Western’s Collider Centre for Technology Commercialization (Collider) is anticipated to be one of North America’s go-to centres for research, testing and commercialization of advanced manufacturing technology.
The facility officially opened its doors Monday with the help of Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario, and Joe Preston, Member of Parliament for Elgin–Middlesex–London.
“What we have here is an opportunity you will not find anywhere else in North America,” said Goodyear, who spoke of the federal government’s commitment to supporting the manufacturing sector in southern Ontario, including the $200-million Advanced Manufacturing Fund, which is being delivered throughout Ontario.
“FedDev Ontario’s investment in this project is supporting the manufacturing industry – an important contributor to southern Ontario’s economic growth. (This) is a great example of how our government is backing our advanced manufacturers to bring new opportunities to the London area, and establish it as a hub for this sector.”
In 2012, FedDev Ontario announced a non-repayable contribution of up to $13.7 million toward total project costs of $37 million for Western to create the Fraunhofer Project Centre @ Western (FPC) and the Collider. The FPC is an applied research facility and a collaborative project between Western and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology, a world leader in the development and testing of advanced composite materials.
The Collider is a centre for commercialization of advanced manufacturing technology and will provide manufacturers with industrial research space, business services, contract research services and access to research staff and expertise, as well as production and testing equipment. It has the capacity to house 10-20 businesses at once and aims to accelerate the research and development process and help the region’s manufacturers get products to the global market.
John Capone, Western vice-president (research), said it is anticipated these centres will create 20 high-quality research and technical jobs, and will collaborate with up to 80 businesses a year by sharing their expertise and contribute to their accelerated commercialization and global opportunities.
“The Collider represents a huge step forward for research and innovation in Canada,” said Capone. “It is a bridge between research and industry, uncovering the next generation of discoveries.”
The FPC has already partnered with 21 businesses, including two U.S. entities and 19 Canadian entities. These businesses include small- and medium-sized enterprises and subsidiaries of large multinational enterprises with headquarters located in countries around the world.
Capone added this surely played a role Western’s Research Park being named by the University Business Incubators Index as one of the Global Top 25 University Business Incubators for 2014. More than 300 university business incubators in 67 countries were judged.
“As a research-intensive university, Western is working deliberately to create world-class facilities and developing new partnerships in support of excellence,” said Gitta Gulczycki, vice-president (resources and operations). “The Collider is another step toward achieving our vision, bringing researchers and industry together under one roof to make new discoveries and bring innovative products to world markets.”