Innovation Station: Georgian College unveils automotive hub project

Barrie, Ontario ⁠— Last week, Georgian College announced that, through its partnership with the township of Oro Station, it will be creating an innovation hub dedicated to automotive research, engineering and development.

Oro Station, Ontario’s new 200-acre automotive hub will be located adjacent to the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport in Oro-Medonte. The site will feature 65,032 sq. m. of industrial space, as well as a 4.2 km test track with dynamic driving areas.

The facility will blend an automotive business park with a motorsport road course and the Bexley Motor club. It will also be home to extensive automotive engineering, education, supply design and manufacturing businesses that should benefit from the track facility for testing, design, development, marketing, events and tourism. 

“This project has been more than a decade in the making, and having an educational partner like Georgian College has always been a key part of our vision,” said Geoffrey Campbell, managing partner of the Oro Station project. “Providing current curriculum that reflects the needs of  the industry is critical to ensuring Ontario remains competitive in the automotive sector.”

In November 2019, several government officials announced a zoning order to clear the way for construction set to begin later in 2020. The hub is set to create 700 full-time jobs within Simcoe County, representing 50 percent of the forecasted employment growth in Oro-Medonte to 2031.

“Oro Station will be the ultimate Canadian destination for innovators and educations, racers and restorers, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs,” reads a Georgian College press release. “Oro Station creates connections between individuals and institutions, educators and innovators, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs⁠—all part of a vibrant community with an eye to the future of the automobile in Canada.”

Georgian College is home to more than 130 market-driven programs and the Automotive Business School of Canada (ABSC), built and actively supported by the automotive industry, for the automotive industry.

“The automotive industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace and this partnership is an incredible opportunity for Georgian, the ABSC and our students to be part of shaping its future,” said Kevin Weaver, vice president of academics at Georgian College. “We look forward to exploring various community and industry collaborations, and working closely with Oro Station through future programming, training and research to meet the innovation needs of the industry and local employers.”

For more information on the project, visit orostation.ca.

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