Representatives from SONAMI and Kingston Economic Development Corporation tour Frulact in Kingston, Ontario including (from left) Abdul Razak Jendi (Investment Manager, Sustainable Manufacturing, Kingston Economic Development Corporation), Mafalda Filipe (Quality Assurance Manager, Frulact Canada), Meghan Baryliuk (Research & Investment Support Coordinator, Kingston Economic Development Corporation), Kithio Mwanzia (Network Manager, SONAMI), and Robert Sullivan (Key Accounts Manager, Frulact Canada).
The Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI) has formed an ecosystem partnership with the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, a not-for-profit organization.
Kingston Economic Development Corporation was established in 1998 creating a sustainable and thriving ecosystem to support business growth, start-ups, investment attraction and new foreign direct investment opportunities in Kingston and the region while focusing on opportunities for growing the sustainable manufacturing and health innovation sectors.
Led by Niagara College, SONAMI is a network of 11 postsecondary institutions, who, through their respective research and innovation centres, collaborate with small- and medium-sized companies to tackle their manufacturing-related challenges. The award-winning network leverages faculty, students, and state-of-the-market equipment together with funding from the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON), to support manufacturing in Canada.
“The SONAMI network continues to provide important resources and support to manufacturing businesses. This network is giving businesses the chance to innovate and grow their ventures so they can create new opportunities across Ontario,” said the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario. “This latest partnership with the Kingston Economic Development Corporation is contributing to SONAMI’s work and providing more essential tools to SMEs while extending the reach of SONAMI so more businesses can thrive. The Government of Canada will continue to support southern Ontario’s advanced manufacturing sector.”
“The City of Kingston enthusiastically welcomes this partnership between Kingston Economic Development Corporation and SONAMI—a strong network that the Government of Canada is proud to support,” said Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands. “The SONAMI ecosystem is a shining example of how multi-level collaborations can positively impact Canada’s manufacturing sector, and the growth of its network into eastern Ontario will only make it stronger.”
The partnership will bolster awareness regarding funding, resources, expert researchers, and students available to support companies within the manufacturing industry in eastern Ontario, including across critical sectors such as clean technology, electric vehicles and battery technology, food processing and sustainable manufacturing.
“This ecosystem partnership strengthens SONAMI’s ongoing commitment to support industry and innovation in eastern Ontario,” said Marc Nantel, PhD, Vice President, Research, Innovation and Strategic Enterprises at Niagara College. “Kingston Economic Development Corporation has been a great partner to date, and today’s announcement formalizes our already robust relationship.
“In addition, building these ties will link postsecondary institutions and industry, enriching students’ educational journeys through experiential learning opportunities.”
“This collaboration underscores our commitment to fostering innovation and economic growth in Kingston and eastern Ontario. By joining forces with SONAMI and its network of postsecondary institutions, we are opening up a wealth of opportunities for local businesses, researchers and students, driving forward progress in critical industries such as clean technology, electric vehicles and sustainable manufacturing. Together, we are forging a stronger and more prosperous future for manufacturing in this region,” said Donna Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, Kingston Economic Development Corporation.
To access the advanced manufacturing network, representatives from interested businesses can contact SONAMI’s Business Development Lead, Mitchell Lutz at [email protected]. For more information about the network, please visit the SONAMI website.
The Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI) is a Niagara College-led network of postsecondary institutions, who, through their respective Research and Innovation Centres, collaborate with small- and medium-sized companies to tackle their manufacturing-related challenges. SONAMI leverages faculty, students, and state-of-the-market equipment, together with funding from the Federal Government, to support manufacturing in Canada. Learn more at sonami.ca.
Kingston Economic Development Corporation is focused on building a prosperous community and supporting Kingston’s thriving economy. Its mission is to provide dynamic and collaborative leadership by leveraging Kingston’s unique assets to create jobs and investments in order to sustain, grow, and transform Kingston’s economy to meet the needs of the 21st century. They support the attraction of new foreign direct investment, business retention and expansion and start-ups and entrepreneurs.
For 14 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 80 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca
SONAMI quick facts:
- SONAMI was established in 2016 – led by Niagara College, in partnership with McMaster University, Mohawk College and Sheridan College – with an initial $7.3-million Government of Canada investment through FedDev Ontario, which provided funding through March 2019. The network expanded to include seven additional academic institutions: Centennial, Conestoga, Fanshawe, Lambton, and George Brown , Fleming colleges, and Queen’s University.
- In July 2019, FedDev Ontario announced an additional investment of $14 million towards a five-year project (through to March 2024), which would grow the network by adding members and enhance its reach to help manufacturers innovate.
- Niagara College received the 2019 Research Partnership Award from the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) for the significant impact SONAMI has had on the regional economy.
- Through specialized expertise, resources, and Research & Development (R&D) capabilities, SONAMI partners have a broad range of capabilities that provide effective innovation and technology transfer in areas of automation, additive manufacturing, product testing & validation, Industry 4.0, process optimization, simulation & modelling, and digitally enabled and intelligent manufacturing.
- Small- and medium-sized companies wanting to innovate but lacking the necessary resources, such as time, knowledge/skills, or finances, to propel them to the next level can reduce the risk associated with their research and development (R&D) by taking advantage of a 1:1.2 funding match on projects. FedDev Ontario’s investment is matched by a combination of cash and in-kind contributions from the industry partner. This could potentially decrease overall project costs by up to 50 percent and enable more companies to participate.
- During the summer, SONAMI expanded its presence into the eastern regions of southern Ontario, adding the Queen’s University’s Structural and Multidisciplinary Systems Design (SMSD) Lab in Kingston, as well as the Centre for Advancement in Mechatronics and Industrial Internet of Things (CAMIIT) in Peterborough, and the Centre for Advancement of Water and Wastewater Technologies (CAWT) in Lindsay, both affiliated with Fleming College.
Kingston Economic Development Corporation quick facts:
- Kingston Economic Development was established in 1998 as a separately incorporated not-for-profit agency. Kingston’s Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors with representation from the business community and municipal council (mayor and three annually appointed councillors).
- In 2021, Kingston Economic Development launched a new Integrated Economic Development Strategy that lays the foundation for strategies, tactics and targeted activities that will create a sustainable and thriving ecosystem to support business growth, start-ups, investment attraction and new foreign direct investment opportunities in our community. Through this strategy, Kingston will focus on two main sectors – Health Innovation and Sustainable Manufacturing.
- Kingston Economic Development is committed to the key issue of long-term economic sustainability. The Kingston Economic Development’s success is based on the attraction of new business, the growth and retention of existing business and tourism opportunities as measured by the resulting economic impact on our community. Kingston Economic Development oversees Attraction & Aftercare, Business Growth & Retention and Start-ups & Entrepreneurship Portfolios.