As our economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19, the Government of Canada is stepping up efforts to support R&D, improve telecommunications networks and help Northern Ontario businesses start up, scale up, adopt technologies and modernize their operations.

Terry Sheehan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for FedNor, announced a FedNor investment of more than $3.5 million for four strategic initiatives that will help create business development and growth opportunities, while supporting jobs and regional recovery efforts in Timmins-James Bay.

Timmins-James Bay initiatives supported by FedNor


Business Technology Improvement Fund
To help local businesses adopt digital technology and e-commerce solutions, a FedNor investment of $1 million will enable NEOnet to administer a Business Technology Improvement Fund. This strategic investment will allow the organization to provide qualifying businesses with up to $25,000 in non-repayable funding to purchase new technologies, specialized design and production equipment, client management systems, as well as hardware and software designed to accelerate growth and improve productivity.

Operational funding
Government of Canada funding of $925,000 will support NEOnet’s ongoing operations for a three-year period. This investment will enable the organization to enhance broadband and telecommunications development, and provide information and communications technologies training, education and awareness for residents and businesses in the Cochrane and Temiskaming Districts. The funding will also help promote the adoption of digital and e-business applications in the region.

Northern College of Applied Arts & Technology

Innovation Hub
A FedNor investment of $1,203,748 will enable Northern College to purchase state-of-the-art equipment to enhance innovation and R&D capacity at its recently established Innovation Hub. Once complete, this 23,000-square-foot facility will provide an experiential learning space to accelerate industry research and product commercialization. With a particular focus on mining technology, the innovation hub will feature welding and machine shops, as well as a series of specialized labs that focus on resource exploration technology, advanced manufacturing, prototyping and testing, augmented and virtual reality, analysis and isolated research, and alternative energy. This strategic investment supports the Government of Canada’s Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario by targeting investment towards creating more incubators, accelerators, and innovation hubs in the region.

Applied research and development
To help facilitate industry and academic partnerships for research and development projects, FedNor funding of $378,000 will allow Northern College to hire an industry liaison coordinator and a pre-commercial research technician to initiate and complete late-stage industry-academic applied pre-commercial projects, such as prototype testing and demonstrations. The goal of this three-year initiative is to support local and regional applied R&D activities with a focus on automation and advanced manufacturing, robotics and information and communications technology.

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