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WINNIPEG — What and how to apply intelligent software based technologies? How to develop a business case for the transition of heavy diesel vehicles to electric? How do radiator manufacturers pivot to support the electric vehicle sector?

 

These were some of the questions from industry that were addressed on January 26 at the AIMday event where Manitoba academic researchers and industry representatives met to discuss challenges in heavy equipment and vehicle manufacturing and to develop pathways to new collaborations.

Driven by world-class companies, Manitoba’s long-time success in the heavy vehicle industry is rooted in its unique and robust cluster of outstanding manufacturers, parts and component suppliers, research institutes and educational institutions.

The heavy vehicle manufacturing industry is a cornerstone of manufacturing in Manitoba, directly employing about 10 per cent of Manitoba’s manufacturing workforce and indirectly employing many more. Intensely export-oriented, the industry annually accounts for about $1 billion in exports.

Manitoba has a well-diversified infrastructure of suppliers of raw materials, parts, component assemblies and services. Many of these suppliers also serve the aerospace and agricultural equipment sectors.

Questions submitted by companies were the basis for company-led discussions with academics from various disciplines. A facilitated one-hour discussion around each question enabled industry representatives and academics to assess whether they can work together to find a solution to the specific challenge presented by the company.

Of the 8 proposals submitted by researchers in response to specific industry questions, 5 were selected by the companies to receive initial funding of $5,000 each. Upon successful collaboration, additional funding may be available to the researchers to further advance their projects with industry.

“One of our shared objectives is to increase collaboration between Manitoba’s private sector and post-secondary institutions with the goal to foster a more competitive, digitally skilled workforce,” said Myrna Grahn, Manager of Manitoba Industry-Academia Partnership. “Conversations between industry and academia will highlight the most relevant intelligent technologies for Heavy equipment and Vehicle Manufacturing, and may lead to potential collaboration projects and novel solutions for industry challenges.”

The event received financial support from Western Economic Diversification Canada, which provides targeted financial support to encourage post-secondary researchers to connect with industry and form new partnerships. MI-AP plans to host AIMday events of different themes and topics throughout the year.

 

The following research teams were selected by the industry organizations to receive initial funding:

Researcher(s) Department(s) Institution(s)
Nariman Sepehri Mechanical Engineering University of Manitoba
Bin Yang Research Partnership and Innovation Red River College
Paul Larson Asper School University of Manitoba
Robert Parsons Asper School University of Manitoba
Jojo Delos Reyes Research Partnership and Innovation Red River College

 

For more information, contact:

Myrna Grahn, PHec

Manager

Email: [email protected]

 

Minli Huang

AIMday Coordinator

[email protected]