The Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, known as FedNor handed out $6.7 million in funding to help companies in the Nipissing-Timiskaming region cope with the economic impacts of COVID-19.
The announcement came through a Zoom call Wednesday morning.
The funding will support 15 strategic initiatives that are aimed to help businesses adopt new technologies, commercialize new products, and expand their operations.
It will also support advanced manufacturing and boost productivity and growth throughout the area by matching skilled workers to employer needs.
“Today’s announcement supports priority projects that will help accelerate community economic development, enhance business growth, and facilitate innovation throughout the Nipissing-Timiskaming region," stated Terry Sheehan, MP for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development.
"This FedNor funding will help create a stronger, more diversified regional economy by helping businesses modernize and expand their operations, improve productivity and create middle-class jobs that support local families," added Sheehan.
Canadore College leads the way in the funding getting $1.7 million.
"FedNor funding of $930,400 will enable Canadore College to engage with companies, students, and faculty to support applied research projects," the FedNor release stated.
"Specifically, the investment will be used to purchase high-tech equipment for the Innovation Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping to assist with product design and development, process improvements, market-driven problem resolution, and/or prototype development and testing."
George Burton, president at Canadore College says they will put the funding to good use.
"Transferring knowledge is at the core of what we do here at Canadore College, and the investments announced today will help us to bring more science, information, and technology from the labs to the production lines," said Burton in a release.
"By helping to connect our faculty and students to more businesses and organizations, we are strengthening northern Ontario’s innovation ecosystem, and contributing to growing the economy in the process.”
Another $1,555,000 will go to Innovation Initiatives Ontario North (IION). This FedNor investment will enable IION to implement phase two of its Triple-P (Productivity, Prototype, Process improvements) initiative, expanding the program’s reach to support more small and medium-sized enterprises in Northeastern Ontario.
Nipissing First Nation will receive $1 million to help develop the 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 based in North Bay will also receive $750,000 to help bring their new Clean-Tech Modular Drilling System to the market with the hopes that it will create 18 new full-time jobs and a full commercial rollout of this system.
"Your outgoing support has been a critical part of our early success and business growth in the Clean-Tech Modular Drilling System," said David Jones, an official with Drillco during the Zoom call.
"The drill that you saw at PDAC was sold to a drilling company in Smithers, BC and we are proud to hear that it has been shipped and actively drilling diamond core in the golden triangle in northwestern B.C. with amazing success."
The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce received $475,650 in funding to help implement a pilot program to match skilled immigrants with businesses facing labour shortages in northern and rural communities.
Other organizations to benefit from the funding include:
- B&G Industrial Services Ltd - $636,626
- Resolution Machining - $219,098
- Miller Technology - $204,250
- Ontario Wood WORKS! - $90,000
- Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) - $55,879