Province of Ontario commits support to new industry innovation centre at Niagara College


The Ontario government will provide support to the building of a permanent home for Niagara College’s Industry Innovation Centre in Advanced Manufacturing.

The support was announced by Ontario’s Finance Minister, The Honourable Charles Sousa, this afternoon, in his fall economic statement.

The Industry Innovation Centre at Niagara (IIC@N) will be a state-of-the-art facility where Niagara College faculty and students will assist small- and medium-sized manufacturers with research and development, and solving operational challenges.

“This is an important announcement for the Niagara region,” said Steve Hudson, vice-president, academic at Niagara College. “Local manufacturers will have a centre at Niagara College with faculty and students dedicated to helping them innovate, enhance productivity and develop new products.”

The 18,000-square-foot addition to the Welland Campus’s Rankin Technology Centre will provide additional space for specialized equipment, labs and meeting areas.

“The Niagara region has more than 850 manufacturers,” said Marc Nantel, associate vice-president of Research and Innovation at Niagara College and head of Niagara Research. “Faculty and students have assisted 12 to 15 manufacturers a year but we have had to turn away many companies due to a lack of space. A permanent home for the IIC@N will allow us to increase the number of manufacturers we can assist and the number of services we can provide.”

The proposed addition includes:

  • Lab space – for faculty/students to innovate and conduct industry research and development projects;
  • Innovation space – for companies to co-locate and work on their new products, services, processes;
  • Business space – for faculty/students to offer business services related to technology projects; and
  • Office space – for Niagara Research, students and industry staff to work on projects.

Since 2011, through Niagara Research, the College’s students and faculty have provided assistance to 39 manufacturers. Results have included increased productivity and new products launched which, in turn, has led to the creation of new markets and new full-time jobs for the manufacturing companies.

Today’s announcement adds to the $990,000 in funding that was provided earlier this year by the federal government’s FedDev Ontario’s Prosperity Initiative and $50,000 per year for 5 years from the Niagara Region to establish the Industry Innovation Centre at Niagara.

Niagara Research conducts research projects with industry partners in the areas of advanced manufacturing, agriculture and environment, digital media and information technologies, food and beverage innovation, and business and commercialization solutions.

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics.

For more information visit