third expansion, which will include “cold spray technology, non-contact inspection, high-speed laser scanning systems, robotic welding seam tracking, and upgrades of existing digital X-ray, laser systems.”

“These new facilities will ensure our students and industry partners in aerospace and manufacturing remain at the forefront of research and training,” said Paul Vogt, president of Red River College. “This expansion is going to have far-reaching impacts across the province and will be able to serve both the aerospace and non-aerospace industries through direct access to the College’s equipment, facilities, and expertise.”

This story was originally published on BetaKit.