Canada’s Federal Budget 2021 outlined the need to accelerate the transition to a net-zero future while decarbonizing industrial supply chains. Those plans are now in full motion as FedDev Ontario has awarded a government grant of $7.5 million for Invest WindsorEssex (IWE) to develop and launch Canada’s first-ever automobility accelerator. The project builds on existing resources through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), including $3 billion over the next five years to prioritize investments in advancing innovative, strategic cleantech objectives to strengthen the Canadian ecosystem and economy.
“With FedDev Ontario support, entrepreneurs and SMEs in the automobility sector across Windsor-Essex will have access to a full spectrum of programming at the first automobility accelerator in Canada. Our government is committed to advancing the world-class automobility innovation cluster in the region, while doing what is necessary to accelerate the transition to a net zero future.”
– Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
With backing from the $7.5 million grant, along with an additional $12.3 million from private sector investments, IWE plans to support 1,350 entrepreneurs, boost businesses in the automobility sector, and attract $40 million in foreign investment for the region.
The project was kickstarted by an early FedDev Ontario investment of $5 million to help IWE boost the growth of a modernized automobility cluster by attracting investments, building partnerships, and creating new jobs. Since that government funding was awarded in September of 2019, IWE has established over 30 partnerships and projects, created more than 300 new jobs, and leveraged nearly $50 million in investment funds.
What is Canada’s First Automobility Accelerator?
The term automobility, as used in this article, refers to the global desire for zero-emissions from people, goods, and services by researching and developing advanced automotive technologies. Essentially it refers to the hope that new, progressive technologies will make the world a cleaner, safer, and better place, made easier for humanity to prosper.
The automobility accelerator will therefore include the creation of electric, autonomous and connected vehicles, as well as related sector projects such as cyber security which can establish a more secure platform for cleantech innovation to thrive, bringing a range of environmental, societal, and economic benefits to all.
By capitalizing on FedDev Ontario funding and Windsor-Essex’s deep-rooted strengths in automotive manufacturing, IWE aims to bring together key partners in the region to support the development of secure, zero-emissions technologies by establishing Canada’s first automobility accelerator. This means that cleantech entrepreneurs and related businesses will have the space, funds, and resources available for them to fully explore projects that require a strong capacity for accelerating and commercializing their advanced clean technologies.
“This investment will help solidify Windsor-Essex as the ‘Automobility Capital of Canada,’ where we are building a stronger, more diversified economy on a foundation of automotive excellence. This investment will create jobs, foster innovation, support our growing entrepreneurial sector and work to reduce emissions in service of a greener, sustainable economy.”
– Warden Gary McNamara, County of Essex
The IWE Automobility Accelerator will position the Windsor-Essex region as a hub for automobility innovation and help support Canada in achieving its economic and innovative goals towards becoming a cleaner, net-zero country by 2050.
Canadian Grants and Loans for the Automotive Sector
Federal government funding programs such as the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration (EVID) Program and the Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVI) can help Canadian automotive businesses scale up their production and invest their potential in helping build a net-zero future. If your business is within an automotive manufacturing sector to benefit from this type of funding, consider leveraging it to optimize and enhance your business’ growth and innovation.
Discover more Canadian government grants and loans for automotive manufacturing businesses through the Mentor Works Automotive Funding Programs directory list.