Kirkland Lake Gold has donated $500,000 to help advance applied research and development at Northern College in Timmins.
The funds will be used to support the college’s new 24,000-square-foot applied research lab through its Innovation Hub.
Located in the school’s F wing, the space will include labs for R&D in manufacturing, prototyping, welding, carpentry, virtual reality, simulations, alternative energy, and mining exploration, along with additional classroom space.
Company president-CEO Tony Makuch was in Timmins on Dec. 20 to make the presentation.
“We fully recognize the importance of advancing research and innovation in our region and are delighted to be supporting Northern College and its Innovation Hub in launching this important new initiative,” Makuch said in a Dec. 20 news release.
“Our investments in community-driven organizations and initiatives like those at Northern College represent our shared commitment to improving the quality of life in the areas where we operate.”
Northern College’s Innovation Hub serves as a prototyping and testing centre for new products, processes, and services, with the goal of making industry more competitive and boosting regional economic development.
It simultaneously offers experiential learning opportunities to students and the broader community.
Among the businesses it’s helped support are Handy Hydrant, a portable water pump used in firefighting; Storring Engineering & Design Services Inc., an engineering company that offers services to the manufacturing, forestry, mining, aerospace and medical sectors; and Mine Safety Solutions, which manufactures gloves designed for industrial use.
“The new Innovation Hub will open the door to many more education and career opportunities for the students of Northern College, as well as promote business opportunities in the area,” said Amy McKillip, Northern’s manager of applied research, entrepreneurship and innovation, in the release.
The school said because of a number of requests from businesses looking for R&D space, it had outgrown its existing innovation facilities, which prompted the expansion.
Northern also received $190,000 in federal funding in July toward the hub.