‘Tis the season for strategic missions, grand openings and groundbreaking research in Waterloo.
Waterloo isn’t easing into the holidays. We’re making one last push to get the most of this year. With multi-million dollar investments, local companies making international headlines and new facilities opening throughout the region, November was nothing short of newsworthy.
Here are the top stories from November 2023:
Dana’s $60M Investment boosts EV production
Last month, Dana Incorporated announced their $60M production capacity investment and $2.5M grant from Invest Ontario. This investment will increase production and spur product development at Dana’s Cambridge facility. By 2025, the investment will generate 105 local jobs in automotive manufacturing.
Dana manufactures advanced thermal management systems, which cool batteries and other components in electric vehicles (EVs), including the Ford F-150 Lightning. Investments like these have made Canada the top EV manufacturer in North America and the second largest worldwide. Dana is one of many manufacturers who are building Canada’s EV supply chain, right here in Waterloo.
Canada’s largest additive metal facility unveiled
One of the world’s top five metal additive manufacturing facilities, the Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing laboratory (MSAM), opened its doors in Kitchener last month. The 15,000 square-foot facility – equipped with $25M in equipment – will facilitate 3D printing and metals research.
Founded by University of Waterloo (UW) mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor Dr. Ehsan Toyserkani, the lab provides PhD students with the opportunity to research and develop products relevant to aerospace, healthcare and automotive sectors. The facility’s 3D printers will also be used to create supply chain components locally and mitigate global supply chain shortages.
Waterloo companies make Fast 50 and Fast 500 lists
Five Waterloo-based companies put the “news” in newsworthy last month, earning global recognition on Deloitte’s Fast 50 and Fast 500 lists. Waterloo continues to be one of North America’s leading tech hubs, with RideCo, ApplyBoard, Alert Labs, Vue Real Inc. and LiftWerx representing the region this year.
The shout-out recognizes major achievements for tech companies, including extensive revenue growth, technical innovation and influential leadership. Each one experienced revenue growth percentages ranging from 332%-3162%, an impressive feat over the course of four years.
Conestoga College to open esports arena
Conestoga College announced that it will be opening a 10,000 square-foot esports arena at its Waterloo campus.
The facility will be used for academic and recreational programming as a hands-on learning opportunity for the school’s Esports Marketing and Event Management Program, along with its varsity esports program for students.
The arena includes virtual reality and simulation stations, high-quality gaming PCs, a production suite, athletic operations room and a competitive stage. Students can engage in performance play and streaming, increasing capacity for esports programming in Waterloo.
UW’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute secures $3.3M
UW’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute (CPI) received $3.3M in funding from the National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC). Comprised of five Canadian universities, the NCC is a non-profit that’s dedicated to advancing R&D, training and commercialization in cybersecurity.
Funding was allocated to six projects involving the university, four of which were research and development proposals. These grants are a testament to the capabilities of research and talent within the CPI and the University of Waterloo.
WWFC opens flight simulation innovation hub
The Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC) invested $1.5M into their new flight simulation centre and innovation hub.
Backed by $250,000 from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the facility includes aircraft simulators for Boeing 737, De Havilland Q-400 and Airbus A320 models. It will be used for pilot training and aviation research.
The centre itself was designed using sustainable technologies like green HVAC systems and solar panels, which was made possible by a $9.2M investment in the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA) by FedDev Ontario.
Lazaridis School receives $1M for supply chain research
Following a generous $1M donation, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Centre for Supply Chain Management at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics will be renamed the Einwechter Centre of Supply Chain Management.
Alumnus Dan Einwechter (BBA ‘77) founded Challenger Motor Freight Inc. while he was still a Laurier student. Under his leadership, Challenger has grown into one of the largest privately owned truckload carriers in Canada. The donation represents his way of giving back and paving the way for future supply chain leaders.
“The Einwechter Centre for Supply Chain Management will enable Laurier to produce the next generation of researchers and decision makers with expertise in supply chain management who will drive business and innovation,” said Deborah MacLatchy, President and Vice-Chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University.
Waterloo EDC leads German investment mission
Waterloo Region is deeply rooted in German heritage. To nurture the growth of German companies in our community, Waterloo EDC led an investment promotion mission to Germany, France and Switzerland in mid-November.
The mayors of Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge, along with the Regional Chair, were accompanied by members of our team to meet with some of the world’s largest manufacturing and automotive companies. The mission involved 34 events and meetings with companies like Bosch, Continental, Sonova, Viessmann, Siemens and Septodont.
UW researchers grace headlines
UW researchers have made headlines for their research in clean energy, economics and robotics.
Dr. Yimin Wu is converting carbon dioxide into clean energy using a copper-silver catalyst. This method is more efficient than traditional reactions, sparking interest among investors and industry giants in oil and gas and plastics.
Maclean’s Magazine featured Dr. Joel Blit’s research on AI and the labour market. Like many disruptive technologies, Blit predicts that large language models like ChatGPT will result in job loss of predominately white-collar positions.
Chemical engineering professor Dr. Hamed Shahsavan has developed micro-medical robots capable of conducting biopsies and other minimally invasive procedures. Under 1cm (about 0.39 in) in length, robots are made from plant-based materials that cause no foreign body response when injected.
From industry development to ground-breaking research, Waterloo has more gifts to give this holiday season. Subscribe to the Waterloo EDC to get more stories like these delivered right to your inbox.