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Government of Canada announces $18.2 million for automotive innovation

February 16, 2017

Funding supports Windsor-based maker of lightweight auto parts and Ottawa-based battery maker

Toronto, ON – Two Canadian companies – one in Lakeshore near Windsor, the other in Ottawa – have developed innovations that have the potential to make cars lighter, more fuel efficient and, in the case of electric cars, better performing due to a longer battery life.

These innovations lead to good, well-paying jobs for the middle class and business opportunities for Canadians working in the automotive sector. They also lead to cleaner technologies that are better for the environment, resulting in healthier communities for all Canadians.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced funding totalling $18.2 million for the two companies.

Astrex Inc. of Lakeshore will receive a repayable contribution of up to $17 million from the Federal Economic Development Agency’s (FedDev Ontario) Advanced Manufacturing Fund. The investment will enable Astrex, a manufacturer of auto parts, to establish a facility that produces lightweight, high-strength aluminum components. The parts manufactured at this plant will reduce fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions. The company plans to create 62 new full-time jobs this year and an additional 24 jobs in the next two years as a result of the federal investment.

Another $1.2 million in a non-repayable contribution will go to GBatteries Energy Canada Inc. of Ottawa. The funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s SD Tech Fund, which funds clean-technology projects, will allow the company to develop longer lasting batteries for electric cars. The battery system would also recharge much more quickly than existing ones.

The Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda will promote clean growth, good jobs and higher living standards for the middle class. The investments in Astrex and GBatteries are examples of this plan in action.
Other programs that support research and development activities in the auto sector include the Automotive Innovation Fund and the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program.


The investments made today in Astrex and GBatteries will lead to new products and services that are more energy efficient, emit lower carbon emissions and promote healthier communities. The investments will give middle-class Canadians working in the auto sector the opportunity to design and build the cars of the future. In the process, they will develop the skills that prepare them for the jobs of the future. That’s how innovation leads to a better Canada”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“At Astrex, we have created a facility at the leading edge of aluminum extrusion technology and with the support of the Government of Canada, we are proud to be able to create more manufacturing jobs in the Windsor area.”
– Mark Blackmore, General Manager, Astrex Inc.

“The electrification revolution is moving full speed ahead. Electrical vehicles are on a path to replace conventional cars. Electronic consumer devices, from smartphones to wireless headphones are flooding the market. The need for these devices to charge faster, and use longer lasting batteries has never been higher, and GBatteries is at the forefront of providing the solution”
– Tim Sherstyuk, CEO of GBatteries

Quick Facts

  • Canada’s automotive industry is a key driver of the economy, representing 10 percent of manufacturing GDP and 13 percent of total merchandise exports.
  • The sector employs 125,000 Canadians directly and another 398,700 indirectly.
  • Canada produces about 14 percent of all vehicles assembled in North America. A vehicle rolls off a Canadian assembly line roughly every 14 seconds.
  • Canada is home to more than 670 suppliers of traditional automotive components and hundreds of more suppliers from other industries, such as information and communications technologies.
  • Astrex, established in 2015, is a new joint venture between Ontario-based CanArt Aluminum Extrusion Inc. and the Netherlands-based Constellium N.V.
  • GBatteries was established in 2012 and has sold consumer electronic devices with embedded ActiveBMS in over 38 countries. Its technology has been successfully field-tested in real-world environment.