London, Ontario is home to several of Canada’s most successful research and development-focused manufacturing businesses. With over 30,000 citizens of London’s 366,150 inhabitants being employed in advanced manufacturing jobs, the city’s economy relies on the continued success of its manufacturing businesses. Over 700 manufacturing companies exist in London due to world-class infrastructure, close proximity to three United States border crossings, support from governments, and access to research institutions in the area. This article will highlight some of the best manufacturing research institutions available to businesses in the London, Ontario area. These research and development opportunities can be used to further design and test products or processes, gaining a technological advantage over competition.
Did you Know: London’s Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) host frequent events for manufacturers in the region. Stay up-to-date on these learning and networking opportunities by visiting LEDC’s events page.
Research and Development Centres for London Manufacturers
Canadian Centre for Product Validation
The Canadian Centre for Product Validation is the first of its kind in Canada and will provide businesses with the space, equipment, and support services for a wide range of industries including aerospace, automotive, and military. Located within Fanshawe College’s campus, this state-of-the-art facility will provide opportunities for businesses to complete research and development projects while training the next generation of skilled manufacturing workers. A variety of testing projects can be carried out in this facility, including electrical, mechanical, thermal, and life cycle testing.
Collider Centre for Technology Commercialization
London’s Collider Centre is a business incubator, hosting a variety of advanced manufacturing businesses looking to increase the rate they can deliver products to market through accelerated research and development activities. This commercialization-focused R&D centre enables the collaboration of several different businesses, researchers, and post-secondary students to prepare market-ready products. This collaboration will allow all participants to learn and gain new advantages, enabling their competitiveness domestically and internationally.
Fraunhofer Project Centre for Composite Research
Modern technology and materials have become lighter, stronger, and faster than their predecessors. Leading the way in developing new and better materials, the Fraunhofer Project Centre for Composite Research enables manufacturers in the automotive, transportation, defence, renewable energy, and construction industries the ability to experiment and develop advantages to outperform other businesses around the world. A few of the projects researched here include Long Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastics (LFT), Direct – Sheet Moulding Compounds (D-SMC), and High Pressure Resin Transfer Moulding (HP RTM).
Particle Technology Research Centre
Western University’s Particle Technology Research Centre promotes industrial research collaborations between the university’s Department of Biochemical Engineering and industry partners. The research and development hub, currently in its 10th year of operation, provides eight laboratories which span over 10,000 sq. feet of space and contain over $5 million in state-of-the-art instrumentation. Businesses accessing this institution receive the research assistance of 19 faculty members and over 100 researchers, providing in-depth research which would be impossible to achieve by only using internal talent.
Find Canadian Government Funding for Collaborative Research and Development Projects
Increasing the scope of projects, decreasing the time it takes to complete projects, and consulting with top researchers are all benefits to using research and development centres like the four mentioned above. Further promoting the use of these resources, the provincial and federal governments provide small business grants to organizations who participate in collaborative research and development projects.
An established Canadian government funding organization, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), subsidizes collaborative research initiatives between industry and academia. Businesses can utilize these Canadian research grants to partner with many of the above institutions.
NSERC Engage is one such grant, which provides up to $25,000 to businesses who participate in post-secondary research collaborations. This funding will be contributed to the educational institution to support the project costs incurred by the research team. NSERC’s Engage program is specifically designed to assist research projects lasting 4-6 months in length. Fortunately, businesses conducting NSERC Engage projects can also extend their project up to a year, as well as receive additional funding by accessing the NSERC Engage Plus extension program. Research projects which require the dedication of a post-secondary research team for 1-5 years should consider leveraging NSERC’s Collaborative Research and Development (NSERC CRD) program, where projects can receive up to $150,000 per year for up to 5 years to cover research expenses. Businesses are expected to contribute in-kind contributions to NSERC Engage and both in-kind and cash contributions for NSERC CRD.
Continue Reading: SR&ED vs IRAP: An R&D Funding Comparison & Analysis: IRAP and SR&ED are two of the most popular government funding research grants. SR&ED is a tax credit, while IRAP offers Canadian business grants. Read this article to determine which program is best for your business.