Manufacturing Sector boosts R&D Investment

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While Hamilton has long been Ralph Dietrich,“Dairy Farmers of McMaster University is world known as one of the top Ontario congratulates Gay Lea Foods in renowned for their research medical research centres in their continued commitment to growing across many platforms including Canada, research in manufacturing in the City has made great strides.

One example is a recent announcement by Gay Lea Foods Co- operative Limited (“Gay Lea Foods”). The dairy co-operative announced a significant investment of $140 million over four years to establish an innovative, nutrition and nutraceutical-grade dairy ingredients hub in Canada.  These investments will occur in three centres across Ontario one of which will include Hamilton. Its plant on Morley St. (operating as Salerno Dairy) will be home to a Research & Development Centre of Excellence.This working laboratory and innovation incubator will be the nexus between R&D and commercialization throughout Gay Lea Foods’ operations, and also service their partners in the dairy, food and health sectors.This investment was recognized by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario Chair, Ontario dairy, through the construction of new, state-of-the-art processing capacity and R&D Centre.”

Much of the strength in research manufacturing in Hamilton comes from the unique partnerships between the public and private sectors in the City. Redeemer University, Mohawk College and McMaster University all contribute strongly to research and development in all sectors including manufacturing. Mohawk College’s research and innovation department branded as iDeaWORKS has been recognized by Research InfoSource as one of the top 50 Research Colleges in Canada.Their metal and plastic 3D printing facility has been especially useful to small and medium sized enterprises in Hamilton in the creation of prototypes, test materials, and evaluation of production and parts design manufacturing and their manufacturing research footprint in the city is vast.The McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI) has a history of research excellence with six research labs. Founded in 2000, MMRI provides a focus for high-profile research and serves as a vehicle for university- industry-government interaction. McMaster industry partnerships with the private sector is best represented by the awarding of a Research Chair by ArcelorMittal Dofasco.“This Chair was an outcome of a Manufacturing Summit that we hosted in conjunction with the Conference Board of Canada,” said Sean Donnelly, President and CEO,ArcelorMittal Dofasco. “Having this Chair at a research intensive university like McMaster will enhance the profile of manufacturing in Hamilton and Canada”.

Norm Schleehahn, Manager of Business Development with the City
of Hamilton likes the direction this sector is going in – “an announcement like Gay Lea Farms shows while Hamilton has always been a hub for traditional manufacturers, they are evolving and using Hamilton facilities, partnerships and people to innovate their business”.With the brain power at Hamilton’s major educational institutions and the desire of the private sector to create new technologies and opportunities going forward, Hamilton is a desired venue for corporations and students alike.