BDC provides $57 million in financing for Hamilton-area R & D project

MONTREAL, Nov. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - The Business development Bank of Canada (BDC) is pleased to announce that it is a key player in McMaster Innovation Park's new $69 million research complex that will help boost the new economy in the Hamilton area. Made possible under the federal government's Business Credit Availability Program, the $57 million financing is BDC's largest contribution under this initiative to date.

In collaboration with McMaster University, this 37-acre complex is evolving into a number of labs and research facilities focused mainly on new technology and higher-value products. The anchor tenant is Natural Resource Canada's CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory (CANMET-MTL), one of the most recognized centres of research excellence of its kind in Canada. Presently located in Ottawa, CANMET-MTL is relocating to its new facility at McMaster Innovation Park in the fall of 2010 and will employ 100 people in Hamilton. The building is targeting a LEED Canada Platinum Certification.

CANMET-MTL will support research activities in materials development and performance assessment, including pilot-scale casting, rolling, forming, welding, corrosion, mechanical testing and micro-structure evaluations. It also has a special academic program partially funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The academic user program, the first version of which was spearheaded by professors at McMaster University in 2003, allows its facilities to be made available to all Canadian university researchers.

"Investments in science and technology play a significant role in helping Canadian industry adapt to the challenges of our current economy," said the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources. "This Government of Canada partnership is building innovation with academia and industry communities, creating jobs and encouraging economic growth."

"With this project, we believe we can help mitigate some of the changes in the economy of the Hamilton area. Creating new jobs based in advanced technology, as opposed to traditional manufacturing is an important part of what is going on here," says the president of McMaster Innovation Park, Zach Douglas. "BDC stepped up in a very responsive and positive way. They helped us through some very complex issues in putting together financing. The key feature was the flexibility that permitted us to keep the construction costs within budget. We are very pleased with this relationship."

"BDC can play a key role in projects that require high levels of adaptability," said Steven Oliver, Senior Manager Corporate Financing at BDC. "In difficult times such as these, we really understand that for our clients, the meaning of a true partnership includes being there when they need us the most."

About BDC

BDC is Canada's business development bank. From more than 100 offices across the country, BDC promotes entrepreneurship by providing highly tailored financing, venture capital and consulting services to entrepreneurs. For more information, visit www.bdc.ca.

SOURCE Business Development Bank of Canada

For further information: For further information: Johanne Bissonnette, Media Relations Manager, (514) 283-7929, johanne.bissonnette@bdc.ca


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