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$57M in financing for Hamilton-area R & D project


Hamilton, ON – The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) says it is providing $57 million in financing for McMaster Innovation Park’s new $69 million research complex.

In collaboration with McMaster, the 37-acre complex is evolving into a number of labs and research facilities focused mainly on new technology and higher-value products. The anchor tenant is Natural Resource Canada’s CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory (CANMET-MTL), one of the most recognized centres of research excellence of its kind in Canada. Presently located in Ottawa, CANMET-MTL is relocating to its new facility at McMaster Innovation Park in the fall of 2010 and will employ 100 people in Hamilton. The building is targeting a LEED Canada Platinum Certification.

CANMET-MTL will support research activities in materials development and performance assessment, including pilot-scale casting, rolling, forming, welding, corrosion, mechanical testing and micro-structure evaluations. It also has a special academic program partially funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The academic user program, the first version of which was spearheaded by professors at McMaster University in 2003, allows its facilities to be made available to all Canadian university researchers.

“With this project, we believe we can help mitigate some of the changes in the economy of the Hamilton area. Creating new jobs based in advanced technology, as opposed to traditional manufacturing is an important part of what is going on here,” says Zach Douglas, the president of McMaster Innovation Park. “BDC stepped up in a very responsive and positive way. They helped us through some very complex issues in putting together financing. The key feature was the flexibility that permitted us to keep the construction costs within budget.”