Parts being printed via metal additive techniquesClick image to enlargeFedDev Ontario has invested $8.2 million to help the University of Waterloo to build on its additive manufacturing foundation and establish the Additive Manufacturing Alliance (AMA).

A collaboration between post-secondary institutions and major industry partners, the AMA will help businesses across southern Ontario overcome barriers to adopt cutting-edge advanced manufacturing technologies.

“This FedDev Ontario investment will help to engage and train a substantial number of companies in environmentally sustainable manufacturing opportunities offered by additive manufacturing to solidify Ontario’s additive manufacturing green supply chain and industry ecosystem,” says Ehsan Toyserkani, professor and Canada Research Chair in Additive Manufacturing, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at University of Waterloo.

The Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing (MSAM) Lab, housed at the University of Waterloo, is Canada’s most comprehensive academic research and development facility for next-generation metal additive manufacturing. With world-class equipment and the largest team of experts in the country, MSAM is a space for companies to adopt new technologies and innovative products, while also advancing technology through ongoing research.

 “With its cutting-edge research facility and world-class expertise, the University of Waterloo has become a global leader in additive manufacturing. Through collaboration, the new Additive Manufacturing Alliance will help businesses accelerate growth by adopting advanced manufacturing technologies into their operations and creating good jobs in our community, while also providing training and upskilling opportunities to prepare workers for the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow,” says Bardish Chagger, MP for Waterloo.

Providing access to the MSAM’s specialized metal 3D printing equipment and expertise, the AMA will help companies grow and move their technologies from prototype to production. It will also facilitate industry connections to integrate businesses into established supply chains and develop a talent pool of next generation additive manufacturing workers.

“This funding is instrumental in capitalizing on an unprecedented interest in additive manufacturing tech adoption in Canada. It will be used to scale up research and development activities and move them into more mature stages of the product development cycle and stimulate technology transfer to achieve tangible economic benefits for SME partners,”

Says Mihaela Vlasea, assistant professor, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at University of Waterloo

The project will support more than 90 businesses commercializing nearly 30 advanced manufacturing technologies, create and maintain over 275 jobs and provide training and outreach opportunities for about 1,500 students, research associates and industry personnel. It will also expand MSAM’s geographical reach beyond Kitchener-Waterloo and the Greater Toronto Area, with new participating companies from across southwestern Ontario.

In May 2017, FedDev Ontario earmarked $8.9 million to the University of Waterloo to establish MSAM. To date, the lab has helped 25 companies commercialize more than 30 new products, services, and processes.

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