Government of Canada invests in Hamilton-based clean automotive and aerospace hub

News release

$10 million to establish McMaster University’s iHub to support more than 230 SMEs to commercialize new technologies for next-generation automotive and aerospace sectors 

June 14, 2021 – Hamilton, Ontario 

The integration of advanced technology across the automotive and aerospace sectors is transforming the way we travel and transport goods, while offering substantial environmental benefits by reducing emissions and moving us closer to a zero emissions future. Manufacturers integrating new technology are growing in number and SMEs will be required to quickly pivot their operations and seize new supply chain opportunities as the automotive and aerospace sectors embrace greater electrification.

This is why, today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas, announced a $10-million FedDev Ontario investment for McMaster University to establish iHub, a university-based integrated automotive, aerospace and advanced manufacturing network. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario.

iHub, located at the McMaster Innovation Park, will bring together industry experts at state-of-the-art facilities to support manufacturers, automotive and aerospace suppliers and SMEs to develop, test and incorporate the latest technologies required for the production of next-generation electric and autonomous vehicles and energy-efficient and intelligent aircrafts. iHub will then connect participants with large automotive and aerospace manufacturers that require these solutions, expanding opportunities for local suppliers from across southern Ontario to integrate into these global supply chains.

The project is expected to support more than 230 SMEs, spanning the automotive corridor from Windsor to Oshawa, to facilitate the commercialization of 100 new products or services, support up to 170 direct jobs and leverage $16.8 million from industry partners including Ford, Honda, Bombardier, Stellantis (Fiat Chrysler), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and De Havilland. iHub will also provide direct industry training of at least 200 high-quality personnel in SMEs looking to join global aerospace and automotive value chains.

This project will enhance Ontario’s position as a global destination to develop, test and commercialize hybrid, electric and autonomous vehicles and intelligent aircraft technologies while accelerating the path to net zero emissions. iHub will provide access to expertise and resources in electrification in southern Ontario to support the shift to electrification, encouraging investments in expertise to be made domestically. As we work towards recovery from the global pandemic, protecting our environment and continuing to innovate while creating good jobs is essential to creating a brighter, healthier future for all Canadians.


“Today’s investment will boost our economy by supporting almost 170 local jobs and helping Canadian innovators succeed in a thriving industry. iHub will help position Hamilton as a global destination for electric automotive and aerospace technologies, while providing direct industry training for at least 200 highly qualified personnel to ensure that our workforce is at the forefront of these technologies for the years to come."
- The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas

“Our Government is committed to supporting our innovators and businesses through the creation of good jobs, while creating a greener healthier future for all Canadians. iHub will bring together the major players in the automotive and aerospace sectors to ensure that innovative Ontario SMEs have an opportunity to integrate their solutions into these global supply chains. Advancing the shift toward electrification in these sectors is critical for reaching the Government’s goal of accelerating Canada’s net zero emissions future. The work accomplished by iHub will set us on the right path.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

“The launch of iHub here in Hamilton will have a direct positive impact on our local automotive and aerospace supply chains by reducing barriers to procurement that have historically impacted businesses and suppliers in this space. These connections will ensure that the stepping stones to success are in place for our innovators and businesses in the automotive and aerospace sectors.”
- Bob Bratina, Member of Parliament for Hamilton East–Stoney Creek

"McMaster University has a successful track record of partnering with industry and we’re grateful for the opportunity to advance our work with Canadian manufacturers in automotive and aerospace electrification through iHub. This investment from FedDev Ontario will help iHub achieve great things by connecting our manufacturers and SMEs, providing training and access to technology, and commercializing new products.”
- David Farrar, President and Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University

Quick facts

  • McMaster University was recently named the most research-intensive university in the annual ranking of Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities for the fourth year in a row.

  • In 2011, FedDev Ontario provided $11.5 million in support of the establishment of the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC), a globally-unique facility supporting the development of next-generation vehicles, housed at the McMaster Innovation Park.

  • FedDev Ontario has invested over $42 million in projects in the Hamilton Census Division since November 2015, including a recent $6 million in Innovation Factory to establish an innovation hub for businesses to commercialize made-in-Canada healthcare solutions.

  • Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested more than $567 million in 261, in both advanced manufacturing and manufacturing sectors and $162 million in 86 clean tech projects across southern Ontario.

  • Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested $136.7 million in the automotive sector, including support for Area X.O. and the recently announced Windsor automobility accelerator.

  • In Summer 2020, electric-powered vehicles accounted for 3.5 percent of total new vehicles registered in Canada with zero-emissions. More than 70 percent of these vehicles were battery-operated, with over 95 percent registered in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Media Relations
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
Toll Free: 1-866-593-5505

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