Canada’s regional government of Ontario is investing $15 million to increase the competitiveness of the area’s automotive parts industry. The funding, part of Ontario’s five-year $400-million Business Growth Initiative, will support innovation in the automotive and transportation sectors.
The Business Growth Initiative investments are focused on building a world-leading automotive and transportation innovation ecosystem in Ontario. The Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Program is a $5-million two-year program to help smaller auto parts companies adopt the latest technologies and close technological gaps. The aim is to help companies increase productivity, adapt quickly to market changes and take advantage of new opportunities with larger manufacturers.
A further $10 million has been committed to the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium, a centre to support R&D and commercialisation of technologies such as light-weighting and autonomous software.
It is claimed that Ontario’s Business Growth Initiative will grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale up and modernising regulations for businesses.
“To drive economic growth, Ontario businesses need to take their firms to the next level and embrace the technologies of tomorrow. By lowering the cost of doing business, helping more companies to scale up, and supporting innovation, we’ll produce global frontrunners that lead technological disruption and position Ontario to win the jobs and investments of the future,” stated Brad Duguid, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.
Commenting on the investment plans, Flavio Volpe, President of Canada’s Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, stated “We identified a gap, worked with this government to create the right vehicle to address it and are looking forward to working in partnership with them to deploy this critical modernisation funding. Small and medium-sized companies face increasingly mobile competition and this program allows for them to develop the tools required to compete most efficiently.”