Government of Canada announces $18.2 million for automotive innovation

Funding supports Windsor-based maker of lightweight auto parts and Ottawa-based battery maker

TORONTO, Feb. 16, 2017 /CNW/ - Two Canadian companies – one in Lakeshore near Windsor, the other in Ottawa – have developed innovations that have the potential to make cars lighter, more fuel efficient and, in the case of electric cars, better performing due to a longer battery life.

These innovations lead to good, well-paying jobs for the middle class and business opportunities for Canadians working in the automotive sector. They also lead to cleaner technologies that are better for the environment, resulting in healthier communities for all Canadians.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced funding totalling $18.2 million for the two companies.

Astrex Inc. of Lakeshore will receive a repayable contribution of up to $17 million from the Federal Economic Development Agency's (FedDev Ontario) Advanced Manufacturing Fund. The investment will enable Astrex, a manufacturer of auto parts, to establish a facility that produces lightweight, high-strength aluminum components. The parts manufactured at this plant will reduce fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions.

The company plans to create 62 new full-time jobs this year and an additional 24 jobs in the next two years as a result of the federal investment.

Another $1.2 million in a non-repayable contribution will go to GBatteries Energy Canada Inc. of Ottawa. The funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada's SD Tech Fund, which funds clean-technology projects, will allow the company to develop longer lasting batteries for electric cars. The battery system would also recharge much more quickly than existing ones.

The Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda will promote clean growth, good jobs and higher living standards for the middle class. The investments in Astrex and GBatteries are examples of this plan in action.

Other programs that support research and development activities in the auto sector include the Automotive Innovation Fund and the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program.


"The investments made today in Astrex and GBatteries will lead to new products and services that are more energy efficient, emit lower carbon emissions and promote healthier communities. The investments will give middle-class Canadians working in the auto sector the opportunity to design and build the cars of the future. In the process, they will develop the skills that prepare them for the jobs of the future. That's how innovation leads to a better Canada"
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

"At Astrex, we have created a facility at the leading edge of aluminum extrusion technology and with the support of the Government of Canada, we are proud to be able to create more manufacturing jobs in the Windsor area."
- Mark Blackmore, General Manager, Astrex Inc.

"The electrification revolution is moving full speed ahead. Electrical vehicles are on a path to replace conventional cars. Electronic consumer devices, from smartphones to wireless headphones are flooding the market. The need for these devices to charge faster, and use longer lasting batteries has never been higher, and GBatteries is at the forefront of providing the solution"
- Tim Sherstyuk, CEO of GBatteries

Quick Facts

  • Canada's automotive industry is a key driver of the economy, representing 10 percent of manufacturing GDP and 13 percent of total merchandise exports.
  • The sector employs 125,000 Canadians directly and another 398,700 indirectly.
  • Canada produces about 14 percent of all vehicles assembled in North America. A vehicle rolls off a Canadian assembly line roughly every 14 seconds.
  • Canada is home to more than 670 suppliers of traditional automotive components and hundreds of more suppliers from other industries, such as information and communications technologies.
  • Astrex, established in 2015, is a new joint venture between Ontario-based CanArt Aluminum Extrusion Inc. and the Netherlands-based Constellium N.V.
  • GBatteries was established in 2012 and has sold consumer electronic devices with embedded ActiveBMS in over 38 countries. Its technology has been successfully field-tested in real-world environment.

Related products

  • Backgrounder

Associated Links

FedDev Ontario 
Advanced Manufacturing Fund 
Sustainable Development Technology Canada 
GBatteries Energy Canada Inc.


February 16, 2017

Government of Canada Supports Innovation in Automotive Sector

The Government of Canada supports the development of new transformative manufacturing processes and clean technologies that aim to make Canada a global centre for innovation and have the potential to reduce carbon emissions.

To this end, it is investing in two innovative Canadian companies: Astrex Inc. and GBatteries Energy Canada Inc.

Astrex Inc.

