Connecting Advanced Manufacturing Startups in Mississauga April 9, 2019 RICCentre Advanced Manufacturing in Mississauga Advanced Manufacturing. Industry 4.0. Mississauga is a hub for some of the most technologically advanced manufacturers in the world. Whether it is the use of robotics and automation to assemble end-use products, sophisticated data analytics to track work flows, digital twinning of products, or customized in-house employee training programs, Mississauga manufacturers are often at the leading edge of the most current manufacturing technologies and processes in the industry. Diverse Manufacturing Sectors Our city excels in the aerospace, automotive, food and beverage, and clean technologies manufacturing sectors. In aerospace, almost every mission critical component on an aircraft has a Mississauga manufacturer involved in at least one aspect of its production. Mississauga is also home to numerous companies that are capable of maintaining an aircraft once in service. Our city has several food and beverage manufacturers who exhibit world-leading applications of robotics and automation technologies for production of their products for markets around the world. Mississauga hosts several world-class clean technology companies including those that provide key components for electricity generation, solar panels for international markets, and hydrogen fuel cell technologies for the transportation industry. Working as a RIC Centre Advisor As the Advanced Manufacturing Business Integrator for the City of Mississauga working out of our Economic Development Office, I work with numerous manufacturers in all of the sectors cited above. I assist companies in areas including supply chains and business to business connections, workforce development, productivity, technology adoption, and export market development. I also Chair the City of Mississauga’s Advanced Manufacturing Sector Council, comprised of CEOs, Plant Managers, and HR Directors from local manufacturers who advise me and our office on initiatives that we undertake to benefit our local manufacturing companies. One aspect of my role involves attending quarterly Regional Alliance Meetings at the RIC Centre. At each of these meetings up to four startup companies present and provide information on their technologies and their requirements to get to the next level. These companies often require assistance in scaling up their product or manufacturing process. They have a prototype or process that has demonstrated market interest that they would like to commercialize. They may even have patents associated with their product. What they don’t have is the capacity to produce their product at a volume that a potential client requires. This is where I can provide assistance in my role as the Advanced Manufacturing Business Integrator. I can connect these startup companies to established manufacturers. Making Connections One recent example of a connection made between a RIC Centre client and a Mississauga manufacturer was in the clean tech sector. The RIC Centre client had developed a method to convert waste products into high value biodegradable plastics. They were seeking a significant amount of capital for pilot plant construction, as well as the opportunity to work with a partner at an established facility. Due to my role in meeting with established Mississauga manufacturers as part of our corporate call program, I was able to connect this company to an established Mississauga plastics industry manufacturer. Relationships between startups and established companies, especially in the manufacturing of products, can take a long time. As I had the opportunity to see the start-up’s value proposition and hear their ask, I was able to make the connection to another Mississauga company that had the potential to assist their start-up in their scaling opportunity. This warm introduction likely saved the startup company considerable time in making the connection to the right company and finding the right person to contact. The above example demonstrates the dynamic nature of the Mississauga manufacturing sector. There is tremendous possibility for startups to work with established manufacturers in our City. It is my hope that there will be several more opportunities to make the connection for early phase companies to established manufacturers and key companies that can become part of their local supply chain. It is through these connections that Mississauga’s position as a world-leading manufacturing hub can be further strengthened. The RIC Centre is a not-for-profit innovation hub and business incubator for Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon and other communities in Southern Ontario. RIC Centres’ focus is to be a dynamic catalyst for tech companies. Learn more about the Champion Series Pitch Panels offered to RIC Centre’s high-potential clients.