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The Composites Innovation Centre (CIC) will receive a further $6.6 million under the Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to support the growth of an internationally competitive composites industry in Manitoba.
The Honourable Carol Skelton, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of Western Economic Diversification, and the Honourable Greg Selinger, Manitoba Minister of Finance, made the announcement at the CIC laboratory, located in the University of Manitoba’s Smartpark.
“The Government of Canada supports the importance of basic and applied research, especially in science and technology, as an essential component of Canada’s future economic well-being,” said Minister Skelton. “This funding will ensure long-term economic and industrial growth, and mirrors the priorities of our Government in creating jobs, opportunities and stronger communities.”
“The composites market is growing, in part, due to the demand for efficient materials as energy prices rise,” said Minister Selinger. “Manitoba industries are well positioned to benefit from the research done at CIC as they compete in the international market place.”
CIC has established a biomaterials laboratory, enabling it to work closely with industrial partners to develop biocomposites that are manufactured from natural fibres such as flax or hemp. The successful development of bio-composite materials will help existing companies grow and attract new ones—taking advantage of Manitoba’s renewable agricultural resources, providing jobs and expanding the rural economy.
CIC was established in cooperation with Manitoba’s leading commercial composite firms. The centre’s focus on product development and improvement has earned it a high level of support from industry participants as well as from the National Research Council and the University of Manitoba.
“CIC plays a very important role in assisting companies in developing and commercializing new composite materials and technologies,” said Mr. Mark Ross, Chairman of the CIC’s Board of Directors. “Since its inception in the fall of 2003, CIC has completed a dozen industry driven projects and is currently sponsoring twenty others,” said Mr. Ross. “This level of success has been due to its effectiveness in bringing together the right industry partners and researchers to work on the projects, combined with its unique blend of proposal development, project management and technical capabilities.”
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