Greater Sudbury Council Approves Financial Support for NORCAT Innovation

Mar 23, 2016

Greater Sudbury Council has approved financial support for the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT) over the next two years. Funding will flow through the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation to provide a total of $300,000 in 2016 and 2017 for salaries and operating costs at the NORCAT underground technology testing centre and mining equipment simulation centre.

“NORCAT is an indispensable part of a local knowledge economy and has positioned our city as a global leader in innovation and technology,” said Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger. “An investment in NORCAT is an investment in entrepreneurship which is necessary to create local jobs and diversify the economy.”

NORCAT is the only non-profit regional innovation centre in the world with an operating mine that allows start-ups, small and medium sized enterprises and international companies to design, test and showcase new technologies and processes in an operating mine environment. Clients of its mining equipment simulation centre and eLearning training programs include industry leaders from North America, Africa and South America.

“The Greater Sudbury Development Corporation partnership with NORCAT is a sound economic development opportunity for this community,” said Dr. Darren Stinson, Chair of the GSDC Board of Directors. “This investment will support the creation of up to 60 jobs over the next three years and will continue to build on the success achieved by local entrepreneurs.”

More than 35 small businesses have tested new products in the NORCAT underground technology centre over the past year, including MacLean Engineering, Halo Lighting, Maestro Mine Ventilation, Clickmox Solutions, Symboticware equipment and sensor data, K4 Integration and TesMan underground production processes.

NORCAT has set a five year goal to provide uninterrupted support to local start-up and established innovation industries to create 100 full-time equivalent jobs and attract investment capital in the range of $15 to $20 million. The five year goal for the NORCAT mining equipment simulation centre is to train between 200 and 400 new or existing miners each year.

The Greater Sudbury Development Corporation is the economic development arm of the City of Greater Sudbury. Consisting of a 17-member Board of Directors and supported by municipal staff, the GSDC acts as a catalyst for economic development initiatives and supports the attraction, development and retention of business in the community.