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The Ontario government unveiled plans to invest in an Automotive Centre of Excellence in the city of Oshawa as part of the CA $2.5 billion GM Beacon Project.
A recently announced Automotive Centre of Excellence in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada will help ensure that the province’s automotive industry continues to thrive. Currently, Ontario’s automotive industry em-ploys over 130,000 people, represents about 20% of the province’s total manufacturing output, and comprises 90% of Canada’s total automotive industry, including all Canadian-built cars and light trucks.
The center is a partnership between the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, GM of Canada, and the government of Ontario. It will be a collaborative environment where students and faculty will work alongside automotive industry professionals to bring new vehicle-related products to market. It will also feature a wind tunnel that can recreate weather and road conditions. Ontario is providing CA $58 million towards the center, which is currently under construction and will open in late 2009.
Oshawa’s new Automotive Centre of Excellence is part of the province’s CA $235 million investment in the CA $2.5 billion GM Beacon Project announced in March 2005 as part of the CA $500 million Ontario Automotive Investment Strategy launched in April 2004. The strategy provides funds for skills training to keep pace with new technologies and processes, innovation and research, improved infrastructure to support new manufacturing techniques, energy efficiencies, and environmental technologies. More than CA $7 billion in new investments and thousands of high-value jobs are the result of this strategy. Large-scale auto projects also offer considerable spin-off benefits for suppliers, the construction industry, and local economic development. Many of the projects also include links with universities, colleges, and research institutions that are helping Ontario remain an important center for the next generation of vehicles.