Guelph’s diverse and growing economy is anchored on advanced manufacturing, agri-food, life sciences, environmental innovation and technology sectors. Here are just a few of Guelph’s successful homegrown businesses. #GuelphProud
Advanced manufacturing counts 360 businesses in Guelph. The largest is Linamar, provider of powertrain components to the automotive, commercial truck, agriculture, marine, energy and industrial markets. It operates 22 plants in Guelph among 61 worldwide, with total sales of $6 billion in 2016.
The Guelph operations employ about 10,000 and are the company’s most productive plants, said Mark Stoddart, chief technology officer and executive vice-president of sales and marketing. There is tremendous manufacturing knowledge, expertise and pride in the city, he says.
“Guelph has always had a strong manufacturing presence, with Guelph Tool, Ralston Metal Products and Hammonds Manufacturing. There is a long history here and a lot of companies have been established in Guelph.”
Linamar was founded with a single lathe in 1966 and since then has built its own local ecosystem of suppliers, contractors and partners.The company is making a $500-million investment in artificial intelligence, collaborative advanced robotics, and 3D printing, backed by about $100 million in federal and provincial funding.
NSF International is a global organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences and consumer goods industries. It’s part of Guelph’s agricultural biotechnology cluster, the top-ranked in Ontario.
NSF merged with the Guelph Food Technology Centre in 2013, which was founded by OMAFRA, the University of Guelph and local food industry stakeholders.
“The original mandate of GFTC was to provide state-of-the-art food research and development facilities, commercialization expertise, and capabilities to provide “one-stop shopping” for companies seeking to compete in local, national and global markets,” said Lise Smedmor, senior manager, marketing and communications for North America.
“The Canadian office of NSF International now has over 100 employees, works each year with 5,000 businesses and trains more than 12,000 global professionals in the food and beverage industry.”
NSF opened a 20,000-square-foot facility in 2016.
“Guelph is well-positioned as it’s located within Canada’s growing food cluster, one of the largest in North America, and the new facility supports and expands our capabilities and leadership.”
BIOREM is a 25-year-old environmental biotech company that designs air pollution control solutions using natural microbes to destroy airborne contaminants in industrial emissions. Its processes are used in more than 1,200 installations in 23 countries, including automotive paint facilities, rendering plants, wastewater plants and landfills.
BIOREM is headquartered in Guelph, with offices in NewYork,Atlanta, Beijing and Wuhu, China.
“Guelph is a special place. The culture and aesthetics of the city continually draw me back,” said president and CEO Derek Webb. “There is a close-knit community of other environmental and clean-tech firms, and an open, supportive and progressive municipal government, from the economic development group all the way up to the mayor.”
He said the company draws on co-op students and graduates from the University of Guelph and the city provides terrific access to the GTHA, Kitchener-Waterloo and the United States.
“I am always encouraging others to set up shop in Guelph. I am currently working with the Guelph government to bring direct foreign investment into the area and am actively working to set up an international clean-tech innovation ecosystem based in Guelph.”
Mirexus, the result of research at the University of Guelph, will soon move into its new 12,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, the first of its kind in the world.There, it will produce 16 tons of PhytoSpherix, extracted and purified glucose particles from sweet corn that have many applications in personal care, nutrition and biomedicine.
The City sold the company land in its Hanlon Creek Business Park
at a competitive price and city staff and leaders “have helped us move this along quickly while maintaining their standards.That’s important to us in taking advantage of the market opportunities open to us,” said Phil Whiting, president and CEO.
“We need to be where the knowledge lives and Guelph is a great place to live,” saidWhiting. “There really was no other place that comes close to Guelph for us.
Read the full feature on living, working, and doing business in the City of Guelph through our latest Globe & Mail insert here.