ST JOHN'S, NL, March 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) is investing $10,300 towards a research project in western Newfoundland that will enhance the design and manufacturing process of snowboards. In partnership with College of the North Atlantic (CNA), RDC is supporting Magine Snowboards in Port au Port to develop a more durable snowboard product by replacing glass-based fibre with environmentally-friendly composite materials.
"Today's announcement demonstrates how our province's entrepreneurs continue to use R&D as a way to reach national and global markets," said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister Responsible for the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador. "Our government is excited to support Magine Snowboards, as they exemplify how small- and medium-sized businesses in rural Newfoundland and Labrador continue to be a key driver of economic performance and growth."
Magine Snowboards is collaborating with CNA's Manufacturing Technology Centre and Civil Engineering Technology Lab in St. John's to research and test the stability, manoeuvrability and design of a series of snowboard prototypes prior to manufacturing.
"By facilitating collaboration among our business and academic communities, vibrant young companies such as Magine Snowboards can tap into the extensive engineering knowledge at CNA to assist in the development of this innovative product," said Glenn Janes, CEO, RDC. "This project is a great example of how Newfoundland and Labrador continues to build its reputation as a place where our small business community can leverage the resources of our academic institutions to produce leading-edge R&D."
Magine Snowboards has operated in Western Newfoundland and Labrador since December 2010. The company produces custom-built snowboards and currently has distribution channels in St. John's and Corner Brook, as well as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Alberta.
"In a market that is valued at approximately $180 million in Canada, we know our product has to differentiate itself from our competitors," said Stephen Wheeler, General Manager, Magine Snowboards. "Working in partnership with RDC and College of the North Atlantic to test new snowboard designs and manufacturing processes, we are confident we can develop a number of products that can meet the high expectations of quality and durability that our current customers demand, and our potential customers want."
RDC's funding is provided through its R&D Vouchers program, which is designed to improve business-led R&D in Newfoundland and Labrador.
"The owners at Magine Snowboards care about what they make, and how they make it," said Ann Marie Vaughan, CNA's President and CEO. "That's why the researchers within the college's Office of Applied Research will help to improve manufacturability, reduce related production cost, minimize lead-time to market, and achieve a performance level comparable to traditional fibreglass snowboards. The college has been involved in numerous private and industry applied research initiatives, and we are extremely proud of the accomplishments of both our researchers and partners to date."
The Research & Development Corporation is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador's R&D performance. RDC works with R&D stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments. For more information about RDC, go to www.rdc.org.
Image with caption: "Magine Snowboards, which is based in Port au Port, NL, is receiving funding from RDC to develop a more durable snowboard product by replacing glass-based fiber with environmentally-friendly composite materials. (CNW Group/Research & Development Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130304_C2004_PHOTO_EN_24232.jpg
SOURCE: Research & Development Corporation
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