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Saskatchewan Manufacturing Centre of Excellence launched

Published by CME Staff on November 24, 2014

The province’s manufacturing sector is receiving a significant boost today with the launch of the Saskatchewan Manufacturing Centre of Excellence in Saskatoon.

The event coincides with the proclamation of Saskatchewan’s ninth annual Manufacturing Week, which features various events taking place November 24–28.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed this morning between the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) and Saskatchewan Polytechnic to formally establish the Centre of Excellence at Polytechnic’s Saskatoon campus. The centre will focus on productivity improvement, innovation, and workforce development for the Saskatchewan manufacturing sector.

“Manufacturing has been a key component to Saskatchewan's unprecedented economic growth,” Economy Minister Bill Boyd said. “This government’s $500,000 investment in the Centre of Excellence, announced in the 2013-14 Budget, shows that we place a high priority on sustaining and increasing the competitiveness and innovation of Saskatchewan’s manufacturing.”

“The Centre of Excellence will provide Saskatchewan manufacturers with the resources, services and leadership necessary to compete and win in both domestic and global markets,” Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Canada Ltd. President and CEO and Chair of the Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council Tom Kishchuk said. “Manufacturers in this province are already recognized around the world as world-class. But as markets evolve, so do the demands of business; it is imperative that manufacturers have timely access to the supports, training and best practices they need to continue creating jobs, stimulating investment, and driving economic growth.”

“Success in today's competitive manufacturing arena is a lot like success in football—it requires a skilful and well-coached team, a good game plan, and near-flawless execution,” CME Vice President & Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council (SMC) Executive Director Derek Lothian said. “Saskatchewan manufacturers have a global reputation for quality and reliability, but the competition is stiffer now than ever before. This centre will grant us home field advantage when we need it most.”

“The partnership with the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters is a perfect fit with our emphasis on applied learning and applied research,” Saskatchewan Polytechnic President and CEO Dr. Larry Rosia said. “We’re looking forward to hosting the Saskatchewan Manufacturing Centre of Excellence on our campus, and to working with the centre to support growth in the province’s manufacturing sector.”

The Ministry of the Economy has committed $1.5 million over three years to the Centre and is working with CME to develop its programming. Other organizations providing support to the Centre include Athabasca University, which is also working with Polytechnic to deliver some of the programming, and the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program.

Saskatchewan Manufacturing Week showcases the province’s manufacturing expertise, successes achieved by businesses and communities, and the manufacturing sector’s training and career opportunities.

Saskatchewan manufacturers are global leaders in such fields as satellite communication technology, dryland farming equipment, and mining machinery and robotics. Information on Saskatchewan Manufacturing Week events such as facility tours and speaker presentations is available at www.economy.gov.sk.ca/mfgweek.

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