The University of Windsor will play a significant role in a new federal initiative to strengthen and support the Windsor-Essex region as a centre for developing secure, zero emissions vehicle technologies.
On Wednesday, Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk announced a FedDev Ontario contribution of $7.5 million for Invest WindsorEssex to establish Canada’s first world-class automobility accelerator.
With this investment, the economic development agency will offer training and other programs to advance skills for 1,350 automobility entrepreneurs and scaling firms. The support will be tailored to the needs of start-ups and scale-ups in the automobility ecosystem, with a focus on electric vehicles, connected and autonomous vehicles, and cybersecurity firms. It is intended to help entrepreneurs accelerate the commercialization of their technologies while positioning the region as a hub for automobility innovation and investment.
FedDev Ontario’s investment will also leverage an additional $12.3 million in private sector and other matching funding and attract $40 million in new foreign direct investment to the region.
“This announcement recognizes the unique position of the University of Windsor in supporting the Windsor-Essex region as the Automobility Capital of Canada,” said UWindsor president Robert Gordon.
“With a mandate of secure, zero-emission movement of people, goods, and services, using advanced information technology, the University of Windsor will expand on collaborative efforts with academic and industry partners.”
He called the funding a vote of confidence for Windsor-Essex as well as acknowledgement of the potential for the University’s research and teaching in such areas as vehicle cybersecurity and safety, electric vehicle powertrain commercialization, programming to train students and entrepreneurs in the fundamentals of intellectual property, and the development of degree-related programs and courses in V2X, simulation, and other associated technologies.