(Windsor, Ontario, Friday, January 21, 2011) –The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has awarded $398,811 to the University of Windsor to support the development of an Innovation Design Studio and Transformable Manufacturing System, the first of its kind in North America. The systems will be housed in the university’s $112 million Centre for Engineering Innovation, scheduled to open for classes in the fall of 2012. The project is led by engineering researchers Dr. Hoda ElMaraghy, Dr. Ahmed Azab and Dr. Waguih ElMaraghy.
The funding will be used to purchase state-of-the-art equipment to create an “iDesign Studio” and “iFactory” where faculty members and students can develop their product ideas from conceptualization to prototyping and designing virtual assembly systems, to actually building their product in a real-world, truly reconfigurable factory in the laboratory.
“The investments being announced today at The University of Windsor will further enhance our country’s reputation as a destination of choice for outstanding researchers,” said Dr. Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO of the CFI. “They will make our universities even more competitive when it comes to attracting the best and brightest researchers from around the world.”
Dr. Hoda ElMaraghy said, “We are thankful for this award from CFI. This funding will help students acquire a unique hands-on experience in integrating product design and manufacturing. These novel technologies will enable industry to implement new business models in order to be competitive in a changing world. This investment from the federal government is helping to put the University of Windsor on the map in the area of manufacturing systems research.”
Alan Wildeman, President, University of Windsor said, “We are highly grateful for this award from CFI and very proud of what our researchers in the new Centre for Engineering Innovation are doing to enhance our country's competitiveness in manufacturing.”
The Canada Foundation for Innovation is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The University of Windsor’s award was given as part of the Leaders Opportunity Fund, which provides support to Canadian institutions so they can attract and retain leading researchers at a time of intense international competition for knowledge workers.
Jeff Watson, Member of Parliament for Essex said, "The Stephen Harper government's investment in this first-of-its-kind in North American iFactory and iDesign Studio strengthens our commitment to the growing knowledge economy across Windsor-Essex and Canada. Our investment, a further enhancement of our partnership in the new Centre for Engineering Innovation, will make Windsor-Essex's diversifying advanced manufacturing base instantly more competitive and will spur the commercialization of new technologies that will create the high-paying jobs of the future."
The University of Windsor’s award was part of a national CFI announcement. For a complete list of the projects awarded, please visit www.innovation.ca.
Founded in 1963, the University of Windsor has close to 16,000 full-time and part-time students. The University of Windsor’s mission is to enable people to make a better world through education, scholarship, research and engagement. www.uwindsor.ca
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