Since COVID-19 arrived in Northern Ontario, the Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (ICAMP) at Canadore College in North Bay has watched as local companies have answered the call to contribute more products to help keep people safe during the pandemic.
“We have seen a huge increase in the last six months with COVID and companies re-innovating,” said ICAMP director Brad Gavan during a Sept. 16 virtual funding announcement.
“They’re also looking at new products; we have lots of PPE products here.”
An announcement of $1.7 million from FedNor will help companies served by ICAMP continue to research, develop and create new products, as well as adopt new technology, Gavan said.
The innovation centre also plans to hire two interns to assist with COVID-19-related projects, and Gavan said an announcement will be forthcoming on a new product developed at the centre.
ICAMP was one of 15 recipient projects in the Nipisisng and Timiskaming areas included in funding of more than $6.7 million from the federal funding agency on Sept. 16.
The announcement was made by Sault Ste. Marie MP Terry Sheehan on behalf of Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly.
Of the funding provided to ICAMP and Canadore College, $930,400 will be used to purchase high-tech equipment to assist with product design and development, process improvements, market-driven problem resolution, and/or prototype development and testing.
Another $378,000 will allow Canadore College to hire an industry liaison and research technician to initiate and complete late-stage and pre-commercial projects, with a focus on the mining supply and services, and process improvement.
An investment of $267,000 will help ICAMP produce additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for the medical industry.
A final $125,000 will be used to hire two COVID-19 Responsive Interns for a two-year period to work at ICAMP on projects that help create new projects that support the medical industry or assist in retooling product lines.
Additional recipients and funding include:
Innovation Initiatives Ontario North (IION) will receive $1,555,000 for its Triple-P (Productivity, Prototype, Process improvements) initiative, which provides qualifying businesses with up to $10,000 to help them adopt new technologies, create jobs, achieve meaningful growth and increase revenues.
Nipissing First Nation will receive $1 million to support the development of Bineshii Business Park by designing and constructing the local infrastructure required to open up to 35 commercial and light industrial lots.
Drillco Mining and Exploration will receive $750,000 to commercialize and roll out its clean-tech drill system.
B&G Industrial Services Ltd. will receive $636,626 to support the expansion of the organization’s existing fabrication facility and the purchase of specialized equipment to increase productivity.
The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce will receive $475,650 to implement a pilot program to match skilled immigrants with businesses facing labour shortages in northern and rural communities.
Resolution Machining received $219,098 to purchase new equipment, grow its operations, expand its service offerings and capitalize on new opportunities in emerging markets.
Miller Technology Inc. will receive $204,250 to purchase and install specialized equipment to increase productivity and enhance production.
Ontario Wood WORKS! will receive $90,000 to promote the province's forestry sector and its economic, social and ecological benefits.
The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) will receive $55,879 to promote the region in southern markets through the FONOM Video Project 2020.
Le Centre culturel ARTEM in New Liskeard will receive $49,375 to hire a project coordinator and consultants to explore different cooperative models for Francophone businesses in the region with a goal to support the economic, social and cultural vitality of the local community.
ACFO-Témiskaming will receive $25,000 to develop a feasibility study and business plan to evaluate the viability of bringing together various local Francophone organizations under one roof to service the region.