College opens Centre for Smart Manufacturing
- March 4, 2015
Conestoga announced the creation of the manufacturing centre last year following on the heels of the announcement by Canada's Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) that it would invest $2.3 million over the next five years to support the establishment of it. Support was also provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).
he Centre for Smart Manufacturing provides a regional hub for applied research to support the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector. Seven dedicated labs hosted at the college’s Cambridge and Doon campuses will support the development of new products and processes across a wide range of areas, including Advanced Sensors, Electronic Systems, Software, Light Manufacturing Production and Assembly, Prototype Production, 3D Printing, and Materials.
“The Centre for Smart Manufacturing will offer innovative solutions to real-world industry challenges, helping local businesses thrive and creating prosperity across our community,” says Conestoga president John Tibbits. “We are grateful for the support provided by the Government of Canada for the development of this important resource and look forward to working with our industry, community and academic partners to create new successes for manufacturing across our region.”
The Centre for Smart Manufacturing focuses on applied research for SMEs with limited resources for in-house research and development. Faculty from Conestoga’s School of Engineering and Information Technology provide leadership and expertise as they work with student research teams to develop practical solutions to today’s industry challenges.
Students engaged in research projects have the opportunity to work with industry partners as they apply their skills and knowledge to real-world challenges, gaining experience that will contribute to their future career success.
The Centre for Smart Manufacturing is administered by Conestoga’s Applied Research & Innovation group, and is designed to meet the needs of our region’s largest employment sector.
Manufacturing accounted for more than 19 per cent of total employment-more than 68,000 jobs-in Waterloo-Wellington in 2013. Waterloo Region alone has 1,800 manufacturing enterprises: almost 80 per cent of them are small, with fewer than 20 employees.