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Accelerating Automobility: FedDev Ontario invests in Canada’s first ‘automobility accelerator’ hub in Windsor-Essex

Windsor, Ontario — FedDev Ontario, which delivers programs and services to support innovation and economic growth in southern Ontario, announced a $7.5 million in funding for Invest WindsorEssex (IWE) to establish Canada’s first “automobility accelerator” on Wednesday. 

With this investment, IWE plans to offer a variety of first-in-Canada training and other programming opportunities to support the upskilling of 1,350 automobility entrepreneurs and scaling firms.

Tailored to the needs of start-ups and scale-ups in the automobility ecosystem, with a focus on electric vehicles (EV), connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), and cybersecurity firms, this support will help entrepreneurs to accelerate the commercialization of their technologies while positioning the region as a hub for automobility innovation and investment.

“Today’s announcement furthers the local economic development strategy of the Windsor-Essex region to anchor its growth around a developing automobility cluster—one that will support 1,350 entrepreneurs and companies and attract $40 million in foreign direct investment here to Windsor-Essex. The far-reaching results of FedDev Ontario’s investments can be seen in small and medium-sized businesses across the region that are successfully weathering COVID-19 and building resilience for the future,” said Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor–Tecumseh.

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. 

The investment builds on an initial $5-million FedDev Ontario investment, announced in September 2019 to help IWE establish and catalyze the growth of a next-generation automobility cluster, attract investment to the region and create jobs of the future. The project initiated over 30 partnerships and projects to date, resulting in more than 300 new jobs created and nearly $50 million in funds leveraged for the region.

“With FedDev Ontario support, entrepreneurs and SMEs in the automobility sector across Windsor-Essex will have access to a full spectrum of programming at the first automobility accelerator in Canada. Our government is committed to advancing the world-class automobility innovation cluster in the region while doing what is necessary to accelerate the transition to a net-zero future. We continue to make investments to create jobs, help Canada build capacity and stay at the forefront of technology as we build back better,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

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