Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre and Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré visited Laurentian University on Feb. 13 to announce $150,000 in FedNor funding for the school.
Specifically, the funds were given to the Foundry, a new initiative at Laurentian University, housed by the Jim Fielding Innovation and Commercialization Space. The Foundry is aimed at enabling the school's innovators to ideate, create, and develop ideas that can go on to become startup companies or social enterprises.
The FedNor funds will be used to purchase specialized equipment for the Foundry, including 3D printers, laser cutters, virtual and augmented reality systems, and a digital media lab.
"It’s an exciting time for technology and innovation in Greater Sudbury. Today’s announcement brings cutting-edge equipment to Laurentian University to support advanced learning and skills development, while encouraging the next generation of innovators and jobs creators," said Lefebvre.
Laurentian University is the largest bilingual provider of distance education in the country and a leader in technology and innovation.
The Sudbury-based institution is also home to the recently created McEwen School of Architecture and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, which are both important regional economic drivers.
“The size and scope of the Foundry will support a coordinated approach to training and development for up to 30 users annually," said Serré. "More importantly, this strategic initiative will help fuel the local economy by helping to create five start-ups per year, while supporting jobs and growth in Greater Sudbury.”
The Government of Canada, through FedNor, is a long-standing partner of Laurentian University with investments totalling more than $11 million since 2000.
“This investment in the Jim Fielding Innovation Space enables our students to bring their ideas to life through access to new and emerging technologies," said Robert Haché, President and Vice-Chancellor of Laurentian University.
"The hands-on experimentation and the application of classroom concepts are essential to the student experience. We are thankful for the government's leadership and investment in our students.”