Ministry of Industry partners with UOIT on Canadian auto centre

Plans for the General Motors of Canada Automotive Centre of Excellence were recently unveiled by officials from GM and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The centre will be housed at the UOIT’s Oshawa campus and aims to enhance engineering competitiveness in Canada’s automotive sector.

Also on hand for the announcement were Colin Carrie, parliamentary secretary to the Minster of Industry, and Sandra Pupatello, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade.

“The automotive industry is critical to the economic future of Ontario in particular, but also the country in general,” says Dr. Ronald Bordessa, president of UOIT.

“In order to be globally competitive the industry has to be on the cutting edge of design and we have to make the best cars – in order to do that you need research and development facilities.”

Bordessa adds that facilities are needed where design concepts and vehicles can be tested under all kinds of climatic conditions, “The wind tunnel that is being constructed (at the centre) does precisely that.”

He says that the centre represents the coming together of all the automotive engineering experts at the university, at GM, as well as other auto parts makers, in an intensely research-oriented environment.

“It’s essentially creating a centre of research and development, which is critical to the success of GM, which in itself is critical to the success of the province in the future.”

Bordessa says that completion of the project is anticipated to be in late fall of 2009, with the building estimated to be approximately $65 million.

He notes that the provincial and federal governments have been instrumental with respect to the funding of the project.

“In order for Canada to be successful in the global economy of the future, it is absolutely essential for the universities of the country and the governments at all levels to be working together with business and industry to identify what the critical needs are, and to fund those needs adequately.”

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