The new Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre was officially opened today at the Barrie Campus of Georgian College with the special announcement of a major donation by Moore, a local philanthropist, entrepreneur and owner of Moore Packaging.
Over 200 people from all levels of government, industry partners, major donors, the local community and Georgian celebrated the opening.
“Throughout his long career, Peter Moore has always understood the importance of innovation and changing technologies,” says MaryLynn West-Moynes, Georgian President and CEO. “We are grateful for his vision, leadership and generosity in recognizing our centre as a valuable incubator of collaborative partnerships between students, academia and industry which will promote innovation to develop central Ontario’s economy. He is also humble,” adds MaryLynn, “and prefers to keep the amount of his donation, private.”
The new $30-million, three-storey, 56,000 square-foot centre features computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and geographic information system (GIS) labs as well as a dedicated telepresence room, anechoic chamber, electrical lab and technical project space.
Inside the facility, the Alectra Centre for Research, Innovation and Commercialization provides students and industry partners with access to research, incubator, changemaker and fabrication space.
The centre is home to the first engineering, environmental sustainability and computer science degrees in central Ontario. Offered in partnership with Lakehead University, the programs allow students to graduate with a degree and an advanced diploma in just four years.
Peter made a generous donation in 2014. “I was so happy with the impact that my first gift had helping students in the changemaker space, that I decided I wanted to do something bigger,” says Peter. “I believe this centre will take economic growth in our region to the next level and I’m very proud and excited to play a part in supporting the next generation of innovators.”
The opening was held in front of a 24-foot by six-foot high digital wall in the ABSC event space on the third floor.
The theme for opening day was Experience Innovation with students using roving iPad robots to welcome guests. Georgian’s hospitality students and chefs treated everyone to “smoking” molecular mocktails and other creations following the virtual ribbon-cutting on the ABSC digital wall. Guests toured the facility and watched a variety of student and faculty demonstrations showcasing many of the new technologies being explored in the centre – from environmental and engineering advances to virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
“The benefits of the new Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre are many,” says MaryLynn. “Not only will it be the go-to source to develop and incubate ideas, test concepts, and showcase promising research and new products, it will enable greater industrial competitiveness and resiliency through access to research, technology and innovation infrastructure.”
The centre received funding from all four levels of government which included $10.8 million through the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF). The provincial government also supported this project, contributing $1.8 million and the County of Simcoe and the city of Barrie provided $5 million each toward the project.
Generous support was also received from Alectra Utilities, the Automotive Business School of Canada Board of Directors, Georgian College Students’ Association, Auto IQ.ca Network of Dealerships, Innovative Automation and Jane Brown Jackson. The project was also supported by numerous other contributors.