Funding Boost For Robots

In an announcement today from MP Bryan Hayes joined by the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), Sault College has received $490,000 from the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) with collaborative projects involving industry.
“The robotics lab will provide a locally- grown talent pool that will promote a strong and innovative manufacturing base in our region,” notes Leo Tiberi, Vice-President Academic at Sault College. “It will bring great advantages to the economic sector of the community that will help grow our region and to the students and faculty of the College that will contribute to that sector,” he adds.
With initial funding from the Natural Science Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and private industry partner, Tenaris last year, Sault College began renovating an existing space and installed two robots for Phase I of the project. The additional funding announced today will assist with completion of Phase II, which will include six additional training robots that will allow applied research and hands-on training activities in a practical environment in tandem with no scheduling conflicts.
Auxiliary equipment for the training robots will also be purchased, including a conveyor that will allow the College to simulate and provide relevant training in a comprehensive environment that accurately represents the configuration highly qualified personnel would encounter in a variety of industrial settings. One additional Flex trainer equipped for specialty training and research in robotic welding will be purchased as well. With the acquisition of this advanced equipment, the funding will expand the College’s capabilities to further engage collaboratively with industry, educational and community partners.
“This new asset will help the College expand our engagement in industry-led applied research projects relating to automation and advanced manufacturing.  We will also provide robotics training to industry personnel in our region and beyond and teach robotics as part of our programs, leading to the development of a talent pool of highly qualified personnel that can stay in the North and support our industries,” says Colin Kirkwood, Sault College Dean of Environment, Technology and Business.   
Sault College wishes to express its gratitude to the Honourable Minister Ed Holder, the Honourable Minister Greg Rickford, MP Bryan Hayes, Aime Dimatteo of FedNor and to NSERC and Tenaris for the generous funding that will keep Sault College on the leading edge of post-secondary learning in Canada.
“This investment speaks to the importance of innovation and embraces the opportunities before us as we enter a new era of accelerating change in manufacturing – one involving robotics and other advanced technologies that pose unprecedented demands on skills training,” states Leo Tiberi of the funding. “Today’s announcement demonstrates great support for significant projects at our College that provide crucial new resources for our industry partners and enhance our capacity to produce the best trained graduates and skilled workers for our region,” adds Tiberi. “We are grateful for the continued support of our funders as we seek to remain the #1 college in the province in student satisfaction, leading Key Performance Indicators provincially.