Red Deer, Alberta, August 26, 2022 – Central Alberta: Access Prosperity is excited to announce it is receiving a federal investment of $870,292 through PrairiesCan for the Manufacturing & Export Enhancement (MEE) Cluster.
The funding, made available through PrairiesCan’s Regional Innovation Ecosystem program, will allow for the delivery of initiatives to foster manufacturing innovation, enhance collaboration, and support manufacturers along their digital transformation journey across the Prairies region.
Access Prosperity, a not-for-profit economic development organization located in Red Deer, Alberta, officially launched the MEE Cluster March 2022. The cluster was established out of the need to support small and medium-sized businesses in manufacturing technology adoption, and to bring industry, post-secondary institutes, and various like-minded organizations closer together in the name of manufacturing innovation and growth across western Canada.
One of the first initiatives being rolled out thanks in part to the federal funding is the Industrial Additive Manufacturing Hack-A-Thon hosted by the Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing – Technology Access Centre (CIM-TAC) at Red Deer Polytechnic. The Hack-A-Thon provides an important opportunity for manufacturers across the Prairies to gain critical skills in advanced digital design and modeling, as well as gain experience with additive manufacturing (3D printing). With guidance from members of the Alberta Additive Manufacturing Network, engineers will participate in teams of three to four to address design challenges brought forward by industry.
Western Canada Trade Show
Another initiative made possible through the newly announced funding is a new tradeshow to be held in April 2023. The SmartMTX tradeshow, which will include specialty sub-conferences, will provide a platform to explore ideas and opportunities that fuel manufacturing growth and innovation. SmartMTX will also enable manufacturers to learn about the latest advancements in Smart Manufacturing technologies and connect them with solution providers.
Support from Partners
PrairiesCan funding for the Manufacturing & Export Enhancement Cluster is further complemented by funding from Alberta Innovates and Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen). Small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses are encouraged to visit the Cluster website for more information on opportunities to receive support through the initiative. Businesses can also sign up for the free Associate Membership to receive all the latest on cluster events and initiatives, or email email@example.com.
“Small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses across central Alberta play a vital role in creating high quality jobs and exporting Canadian-made products to markets around the globe. Our government’s investment in the Manufacturing and Export Enhancement Cluster will help provide these businesses with more opportunities to adopt new technologies, integrate leading-edge manufacturing processes, and access the resources they need to remain competitive and continue to grow for years to come.”
- The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan
“From transportation equipment to medical devices, Alberta has the know how and the capacity to manufacture and export a diverse range of products to meet the needs of consumers across Canada and abroad. With this funding, our government is investing in the sustainable growth of Alberta’s manufacturing businesses to build a better future for all Albertans.”
- The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance
“The funding announced by the federal government will allow industry to build resilience and better compete globally by accelerating the digital transformation of manufacturing in Western Canada. Access Prosperity’s MEE Cluster will create synergies by bringing the manufacturing ecosystem closer together, support adoption of Smart Manufacturing, and build essential skills within the workforce to help manufacturers thrive in the digital age.”
- Peter Krzesinski, Executive Director – MEE Cluster