Ontario Partners with Auto Industry to Boost Supply Chain Competitiveness in Riding

In March, Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie/Innisfil, was pleased to share that our government is investing $10 million in auto parts companies through the Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP) to boost competitiveness and position Ontario as a North American hub for building the car of the future. Funding awarded so far will leverage $25.8 million in industry investments.

As restrictions have eased in Ontario, Andrea has been able to safely visit the facilities of the recipients of this grant.

"I am thrilled to announce that four manufacturers in the Barrie-Innisfil area will be receiving funding through the Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP) announced in 2019," said Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil.

“Jomi Technical Services, Linear Transfer Automation Inc., and SBS Drivetec Inc. will each be receiving $100,000. Innovative Automation will be receiving $67,712 — and as previous grant recipients, they have been very strategic and successful in the projects they have invested in. These organizations provide so many of our local residents with skilled labour opportunities, and they go out of their way to contribute to our local charities. This funding will assist them in becoming more efficient and innovative in their manufacturing processes, and as we lay the foundation for economic recovery from COVID-19, this new grant will allow for further job creation and local job opportunities."

Steve Loftus _ Innovative Automation
Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin is shown with Steve Loftus during a visit to Innovative Automation.

"The O-AMP funding has allowed Innovative Automation to take our business operating system to the next level," said Steve Loftus, co-owner and president of Innovative Automation. "The implementation of our new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system will allow Innovative to strategically grow internationally with multiple currencies and locations working within a single business system. The efficiencies created will allow Innovative Automation to "Lead Globally" with the main operation centre located right here in Barrie, Ontario."

Fabain Burger and John Pearson _ SBS Drivetec
Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin is shown with Fabian Burger (left) and John Pearson during a visit to SBS Drivetec

"On Tuesday June 15, the team here at SBS-Drivetec was pleased to receive MPP Andrea Khanjin and a respected guest here at our Barrie facility," said Fabian Burger, Managing Director of SBS Drivetec. "It was with great pride that we reviewed with MPP Andrea the positive effects of the OAMP funding SBS-Drivetec received. With the funding, we were able to almost double our production capacity and optimize efficiency and quality in order meet our increased sales and customer demand in order to offer solutions to ever growing EV and HEV automotive markets."

"The strength, innovation and quality of our automotive supply chain has been essential in attracting almost $6 billion in new vehicle assembly investments to Ontario," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "O-AMP provides targeted support to help auto parts manufacturers make critical investments in technology and training to enable them to keep ahead in a globally competitive industry."

O-AMP was launched in September 2019 as a centrepiece of Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario's Automotive Sector, the government's plan for a strong and sustainable auto industry.

The program is helping small- and medium-sized automotive parts suppliers get better, stronger sting in technology adoption and/or training in lean manufacturing. More than 100 projects are either underway or in the pipeline and will create about 570 jobs.

The organizations in Barrie/Innisfil receiving a grant include: Innovative Automation Inc., Jomi Technical Services, Linear Transfer Automation Inc., SBS Drivetec Inc.

"The Canadian and Ontario auto industries have a generation-defining opportunity to lead in the design, engineering and manufacture of modern vehicle technologies 74 zero emissions light weight, connected and autonomous," said Flavio Volpe, President of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association. "The targeted investments of the Ontario Automotive Modernization Program will assist our ambitious and innovative auto parts companies stay at the leading-edge of technology and innovation."

"By partnering with Ontario's innovative and ambitious auto parts companies, we can help prepare our supply chain to seize growth opportunities stemming from NAFTA 2.0 and its increased regional content requirements for vehicles," said Minister Fedeli. “As our government works to lay the foundation our economic recovery from COVID-19, we will continue our collaborative partnerships to keep the auto industry at the forefront of innovation, jobs and exports for years to come."

The Ontario 2021 Budget announced further support for the auto sector by investing $56.4 million over the next four years to create the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN). OVIN will build on successful elements of the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN), accelerating the development of next generation electric, connected and autonomous vehicle and mobility technologies, as well as supporting Ontario's role as the manufacturing hub of Canada.

OVIN will also encourage collaboration between small- and medium-sized enterprises, academia, the auto industry and the battery sector, including critical minerals development in Ontario's North. This will ensure MEDJCT stakeholders in the automotive and associated sectors across the province have access to the support they need to prepare for and build the next generation of vehicles.

Ontario also wrapped up the virtual auto-tech trade mission to Silicon Valley to promote the province's auto-tech ecosystem. The mission showcased the "Ontario Made" advantage in both automotive manufacturing and leading-edge technology.

There were over 200 B2B connections made with more than 60 California-based companies and investors. Minister Fedeli met with senior business executives in the auto and tech industries to promote Ontario as a leading jurisdiction including Elring Klinger, Tesla, Leddar Tech, Gatik Al, Flex-N-Gate, and Linamar.

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