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R&D investment at Ford to benefit UWindsor engineering students and faculty

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne participated in a roundtable discussion with local business leaders, educators and politicians at the University of Windsor on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Wynne attended an announcement at the Ford Essex Engine Plant with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau where the provincial government, federal government and Ford announced a $1.2-billion investment in the automaker’s Ontario operations. Part of that investment will go to the Powertrain Engineering Research and Development Centre which works in collaboration with UWindsor engineering graduate students and faculty.

The subsequent roundtable was held at the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation’s office in the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation and included Wynne, Minister of Economic Development and Growth Brad Duguid, UWindsor President Alan Wildeman, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and Essex County Warden Tom Bain.

Stephen MacKenzie, CEO of the development corporation, said the discussion focused around the pending renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“We put together a group of thought leaders and industry participants related to the automotive sector and … discussed what issues are important for Ontario to address as we prepare for the negotiations.”

Wynne addressed a crowd in the Centre for Engineering Innovation’s Industrial Courtyard following the discussion.

“It was a great opportunity to hear from some business leaders who are on the front lines, some folks from the academic community and Minister Duguid and I really appreciated the opportunity to have that conversation,” she told students, faculty and community leaders.