Auto suppliers in Ontario can now officially tap into a $10-million provincial government program designed to help them operate more efficiently and digitize their production.
Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade, made the announcementMonday evening at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Moldmakers in Windsor, Ont. It’s the latest piece of the Conservative government policy Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario's Automotive Sector.
The three-year Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP) program, first unveiled in the spring, gives government money to small- and medium-sized automotive parts suppliers for projects that fall under one or both of the following categories:
- Technology adoption, which includes advanced manufacturing hardware, software and/or training to improve processes and enhance competitiveness. For example, projects could include investments in production technology that allows companies to digitize their production tracking and logistical systems.
- Lean manufacturing, which includes projects that support training in lean manufacturing practices to minimize waste during the production process and optimize productivity.
“Our comprehensive, high-quality and innovative supply chain is essential to Ontario’s value proposition as a great place to build vehicles,” Fedeli said in a statement.
Companies can apply online and the deadline to apply is Oct. 18, 2019, the government said in an email. The program provides grants that do not need to be repaid.
Jonathon Azzopardi, chair of the Canadian Association of Moldmakers, said in a statement that the new program “boosts the long-term competitiveness of Ontario’s automated manufacturing cluster.”
The program will fund up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs up to $100,000, with recipient companies contributing the remainder through their own resources.
Flavio Volpe, head of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, said the program will help Ontario companies “stay at the forefront of technology.”
“With increasingly complex vehicle technologies, razor thin margins and global competition, every competitive advantage is a win for our industry and its workers,” Volpe said.