The Canadian government announced in late July that it will provide more than .8 million in funding to help research institutions and companies in the province of British Columbia access 3D printing technologies. The funding program was publicly unveiled at the Applied Research and Innovation Centre at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
Approximately $1.9 million of the funding will go to BCIT for the establishment of the Advanced Additive Manufacturing Technology Hub (AAMTECH) in Burnaby. This will serve as a hub for 3D printing activities in the Vancouver region. According to government figures, the hub is expected to benefit around 60 small and medium-sized enterprises and create 90 new products and services.
One of the main beneficiaries is Burnaby-based Garibaldi Glass Industries Inc. which will receive $4.625 million. This will be used to build a second production line and purchase modern hardware. Another $168,000 will go toward Garibaldi’s continuing education programs. The goal is to enter entirely new markets in addition to existing industries.
Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, president of BCIT, sees the hub as a win-win for students and businesses, “The AAMTECH Hub provides hands-on learning opportunities for our students and practical solutions for industry. Companies and researchers now have access to cutting-edge 3D printing technologies.”
Chris Mobius, Vice President of Garibaldi Glass, is also enthusiastic: “With this funding, we are strengthening innovation at the Burnaby site. In parallel with international growth, we’re staying true to the region and creating new opportunities.”
Given the pipeline expansion in British Columbia, it is likely that Garibaldi will want to move more into the oil and gas industry. 3D printing could be used for custom solutions, for example, and speed up processes. The funding shows that the Canadian government has high hopes for the future of manufacturing.