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Federal Government invests in McMaster automotive and aerospace electrification hubJune 14, 2021

McMaster University has been awarded $10 million from FedDev Ontario to support an integrated automotive, aerospace and advanced manufacturing network.

Known as iHub, the state-of-the-art facility will expand the existing facilities at McMaster Innovation Park and will leverage another $16.8 million from industry partners including Ford, Honda, Bombardier, Stellantis (Fiat Chrysler) and MHI – RJ Aviation Group, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The funding was announced today by the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour and MP for Hamilton West-Ancaster Dundas.

Five McMaster engineers – Ali Emadi, Saeid Habibi, Mark Lawford, Ravi Selvaganapathy and Stephen Veldhuis – are leading the initiative, designed to strengthen the capacity and capabilities of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to adopt new technologies to better position themselves in an increasing digital and electrified economy. 

Together they will develop, test and incorporate the latest technologies required for the production of next-generation electric and autonomous vehicles and energy-efficient and intelligent aircraft.

Ali Emadi, Canada Research Chair in Transportation Electrification and Smart Mobility and NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Electrified Powertrains, says iHub is a gamechanger for both academic and industry research and innovation and builds on McMaster’s electrification expertise. 

“This funding will allow us to step up our game and support the ecosystem in Southern Ontario in an unprecedented way,” he said. “It will allow a wide range of automotive and aerospace companies – from start-ups to SMEs to OEMs – to bring innovative solutions to the market faster and position Canada as a global leader.”

 

McMaster President, David Farrar, saluted the federal government for its investment that will allow McMaster researchers to build on their successful track record of partnering with industry.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to advance our work with Canadian manufacturers in automotive and aerospace electrification,” he said. “This investment will enable economic recovery by connecting our manufacturers and SMEs, providing training and access to technology, and commercializing new products.”

As a central resource, iHub will connect participants with large automotive and aerospace manufacturers that require solutions, expanding opportunities for local suppliers from across southern Ontario to integrate into global supply chains. It is expected to support more than 230 SMEs, spanning the manufacturing corridor from Windsor to Oshawa, facilitate commercialization of 100 new products and services, and create significant employment.

“Today’s investment will boost our economy by supporting almost 170 local jobs and helping Canadian innovators succeed in a thriving industry,” said Tassi, who made the announcement of behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario. 

“iHub will position Hamilton as a global destination for electric automotive and aerospace technologies, while providing direct industry training for at least 200 highly qualified personnel to ensure that our workforce is at the forefront of these technologies for years to come.”