Niagara College’s new Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre is nearing completion, with operation date sets for May 2016. This new facility is set to drive innovation, education and competitiveness in the advanced manufacturing industry in greater Niagara.
The facility compliments Niagara College’s focus on supporting local economic development and is expected to drive job creation in the advanced manufacturing sector for Welland and surrounding municipalities.
Here’s an overview of the development details of the new Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre.
The 15,000 sq, ft. facility was designed by Tillmann Ruth Robinson architects and is equipped to facilitate manufacturing, engineering design and 3D digital scanning technology. The centre was financed in part by the province of Ontario, $4.2 million and by Niagara’s own Walker Industries $1.2 million. Construction of the facility began in March of 2015, and has remained on budget and schedule throughout the build.
The centre works to bring students and professors together with advanced manufacturers for collaboration to help overcome industry challenges or to develop new technologies. The ground floor of the facility includes specialized labs, office space for students, scientist and researchers and flexible labs or "incubators" for industry. The second floor of the facility includes office space, an entrepreneurship hub, space for NC's digital media and web group and conference/meeting space.
Walker Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Centre specialties:
- Reversse engineering
- Process improvement
- Product design and development
- Product re-design and improvement
Effect on the local advanced manufacturing sector
The work the centre facilitates is not new, over 2015 the college has worked on 168 applied research projects. The centre will allow this project work to grow and will allow more of the 900 small-to-medium sized Niagara manufacturing facilities to participate.
The new space includes flexible labs that double as incubation space for Niagara partners and acts as an addition to the Rankin Technology building.
Advanced manufacturing is recognized as a major economic base in Niagara, representing 16% of our GDP. With the addition of this innovative facility, Niagara can leverage advanced manufacturing development and research opportunities to potential investors.
Video Tour of the new centre
To view a video tour of the new facility click here.
The addition of this facility in Welland helps to solidify the city's position as a community with advanced manfucaturing stength and should encourage future investment in the city by the manufacturing industry.