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Connecting Ontario’s manufacturing might with critical minerals in the North

Ontario launches Northern Technology Development Site to solidify position as North American leader in building the future cars
Ontario Centre of Innovation 1
(Ontario Centre of Innovation photo)

NORTH BAY — The Northern Ontario Regional Technology Development Site (RTDS) will connect Ontario’s manufacturing might with Northern Ontario’s mining and mineral expertise, talent and leadership. It will provide Northern and electric vehicle (EV) businesses with the support they need to help build the next generation of low-carbon, autonomous, electric and connected vehicles.

The Northern Site brings together post-secondary institutions, Regional Innovation Centres, incubators and accelerators, municipal and regional resources, industry and other regional collaborators. It will help businesses develop Ontario’s EV supply chain, including initial critical minerals refining, downstream battery cell design and EV powertrain, manufacturing, and other related EV technologies.

“Right now, Ontario is uniquely positioned to emerge as a North American EV hub and we will continue to invest in Ontario’s manufacturing and innovation ecosystem as we build the cars of the future,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “We’re making sure our innovators, entrepreneurs, and small and medium-sized enterprises in every region of the province have the capital and support they need to bring Ontario-made EV and connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) solutions to the world.”

As the next step in the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), the Northern Ontario RTDS is a collaboration between public and private sector partners in North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Greater Sudbury, Temiskaming Shores, Timmins, and Thunder Bay.

“As the world quickens its transition towards the adoption of electric and autonomous vehicles, Ontario stands ready to lead,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “The OVIN Northern Ontario Regional Technology Development Site will strengthen links between our resources and manufacturing sectors, preparing the province to become a major destination for inward investment, and good-paying, rewarding careers in the new auto industry.”

“Ontario has emerged as a global leader in the automotive and mobility sector as it transforms towards electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles,” said Raed Kadri, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Head of OVIN. “Through the OVIN Northern Ontario Regional Technology Development Site, we are harnessing the critical mineral wealth of Northern Ontario and connecting it to the manufacturing strength of Southern Ontario – cementing Ontario's role as the global hub for the vehicles of the future.”

Northern Ontario RTDS joins six others across Ontario. They are part of a flagship program to drive innovation and investment across Ontario’s electric, connected and autonomous vehicle sector. A $56.4 million investment in the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) is part of Driving Prosperity ― The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector, the government’s plan to drive deals and secure production mandates for hybrid and electric vehicles, create a domestic battery ecosystem, and strengthen Ontario’s position as a North American automotive and EV innovation hub.

Over the past 18 months, Ontario’s auto sector has seen more than $12 billion in investments for new vehicle production mandates and battery manufacturing. More than $5 billion of these investments are in transformative hybrid and electric vehicle production at Ontario assembly plants. These include significant and historic investments by Honda, Stellantis and LG Energy Solution, General Motors, and Ford that will generate and secure thousands of local jobs for the province’s highly talented workforce.

"The Northern Ontario Regional Technology Development Site will ensure that Northern Ontario will be fully networked and a major contributing partner in accelerating the development of new innovations and valuable Intellectual property, which will contribute to next generation OVIN-related contributing technologies, and optimize the substantial benefits from a larger and more enabled critical minerals strategy." - Robert Deline, Executive Director, IION (North Bay)