Issue: Jun 2011

The winds of change are blowing at UOIT as the GM of Canada Automotive Centre of Excellence

by Elvis Payne

The winds of change are blowing at UOIT as the General Motors of Canada Automotive Centre of Excellence officially opens

With bone-chilling temperatures and blowing snow as a backdrop, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in Oshawa, Ontario today officially opened the General Motors of Canada Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE). This state-of-the-art facility offers a full range of testing facilities that allow for full climatic, durability and lifecycle testing, including one of the largest and most sophisticated climatic wind tunnels in the world.

"This is a monumental day for UOIT as we open for the first time in Canada a climatic testing, validation and innovation facility of this size and magnitude," said Dr. Ronald Bordessa, UOIT president. "The doors of ACE will be open to the world regardless of a company's size or affiliation, giving people from all walks of life an opportunity to work, learn and discover here. The possibilities for society are unlimited."

During the ceremony, visiting dignitaries praised this one-of-a-kind research, development and innovation facility.

"Today marks a new era of research and development in Durham Region, Ontario and the rest of Canada," said the Hon. Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Whitby-Oshawa MP. "With this new world-class facility we will be able to develop the next generation of electric vehicles, green energy technology and products not yet thought of, right here in our backyard."

"The Automotive Centre of Excellence will be a magnet for entrepreneurs and the best and brightest researchers and students," said the Hon. Sandra Pupatello, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade and Windsor West MPP. "This will have a tremendous positive impact on Ontario's ability to innovate and attract advanced manufacturing in this highly competitive global economy."

"We have partnered with ACE to further build on the leading research we perform in Canada, enabling us to develop cutting-edge innovations that will revolutionize the auto industry," said Kevin Williams, President and Managing Director of General Motors of Canada. "Innovation and R&D are not only core advantages, they are essential, and the facilities at ACE provide access to world-class tools that ensure the next generation of engineers is equipped to compete globally."

ACE is owned by the university and will operate as an independent test facility, available to rent by manufacturers of all descriptions, start-up companies and researchers in Canada and around the world. It has an area of approximately 16,300 square metres divided into two distinct sections: a core research facility and an integrated research and training facility. The total cost of the facility is approximately $100 million.

ACE was developed in partnership with UOIT, General Motors of Canada Ltd. (GMCL), the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE), the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada.

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