Astrex Inc. (Astrex), established in 2015, is located in Lakeshore, Ontario. It is a joint venture between Ontario-based CanArt Aluminum Extrusion Inc. (CanArt), and the Netherlands-based multinational Constellium N.V. (Constellium). CanArt is a privately-held company that produces a wide range of aluminum products and employs 375 people. Constellium is a leading European company that produces aluminum products for the automotive industry, with 22 facilities and 11,000 employees worldwide.

Astrex Inc. is receiving a repayable contribution of up to $17 million from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). The investment will help to establish a first-of-its-kind aluminum automotive structural parts manufacturing facility in North America. This investment will create 62 new full-time jobs and will help protect the environment. The new auto parts produced will help reduce vehicle weight, lower fuel consumption and reduce carbon emissions.

The support, being provided through FedDev Ontario's Advanced Manufacturing Fund, is a critical part of Astrex's $63.6-million, four-year project to produce crash management systems in vehicles. Astrex will undertake a two-phased project to design, equip and operate a state-of-the-art facility in Lakeshore, Ontario, close to Windsor. The total project will be funded by FedDev Ontario (up to $17 million), the Government of Ontario ($1.5 million), through Astrex's corporate partners, CanArt Aluminum Extrusion Inc., Constellium ($10.4 million), and other private sector financing ($34.7 million).

FedDev Ontario will be funding the first phase of the project and will support the purchase and installation of specially-designed equipment that will see Astrex bring its first manufacturing line into operation in March of this year.

GBatteries Energy Canada Inc.

GBatteries Energy Canada Inc., a technology company established in 2012, is located in Ottawa, Ontario. In this project, GBatteries will be working with two consortium partners, eCAMION and S&C Electric Canada Ltd., to implement and demonstrate an Active Battery Management System (ActiveBMS), a charging technology for application with electric vehicles.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada is providing $1,185,000 towards GBatteries to assist them in implementing and demonstrating the Active Battery Management System (ActiveBMS). This is an innovative technology that will enhance battery life and increase battery charging rates by at least six times over conventional methods.

This technology will greatly improve batteries used in consumer electronics, cordless power tools, and electric vehicles and allow for faster charging with no adverse effect on battery performance.

GBatteries is embarking on a project to demonstrate and implement its innovative technology that will allow a battery to be charged 50 per cent in five minutes and 80 per cent in 10 minutes. The charging speed will be of particular use in electric vehicles, as this technology has the potential to reduce charging times to the time it takes to fill up traditional fuel tanks. This technology has the potential to move electric vehicles into the mainstream of consumer purchasing options.

For more information, visit:
GBatteries Energy Canada Inc. 

FedDev Ontario's Advanced Manufacturing Fund (AMF)
The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) is the Government of Canada's economic development organization for southern Ontario. Its programs and services support economic benefits for the region, contributing to a strong and prosperous province and country.

The AMF was launched on December 9, 2013, with a mandate to invest in innovation and boost productivity in Ontario's manufacturing sector. It seeks to increase the development of transformative products and technologies to help Ontario manufactures create high-quality jobs and, in turn, help Canada compete globally.

The AMF supports investments that create new and innovative products or production methods, with commercialization within five years.

For more information, visit:
FedDev Ontario 
Advanced Manufacturing Fund

Sustainable Development Technology Canada

Sustainable Development Technology Canada is an arm's-length foundation created by the Government of Canada to promote sustainable development and support projects that develop and demonstrate new clean technologies to address issues related to climate change, air quality, and clean water and soil. Sustainable Development Technology Canada invests in Canadian companies that contribute positively to Canada by creating quality jobs, driving economic growth and protecting the environment.

For more information, please visit:
Sustainable Development Technology Canada

Related Products

News release: Minister Bains Announces $18.2M to create and maintain middle-class jobs and develop clean technologies 

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SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

For further information: Pauline Tam, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, 343-291-2500; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 343-291-1777,; Media Relations, FedDev Ontario, 416-954-6652,, Toll Free: 1-866-593-5505, Website:


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