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Ontario supports the development of smarter, more sustainable transportation technologies with $1.5M in funding to York University through OVIN

Ontario supports the development of smarter, more sustainable transportation technologies with $1.5M in funding to York University through OVIN

Home » Category Listing » Ontario supports the development of smarter, more sustainable transportation technologies with $1.5M in funding to York University through OVIN

Ontario supports the development of smarter, more sustainable transportation technologies with $1.5M in funding to York University through OVIN

TORONTO, May 13, 2024 – Today, the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), with support from the Ontario Government, announced $1.5 million in funding to York University and in partnership with Centennial College to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups in developing and testing innovative automotive technologies and smart mobility solutions.

Overall, OVIN is supporting an investment of $4.77 million including the Province’s $1.5 million contribution.

“Having secured over $43 billion in new electric vehicle and EV battery manufacturing investments over the last four years, our government continues to recognize the economic potential of advanced automotive technologies,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “We congratulate York University and Centennial College on the launch of their SmartTO RTDS, and look forward to seeing their partnership with OVIN inspire innovation across the auto and mobility sectors.”

From left: President and CEO of Centennial College Craig Stevenson; Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, and Head of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network at OCI Raed Kadri; Dean of the School of Transportation Alan McClelland of Centennial College; Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli; Associate Dean, School of Transportation David Weatherhead, , Centennial College; Vice-President Research and Innovation Amir Asif, York University; and CEO, Ontario Centre for Innovation Claudia Krywiak are given a tour of some of the electric vehicles at Centennial College

This investment launches York University’s Smart Mobility Applied Research and Testing – Toronto (SmartTO) as the newest OVIN Regional Technology Development Site (RTDS), located in the Greater Toronto Area. As part of the RTDS network, SmartTO will directly support entrepreneurs, SMEs and startups in the automotive technology and mobility sector, through access to industry-leading resources such as specialized equipment, supports for testing and piloting, business and technical advisory services, and opportunities for collaboration with regional partners.

SmartTO will enable SMEs in the province to move the dial on sustainability and work towards reducing the province’s carbon footprint by speeding up the development, testing, and commercialization of new technologies and driving developments in the field. SMEs will work with established industry partners to help advance their technological innovations and smart material development for the next generation of smarter, lighter, and more efficient electric vehicles and infrastructure. This work will ensure that the Province continues to lead in the research and innovation space for electric, connected, and autonomous vehicle technologies.

“As an internationally recognized leader in sustainability, the Sustainable Development Goals are embedded in our teaching, research, and innovation activities and are the blueprint for all our partnerships,” says Rhonda Lenton, York University President and Vice-Chancellor. “With a net-zero commitment and a longstanding reputation as a living lab where cutting-edge solutions are tested and refined, we are dedicated to expanding our positive impact through collaborative projects such as this one. This funding from the Ontario government will enable York, along with our partners, to expand support for SMEs across the province as part of the RTDS network towards realizing a more sustainable future.”

Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (right) checks out the inner workings of an electric vehicle with the Dean of the School of Transportation Alan McClelland of Centennial College where today's announcement took place

SmartTO will operate in partnership with Centennial College’s School of Transportation, Canada’s largest transportation training facility, leveraging the power of research expertise, engineering, and unrivalled access to state-of-the-art equipment, cutting-edge labs, vehicles, facilities, and expert technicians. SmartTO will also utilize resources from York University’s Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, Lassonde School of Engineering, and YSpace, a pan-university entrepreneurship and innovation hub, to support startups and SMEs in the GTA on their journey from technology development to commercialization. 

“Centennial College is looking forward to working with York University and the Ontario government through OVIN to build Ontario's strength in connected, autonomous, SMART and electrified vehicles – presenting a unique opportunity not only to train our future workforce in these emerging technologies but also to lead in their innovation,” says Dr. Craig Stephenson, president and CEO of Centennial College.

“Ontario has emerged as a global leader in the automotive and mobility sector as it transforms towards electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles,” said Raed Kadri, Head of OVIN. “Through the OVIN Regional Technology Development Sites, we are harnessing the strengths of our entire province, from the critical mineral wealth of Northern Ontario and to the manufacturing strength of Southern Ontario, and everywhere in between – cementing Ontario's role as the global hub for the vehicles of the future.”

Through the Province’s commitment to supporting the automotive and mobility sector, Ontario continues to reinforce its position as the global hub for automotive manufacturing, supply and technological innovation, evidenced by billions of dollars in transformational investments, particularly for EV and battery production. The creation of this new RTDS builds on this success and forms part of the Province’s 10-year plan, Driving Prosperity, which is driving economic development and a cleaner, safer and more efficient transportation future.

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About York University

York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario. Backed by a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, we bring a uniquely global perspective to help solve societal challenges, drive positive change and prepare our students for success. York's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. York’s campuses in Costa Rica and India offer students exceptional transnational learning opportunities and innovative programs. Together, we can make things right for our communities, our planet, and our future. 

About Centennial College

, founded in 1966, is Ontario’s first public college. Anchored primarily in the eastern part of the Greater Toronto Area, the college boasts five campuses and two satellite locations. Renowned for its outstanding teaching, creative curriculum, and robust network of partnerships, Centennial annually welcomes over 40,000 full-time and part-time students from over 130 countries. These students pursue their education in over 400 diploma, certificate, and degree programs across various fields, including business, media, arts, community and consumer services, engineering technology, health care, and transportation.

About the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN)

The (OVIN) is an initiative of the Government of Ontario, led by the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), designed to reinforce Ontario’s position as a North American leader in advanced automotive technology and smart mobility solutions such as connected vehicles, autonomous vehicles and electric and low-carbon vehicle technologies.

Through resources such as research and development (R&D) support, talent and skills development, technology acceleration, business and technical supports, and demonstration grounds, OVIN provides a competitive advantage to Ontario-made automotive and mobility technology companies.

About York University

York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario. Backed by a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, we bring a uniquely global perspective to help solve societal challenges, drive positive change, and prepare our students for success. York's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. York’s campuses in Costa Rica and India offer students exceptional transnational learning opportunities and innovative programs. Together, we can make things right for our communities, our planet, and our future.

Media Contact: Sandra McLean, York University Media Relations, 416-272-6317, sandramc@yorku.ca