Ontario supports an $18.5 million surge in Southwestern Ontario economy with $1.5 million Regional Development Program investment
MEDIA RELEASE via Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
WINDSOR, ON., February 8, 2022 – The Ontario government is supporting an $18.5 million investment by auto parts manufacturer Ventra Group to help strengthen local manufacturing and Ontario’s automotive and domestic manufacturing sectors, while creating jobs, attracting investment to the local economy and supporting the province’s economic recovery. The province is investing $1.5 million through the Regional Development Program, which will help create 18 jobs.
“Our government is making targeted investments in local manufacturers to help them create good local jobs,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “We thank Ventra Group for contributing to our province’s vibrant, innovative, and growing automotive sector. Investments like this one will help further develop Ontario’s EV battery supply chain and play a pivotal role in Phase 2 of our Driving Prosperity auto plan. Ventra Group is also making a significant impact on the Windsor regional economy by investing in Ontario’s talented workforce and creating the conditions for long-term economic growth.”
Ventra Group, part of the Flex|N|Gate group of companies will invest $18.5 million to create the Flex-Ion Battery Innovation Centre. The company is building a pilot line to produce advanced lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and will conduct basic product and manufacturing technology research and development. Collaborating with world-class local academic researchers and Ontario businesses in the growing zero-emission mobility and energy storage sectors, Ventra Group will assess, develop and optimize materials and performance in the commercialization of prototype batteries and emerging storage technologies, helping to ensure durable competitiveness.
“The Flex-Ion Battery Innovation Centre marks a critical first milestone in our strategy to level up our next-generation battery design, material localization and manufacturing skills,” said Shahid Khan, Flex|N|Gate’s CEO, COO and President. “We are privileged and delighted that Ontario’s warm welcome and generous support has allowed us to create an Ontario-first ecosystem within the global markets for advanced traction batteries and battery manufacturing technologies.”
Ontario is investing more than $100 million through the Regional Development Program from 2019 to 2023 to support distinct regional priorities and challenges and boost the province’s economic recovery. The program provides cost-shared funding to businesses, municipalities and economic development organizations to help local communities attract investment, diversify their economies, and create good, local jobs.
In November, the government released Phase 2 of Driving Prosperity ― The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector. The next phase of the 10-year plan will help Ontario’s auto sector pivot to producing the automotive technologies of the future, including the next generation of electric vehicles and the electric batteries those vehicles need. Phase 2 positions Ontario as a North American leader in developing and building the vehicle of the future through emerging technologies and advanced manufacturing processes.
• The government launched the Regional Development Program for Eastern and Southwestern Ontario in November 2019. Businesses and municipalities can get financial support through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) and Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) and guided access to a range of complementary services and supports.
• Vehicle assembly and auto parts production directly supports more than 92,000 Ontario jobs, with hundreds of thousands more spin-off jobs in communities across the province.
• The province’s vehicle assembly facilities are supported by a supply chain comprising over 700 parts firms and over 500 tool, die, and mold makers.
• The government recently launched the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness (AMIC) stream of the Regional Development Program to help support Ontario advanced manufacturers to invest in the equipment, advanced technologies and skilled workforce needed to improve competitiveness and growth, and to create, retain and bring jobs back to every region of the province.
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