CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO — Today, Conestoga College officially opens its Centre for Smart Manufacturing (CSM) on its Cambridge campus, a cutting-edge facility aimed at giving local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) an affordable platform on which to test their manufacturing processes. Manufacturing is among the Waterloo region's most important economic sectors, accounting for approximately 20 percent of its workforce. The centre’s new infrastructure will support applied research projects driven by the needs of the area’s SMEs.
The CSM received $800,000 of research infrastructure support through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) College-Industry Innovation Fund to build upon its six existing labs, adding more than 270 square metres (or a sizeable three-storey home) of dedicated workspace, including a new prototyping lab. Its research activities will make use of new equipment to focus on two overarching themes: high-performance and information and computer technology-enabled manufacturing.
The work will also build on Conestoga's strengths in automation technologies and software and hardware design, and will integrate faculty expertise to generate innovative manufacturing solutions for the hundreds of SMEs in the Waterloo region. Applied research at the centre will give SMEs access to fresh ideas, state-of-the-art research facilities, and highly qualified and skilled personnel, in turn making these companies more competitive and successful.
“CFI funding is further enhancing the Centre’s ability to support local manufacturing businesses, helping them improve productivity and increase revenue,” says Gilles Patry, President and CEO of the CFI. “It is also contributing to the provision of quality training opportunities for Conestoga students to develop valuable skills for careers in advanced manufacturing.”
For more information about today’s official opening of Conestoga College’s Centre for Smart Manufacturing, click here.