Innovative Automation donates $250,000 toward research and innovation at Georgian College
April 06, 2018

Three men in hard hats and reflective vests standing in front of blueprintsOne in four employees at Innovative Automation is a Georgian College graduate.

In recognition – and celebration – of how important the college is to training his workforce, company president Steve Loftus announced he and his partners are investing $250,000 in Georgian’s new Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre (ATIRC) that will open in September on the Barrie Campus.

Loftus made the announcement alongside co-owners Michael Lalonde and Matthew Setterington at a think tank of local advanced manufacturers at Georgian on April 5. Setterington is an alumnus of Georgian’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program and Loftus was once a Georgian student.

“To continue to lead in the new global economy, the required skill level of our staff has to increase,” says Loftus. “Innovative Automation is looking to our partnership with Georgian, including combined degree-diplomas with Lakehead, to meet our growing needs.”

Earlier this year, Innovative Automation celebrated the grand opening of its new 62,500-square-foot facility on Welham Road in Barrie. The company is currently recruiting 29 new innovators to join the team.

Three men and a woman holding a big cheque for $250,000Georgian College President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes is optimistic that many of those new jobs will be filled by Georgian grads and that Georgian grads will continue to drive growth at Innovative Automation.

In the ATIRC, students will take part in research and innovation collaborations where academia and industry will develop, incubate, test and commercialize products that will strengthen and diversify the regional economy.

“Innovative Automation is a forward-thinking business that understands that research and innovation are essential economic drivers,” says West-Moynes. “We are so thankful for their continued support. Their donation will play a critical role in helping to strengthen research and innovation in our region, which over time will drive prosperity and improve our competitive position.”

The ATIRC will be home to Simcoe County’s first degrees in electrical engineering, and environmental sustainability offered by Georgian in partnership with Lakehead University. Students will graduate job-ready with both a diploma and a degree – the best of a college and university education – in just four years.

Innovative Automation is a long-time Georgian College supporter. For almost two decades, the company has donated gifts-in-kind of equipment for hands-on student learning and has provided industry representation on program advisory committees. It also sponsors the Georgian College Golf Classic to raise funds for awards and scholarships.