Government of Canada invests to support local innovators and maximize business growth opportunities

News release

FedNor funding helps create jobs and assist Northern Ontario businesses start up, scale up and develop new products

February 10, 2021 – Sudbury, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor

The Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan is an ambitious effort to strengthen Canada’s position as a world leader in innovation and technology, and to create well-paying jobs that strengthen and grow the middle class. In Northern Ontario, through strategic investments in technology, innovation and research and development (R&D), the federal government is ramping up efforts to help businesses start up, scale up, and succeed. This includes support for the region’s innovation ecosystem including entrepreneurs, businesses and communities that are working hard to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury, and Marc G. Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, today announced that FedNor is investing $378,000 in Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology to help complete late-stage, industry-academia applied R&D initiatives. This three-year pilot project will immediately create two high-quality full-time jobs and assist up to 15 businesses in their efforts to scale up, commercialize new products or modernize their operations.

Provided through FedNor’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, the funding will allow Cambrian College to hire a mechanical engineer and a research technologist to support late-stage,
pre-commercial projects, such as prototype testing and product demonstrations. Specifically, this targeted investment will support R&D projects with a focus on mining, automation and advanced manufacturing, robotics and information and communications technology. It will also support the development and expansion of skills training models to support product development and enhanced educational programs for the mining industry.

Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to support Canada’s innovation ecosystem to help maximize the economic potential of Canada’s creative economy. Initiatives like this will help get Canadians back to work safely and ensure Northern Ontario’s innovators and job creators can play a major role in Canada’s economic recovery.


“Canada is a nation of innovators and trail blazers and our government is investing to ensure that this entrepreneurial spirit continues to drive our economy now and into the future. Through our Regional Development Agencies, like FedNor, we will support the efforts of innovative small businesses to succeed and create well-paying jobs for Canadians.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

“By helping businesses leverage technology and innovation to start up, scale up and develop new products, we are creating good, middle-class jobs and helping to shape the economy of tomorrow. We have a comprehensive plan for a robust and lasting recovery from this unprecedented global pandemic; and we will do whatever it takes to protect the health, jobs and living standards of Canadians here in Sudbury and across Northern Ontario.”
- Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury 

“Our government is proud to be stepping up efforts to encourage innovation, accelerate growth and create high-quality jobs right here at home in Nickel Belt and Greater Sudbury. We recognize the unique needs of Northern Ontario businesses and will continue to support priority projects to help fuel growth, recovery efforts and position the region for social and economic success.”    
- Marc G. Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt

“Cambrian College is proud to partner with the federal government to support local entrepreneurs and the private sector in the pursuit of new products, innovations and solutions for businesses growth. In addition to the economic benefits, this project will also provide students with valuable, real-world experiences that will better prepare them as they transition from the classroom to the workplace.”   
- Bill Best, President, Cambrian College

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, create jobs, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada through FedNor has invested more than $126 million in support of 218 technology and innovation initiatives across Northern Ontario. Once complete, these projects are expected to help create and maintain more than 10,000 jobs in the region.

  • Cambrian College has been ranked as one of the top 50 research colleges in Canada since 2012. Its applied research division is working with the private sector to coordinate applied research and development projects by providing funding, faculty expertise and facilities, while exposing students to private sector innovation.

Associated links


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

Barclay Babcock
Communications Officer

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