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Federal government invests $22M in aerospace industry, supporting six local projects

The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA) will receive nearly $10 million in funding. (Stephanie Villella/CTV News Kitchener) The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA) will receive nearly $10 million in funding. (Stephanie Villella/CTV News Kitchener)
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The federal government announced it will invest $22 million dollars to support six aerospace projects across Waterloo Region.

Filomena Tassi, the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario made the announcement Tuesday morning at the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre at the Region of Waterloo International Airport.

"Ontario-made parts are found in almost every passenger plane in the world. And it's the workers who will continue to take this industry to new heights. That's why our government is investing directly in the organizations, businesses, and people who will drive innovation across the sector, and ensure workers have the skills needed to continue growing a strong, sustainable economy that works for everyone," said Tassi.

The money will go towards supporting businesses and organizations in Ontario’s aerospace sector, including increasing manufacturing, training, and green operations.

One of the projects receiving funding is the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA) at the University of Waterloo. WISA will get a $9.2 million boost to create an Innovation Hub to mobilize research, access green technologies and provide hands-on aviation training.

“It’s very exciting, especially for a program that’s so new. WISA is just about 18 months old and it’s already had such amazing success,” said Vivek Goel, President of UW. “Through this funding we’re going to be able to invest in equipment and training programs.”

“WISA — the first institute of its kind in Canada — can play a vital role in achieving sustainability in the aviation and aerospace industries. Launched in the fall of 2021, its mission is to become the world's leading hub for research, technology and education that will build a sustainable future for the aviation, aerospace and space industries. We have all the pieces here,” said Suzanne Kearns, Founder of the WISA.

Kearns said through WISA, the goal is to make Canada’s aerospace industry more environmentally friendly. One way it’s doing that is by researching on the world’s first type of certified electric training aircraft.

“Electric aviation is better for the environment. It reduces 98% of emissions from a training aircraft,” she said.

The plane hasn’t taken flight yet, but Kearns hopes to take flight in the near future.

The other five programs receiving funding from the Government of Canada are: Shimco North America, Cleeve Technology, First Nations Technical Institute, the World Trade Centre Toronto and Service Mold + Aerospace Inc. 

The government said the the funding will create 400 jobs.

WINDSOR-BASED COMPANY GETS FUNDS

Service Mold + Aerospace Inc. is a Windsor-based build-to-print manufacturing supplier that produces structural parts and flight hardware for aerospace, space exploration, automotive, and commercial sectors. The company is receiving a repayable investment of over $3.8 million to purchase four pieces of Computer Numerical Control equipment. As a result, the company will reduce lead times, increase production, commercialize new parts, attract new customers, expand its market share in the rocket supply chain, and increase and diversify its revenue while creating 15 new jobs and maintaining 27 jobs.

"'With Space exploration reaching unprecedented levels, this FedDev Ontario support will allow Service Mold + Aerospace to invest in state-of-the-art CNC equipment and increase manufacturing capacity to meet the industry's demands. Furthermore, this investment would allow us to continue to hire, train, and retain highly skilled tradespeople, allowing an Ontario business to remain competitive in the industry and ensuring the longevity of our shared success," Myles Schuurman, vice president, Service Mold + Aerospace Inc. said in a media release.

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