January 17, 2008
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification, today announced an investment worth more than $1.5 million for the purchase of composites research equipment for the University of Manitoba.
The University of Manitoba (UofM), in partnership with the Composites Innovation Centre (CIC), is proposing to create a unique regional state-of-the-art Composites Research and Commercialization Centre (CRCC). The CRCC will promote the development of Manitoba's Composites cluster through joint projects and research.
"The development of composites technology and expertise is critical to ensure sustained growth of Manitoba's manufacturing sectors," said Minister Ambrose. "The Government of Canada is pleased to support a project which enables researchers, innovators and businesses to improve Manitoba's productivity performance, create high-quality jobs and enhance our quality of life."
The CRCC will combine the equipment and expertise from both the UofM and the CIC into one common lab space to be located at SmartPark, a research park at the University of Manitoba. The equipment will be available to students, researchers, and for CIC projects to meet the immediate research and development needs of industry. The equipment will temporarily be housed at the Engineering Innovation Technology Centre until construction of the CRCC is complete.
"Research and research training in the area of composites and composite structures have been steadily increasing during the past decade, and show the increasing vitality of a truly multi-disciplinary endeavor," said Dr. Emoke Szathmáry, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba. "Today's announcement will enable the University of Manitoba to continue to be the centre of innovation in such important areas as renewable energy, affordable northern housing, aerospace, ground transportation, bio-products and bio-medical."
A composite is a reinforcing fiber, such as fiberglass or carbon, embedded in a plastic material. The overall engineering performance of a composite is far superior to the individual materials used in isolation. Common uses of composites include aircraft assemblies, body panels on buses, fiberglass boats, reinforcements in civil structures and house construction. Winnipeg is home to the largest manufacturer in Canada of composite aerospace assemblies and numerous companies that produce composite parts for a variety of applications: from ground transportation vehicles to farm equipment; storage containers and caustic fluid handling systems, reinforcements for bridges and buildings, furniture and environmental technology products. Western Economic Diversification Canada is a department of the Government of Canada that works in partnership with the provinces, industry associations and communities to stimulate and encourage diversification of the western Canadian economy, as well as to represent the interests of the West in national economic policy.
Funding for today's announcement was provided for in Budget 2007.
For additional information, contact:
Lee GreggCommunications OfficerWestern Economic Diversification CanadaWinnipeg, Manitoba(204) 983-0701
WD Toll-Free Number:1 888 338-WEST (9378)
Web Site: WD is online at www.wd-deo.gc.ca.