Collaboration and diverse thinking often lead to innovation.
Georgian College and the automotive industry share a long history and thanks to a $1-million investment over four years from the Automotive Business School of Canada (ABSC) Board of Directors, Georgian students and faculty working with industry partners will soon come together in a state-of-the-art facility to develop and incubate ideas, test concepts, and showcase promising changemaking research.
Board member and President of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association John White announced the investment on June 1 at the official opening ceremonies of the Georgian Auto Show at the Barrie Campus. The largest student-led show of its kind in Canada.
“The ABSC Board chose to invest in the Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre (ATIRC) mainly because we fully support Georgian’s determination to advance research and innovation activity in central Ontario,” explains White. “It’s no secret that the automotive industry is fueled by an accelerated need to innovate to be competitive, environmentally responsible and address changing customer demand. The facility, once completed, will provide students with opportunities to learn about cutting-edge technologies and apply the skills that are needed to be leaders of the future automotive workforce.”
Jason Dale, Executive Director ABSC added the new building will present a fantastic opportunity for ABSC students to collaborate with other students in areas such as engineering and technology.
“Thanks to the vision of the ABSC Board of Directors, our students are truly going to get an interdisciplinary experience,” says Dale. “Mechanical Engineering Technology students can ask Automotive Management students for assistance costing a product they want to manufacture or students taking automotive technology can consult with classmates in the environmental sustainable technologies course about emerging scientific data. There would even be an opportunity for students from the Automotive Sales and Customer Relationship Management course to work with their peers in the Power Quality and Distribution course on how to best manage electric vehicle charging patterns to optimize electricity use.”
The investment will be used to equip the third floor of the ATIRC to create a place where students can connect with industry leaders through networking, projects and events. A key feature of the space will be a 24-foot digital wall that will allow the ABSC and others to stream in industry speakers and thought leaders from all over the world.
The ATIRC will also be home to new engineering and environmental sustainability degree-diploma programs in partnership with Lakehead University that deliver the best of college and university combined.
The automotive industry has been a generous and long-time supporter of Georgian College and the ABSC.
In addition to its financial investment in infrastructure, the board will continue to offer valuable support and advice to the ABSC and create opportunities for co-op students and graduates from Georgian’s unique automotive programs.