$7.5 million for Invest WindsorEssex to support 1,350 entrepreneurs and scaling firms in the automobility sector and attract $40 million in foreign direct investment
As a centre for automobility and advanced manufacturing excellence, Windsor-Essex is harnessing momentum to strengthen the region’s developing automobility cluster. The Government of Canada continues to make investments to support its success in high-tech development, research and innovation, amid and beyond the pandemic.
Today, Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor–Essex, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced a FedDev Ontario non-repayable contribution of $7.5 million for Invest WindsorEssex (IWE) to accelerate the development of a world-class automobility innovation cluster and support 1,350 entrepreneurs and scaling companies in Windsor-Essex.
IWE brings together key stakeholders in the Windsor-Essex region to build out a globally competitive automobility cluster, focused on transitioning Canada’s largest automotive cluster to a leader in secure, zero emissions vehicles technologies. At the same time, it attracts new investment in the automobility sector requiring high skilled jobs and developing a talent and entrepreneurship pipeline to fill the high skilled jobs and commercializing the new technologies needed for this sector to thrive.
With this investment, IWE will establish Canada’s first automobility accelerator, offering a full spectrum of first-in-Canada training and other programming to support the upskilling of automobility entrepreneurs. It will also work to expand key commercialization assets in the sector, which will help entrepreneurs to accelerate the commercialization of their technologies and also attract new investment to the region.
Through this project, IWE will support 1,350 entrepreneurs and scaling firms in the automobility sector—serving to reduce the region’s high unemployment rate and increase its low entrepreneurship rate. Additionally, this project will attract $40 million in new foreign direct investment to the region and will accelerate the path to net zero emissions and contribute to de-carbonization efforts across the automotive and aerospace supply chains in southern Ontario.
FedDev Ontario’s investment will also leverage an additional $12.3 million in private sector and other matching funding.
Today’s investment builds on an initial $5-million FedDev Ontario investment, announced in September 2019, to help IWE establish the cluster and to catalyze the growth of a next-generation automobility cluster, attract investment to the region and create jobs of the future. The project has initiated over 30 partnerships and projects to date, resulting in more than 300 new jobs created and nearly $50 million in funds leveraged for the region.
The Honourable Mélanie Joly
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
With FedDev Ontario support, entrepreneurs and SMEs in the automobility sector across Windsor-Essex will have access to a full spectrum of programming at the first automobility accelerator in Canada.
“Our government is committed to advancing the world-class automobility innovation cluster in the region, while doing what is necessary to accelerate the transition to net zero future and de-carbonize industrial supply chains. We continue to make investments to create jobs, help Canada build capacity and stay at the forefront of technology as we build back better.”
Member of Parliament for Windsor-Tecumseh
Today’s announcement furthers the local economic development strategy of the Windsor-Essex region to anchor its growth around a developing automobility cluster—one that will support 1,350 entrepreneurs and companies and attract $40 million in foreign direct investment here to Windsor-Essex.
“The far-reaching results of FedDev Ontario’s investments can be seen in small-and medium-sized businesses across the region that are successfully weathering COVID-19 and building resilience for the future”
Mayor, City of Windsor
This substantial new funding will help Windsor stay competitive in a rapidly changing global marketplace and continue the excellent work already started to position Windsor-Essex as a leader in the fourth industrial revolution.
“It also aligns perfectly with Windsor Works, our new strategy to diversify and strengthen our economy.”
Warden, Essex County
This investment will help solidify Windsor-Essex as the automobility capital of Canada, where we are building a stronger, more diversified economy on a foundation of automotive excellence.
“This investment will create jobs, foster innovation, support our growing entrepreneurial sector and work to reduce emissions in service of a greener, sustainable economy.”
President & CEO, Invest WindsorEssex
The Windsor-Essex region is the “Automobility Capital of Canada”.
“This investment builds upon the success of our existing initiatives and allows us to develop new action plans and enhance current programming in the automobility entrepreneurship space. Capitalizing on our location advantages, highly skilled workforce and growing automobility sector, this funding will continue to encourage diversification and continued prosperity in Windsor-Essex.”
President & CEO, WEtech Alliance
Startups, scaleups and entrepreneurs play an important role in the development and success of the automobility innovation cluster.
“We know innovation is critical to our success as a nation and we know Windsor-Essex has many more “firsts” to add to Canada’s innovation story.
Through this partnership with FedDev Ontario and regional partners, WEtech Alliance will build on its history of supporting startup and scaling companies, ensuring made-in-Canada solutions can emerge with the support of Windsor-Essex’s dynamic automobility ecosystem. It is collaboration at every level that will boost Canada’s competitiveness in the future economy. And today, we celebrate the greater impacts that come with partnerships.”
President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Windsor
The funding announced today not only acknowledges the tremendous potential of University of Windsor research and teaching—it is a vote of confidence for the Windsor-Essex region.
“Today’s announcement recognizes the unique position of the University of Windsor in supporting the Windsor-Essex region as the Automobility Capital of Canada.
With a mandate of secure, zero-emission movement of people, goods, and services, using advanced information technology, the University of Windsor will expand on collaborative efforts with academic and industry partners in such areas as vehicle cybersecurity and safety; electric vehicle powertrain commercialization; Next-Gen Chief Technology Officer (CTO) programming to train students and entrepreneurs in the fundamentals of intellectual property; and the development of degree-related programs and courses in V2X, simulation, and other associated technologies.”
President, St. Clair College
St. Clair students and faculty in potentially dozens of programs have the potential to make research-and-development contributions to what could be one of the most important economic advancement initiatives to occur in our community in recent memory.
We are excited to get started.”
“Once our students are instilled with the background knowledge and skills of their disciplines, St. Clair’s task is to encourage them to look forward, to improve existing techniques and products, and to innovate new ones. This automobility project does precisely that, and I commend FedDev Ontario for its support and investment.”