Ottawa backs Woodbridge R&D, Centre of Excellence. (Photo: Woodbridge)Click image to enlarge

Ottawa has announced an investment of up to $20 million in Canadian auto parts supplier Woodbridge Foam Corp.

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains announced the federal funding, which will support an approximately $100 million modernization project, which it says will create 110 jobs and maintain 727 more in Ontario.

Woodbridge will modernize two of its plants and create a Centre of Excellence where it will centralize its global research and development (R&D) activities in advanced materials and product design of moulded foam products, such as car seats and armrests. This will help the company increase production, better meet market demand for products, secure new business, and create and maintain highly skilled manufacturing jobs in Canada.

As part of the project, Woodbridge will invest more in R&D, see more intellectual property developed and retained in Canada, and expand its collaboration with high schools and post-secondary institutions.

This investment is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to attract and support investment in Canada's most dynamic and innovative sectors.

"With the support of the Canadian government's Strategic Innovation Fund, this significant investment will result in world-class manufacturing capabilities and accelerated innovation in our technology advantage,” said Charles Daly, president and CEO of Woodbridge. “We view this as an investment in our global competitiveness, supporting our purpose to create and sustain rewarding jobs, as we prepare for the future of a rapidly changing global automotive marketplace." 

When founded in 1978, Woodbridge operated a single Canadian plant. It now has more than 60 facilities around the world. The company specializes in manufacturing foam polymers and moulding for the automotive industry.

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Interested suppliers were asked to submit their applications earlier in June and were contacted by APMA if they had been selected.

The Consulate General of Canada in partnership with the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association (APMA) are being given an opportunity to showcase Canadian automotive capabilities at Magna's US facility. Canadian suppliers who apply for the opportunity, will be given the chance to meet with the company's purchasing and engineering managers.

Magna says it's interested in learning about new products, processes, materials or other innovations in the following areas: connected car (e.g. software, advanced camera vision); powertrain (e.g. alternate propulsion technologies); lightweighting (e.g. laser welded blanks, joining technologies); interior and seating systems; testing/production/material handling; and safety systems.

For more information, visit APMA online.

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