Innovative mining businesses and entrepreneurs in Northern Ontario will have a new space to share ideas, build partnerships, conduct research and bring new technologies to market thanks to a government of Canada investment of C$1,395,000 (US$1,065,000).
This Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) investment will enable NORCAT to build a state-of-the art surface facility at its Underground Centre near Sudbury where companies can innovate and enhance the productivity, safety and competitiveness of the mining industry.
The new 1,115m2 facility will be used by mining technology companies to develop, test and demonstrate innovative and emerging technologies in an operating mine environment. It will offer shared spaces, offices, meeting rooms, on-site personal protective equipment, first aid rooms, workshop, lunchroom, changing rooms, showers and personal storage amenities.
Paul Lefebvre, member of parliament for Sudbury, commented: "Supporting Canadian innovation is a key priority of our government, which is why we made it a pillar of our Innovation and Skills Plan and Prosperity and Growth Strategy for northern Ontario. This strategic investment in NORCAT will help shape the future of innovation and technology in the mining industry, and further strengthen Canada's reputation as a global leader in mining."
Marc Serré, member of parliament for Nickel Belt, added: "With this investment in NORCAT, the government of Canada is helping Northern Ontario businesses become more innovative, productive and competitive through the development, adoption and commercialisation of new technologies. This new facility will provide a significant boost to local businesses by helping them test, fine-tune and showcase new technologies which they can, in turn, export to the rest of the world."
Don Duval, CEO of NORCAT, said: ""A longstanding supporter and partner, the government of Canada continues to recognise the value of NORCAT and the work we do to spur innovation, support skills training and help businesses develop and adopt new technologies and processes. As Northern Ontario's largest innovation centre, we are thrilled to add this new above-ground facility to our Underground Centre that will help cement our reputation as a global destination for mining research and innovation."
NORCAT is focused on developing and providing world-class programmes, services and resources to reduce injuries, save lives, and enhance productivity in the mining industry and beyond. In addition, NORCAT is the only non-profit regional innovation centre in the world that has an operating mine designed to enable start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and international companies to develop, test and showcase new and innovative technologies in an operating mine environment.