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McMaster advanced manufacturing forum highlights collaborationMay 17, 2018

More than 350 industry representatives, academics and students gathered to learn about the latest in advanced manufacturing during the sixth annual McMaster Manufacturing Forum.

Hosted by the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute, the all-day forum and open house on May 9 focused on the theme of 'Innovation through Collaboration' and how industry and academia can work together to move the sector forward.

The main topic of the day was Industry 4.0, an emerging industry trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing, and the launch of the new Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster or Next Generation Manufacturing (NEM), which is part of the $950-million federal government initiative. As well, tours to multiple research facilities at McMaster University were offered during the afternoon as part of an Industry Open House.

The event featured keynote speakers, Jayson Myers, CEO of Next Generation Manufacturing Canada, and Don McIntosh, Senior Fellow of Manufacturing Technology, Pratt and Whitney. As well, panel discussions were held on topics such as turning ideas into products and bringing the country’s advanced manufacturing resources together.

“The Supercluster doesn’t begin and end in a local area,” Myers said. “What we’re really trying to do is levergage as much of the research and development; the knowledge and the technology assets that we have in this region for the benefit of manufacturers and the benefit of the Canadian economy as a whole.”

In his opening comments, Rob Baker, Vice-President , Research at McMaster University, highlighted advanced manufacturing as a key priority for the institution.

“We’re working to mobilize our innovation and knowledge transfer to help strengthen Canada’s automotive, aerospace, materials and manufacturing sectors; and to help companies maximize and continue their critical investments in the development of new products, technologies, and skills – whether that’s in electric or autonomous vehicle technologies, light weighting initiatives, or biomedical devices, or anything in between,” Baker said. “We recognize our responsibility to support Canadian exports and to keep our economy growing.”

Ishwar K. Puri, McMaster’s Dean of Engineering who acted as master of ceremonies for the forum, emphasized the Faculty’s dedication to high quality research and education, and close collaboration with industry.

“Our efforts in research is to produce a resource; a resource that moves the economy forward and a resource that produces highly engaged citizen scholars and they will go on to transform the world by being intrapreneurs in your companies and entrepreneurs in this area and to help move the economy forward,” Puri said.