Laurentian University accelerates innovation and skills development in Greater Sudbury

From: FedNor

February 13, 2020 – Sudbury, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor

Laurentian University is the largest bilingual provider of distance education in the country and a leader in technology and innovation. The Sudbury-based institution is also home to the recently created McEwen School of Architecture and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, which are both important regional economic drivers.

During a visit to Laurentian University’s Sudbury campus, Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury, and Marc G. Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, announced FedNor funding of $150,000 to purchase specialized equipment for the Foundry, including 3D printers, laser cutters, virtual and augmented reality systems, and a digital media lab. This announcement was made today on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.

Located in the Jim Fielding Innovation and Commercialization Space, the Foundry helps students, faculty, and staff advance and enhance their digital literacy and technical skills, develop new technologies, and create new business start-ups. The Government of Canada, through FedNor, is a long-standing partner of Laurentian University with investments totalling more than $11 million since 2000.


“It’s an exciting time for technology and innovation in Greater Sudbury. Today’s announcement brings

cutting-edge equipment to Laurentian University to support advanced learning and skills development, while encouraging the next generation of innovators and jobs creators.”

– Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury

“The size and scope of the Foundry will support a coordinated approach to training and development for up to 30 users annually. More importantly, this strategic initiative will help fuel the local economy by helping to create five start-ups per year, while supporting jobs and growth in Greater Sudbury.”

– Marc G. Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt

“Innovation is a key priority for our government and a pillar for the federal Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario. Our investment today will help bring industry and academia together to support the development and commercialization of new technologies, ideas and processes with the potential to transform the regional and national economy.”

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for FedNor

“This investment in the Jim Fielding Innovation Space enables our students to bring their ideas to life through access to new and emerging technologies. The hands-on experimentation and the application of classroom concepts are essential to the student experience. We are thankful for the government’s leadership and investment in our students.”

– Dr. Robert Haché, President and Vice-Chancellor of Laurentian University

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.

  • Since 2000, Laurentian University’s student population has grown by more than 50% to 9,500 students, while boasting one of the highest post-graduation employment rates in Ontario.

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