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Harper Government Supports Creation of Composites Research Network to Benefit Western Canadian Manufacturing Sector

January 25, 2012
Vancouver, British Columbia
Minister Yelich (centre) with invited guests.

Minister Yelich (centre) with invited guests.

Corresponding Documents:  Speech | Photo Gallery

Businesses in Western Canada’s manufacturing sector will be positioned to gain an increased competitive advantage in the global composites industry thanks to an investment that was announced today by the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

Investments like this are key in furthering our goal of creating jobs and growth,” said Minister Yelich. “By supporting this initiative, our Government is helping to provide western Canadian businesses with the means to capitalize on the evolving composites industry and the associated economic benefits.

Thanks to this investment of over $9.8 million from the federal government, a pan-western Composites Research Network will be created to assist western Canadian manufacturing businesses in developing the necessary skills and expertise to allow them to compete for opportunities in the rapidly expanding global composites industry.

This investment in the Composites Research Network advances important collaborative research between researchers and businesses,” said John Hepburn, VP Research & International at UBC. “These research partnerships drive innovation by developing and implementing manufacturing solutions faster and more efficiently than would otherwise be possible.

The Composites Research Network is being led by the University of British Columbia, and will establish nodes in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Trained personnel at each node will work with businesses, providing them with access to important information, training, and networking which will in turn position them for success with composite-related manufacturing opportunities.

The Composites Research Network (or CRN) will provide Western Canadian industry with a significant advantage in further understanding and refining their composite manufacturing processes”, stated Sean McKay, Executive Director of the Composites Innovation Centre, “Developing the necessary science and hence fundamental understanding of manufacturing issues and being able to assimilate them into every day operations to reduce defects and improve efficiencies is essential to remain competitive in today’s global market place.

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is one of North America’s largest public research and teaching institutions and is consistently ranked among the world’s 40 best universities. UBC offers more than 50,000 students a range of innovative programs and attracts $550 million per year in research funding from government, non-profit organizations and industry through 7,000 grants.

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

For additional information, contact:

Jerra Byrne
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, P.C., M.P. (Blackstrap)
Minister of State – Western Economic Diversification
jerra.byrne@wd.gc.ca

Lorraine Chan
Communications Coordinator
University of British Columbia, Public Affairs
Telephone: 604-822-2644

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