Equipping southern Ontario manufacturers to increase productivity and competitiveness

Up to 175 SMEs to benefit from technology assessments with the help of the Government of Canada

OTTAWA (March, 2020) –Manufacturing is the backbone of many communities across southern Ontario. Advancements such as Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and Internet of Things are driving this industry into the future. To remain competitive in the global economy, manufacturers need to continually innovate and embrace new technologies.

However, many smaller manufacturers delay adopting new technology because of the risk of making large, upfront investments with uncertain return. To help southern Ontario manufacturers determine how technology can improve operations and maximize productivity, CME is launching the new Technology Assessment Program.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced a FedDev Ontario investment of over $5.2 million for CME to deliver this new program.

CME will provide up to 175 small- to medium-sized manufacturers in southern Ontario, with in-depth productivity and technology assessments, aimed at stimulating investments and the adoption of new technology solutions. These assessments will position businesses to improve their overall productivity, grow and diversify into new markets, increase competitiveness and bring higher-paying jobs and skills into southern Ontario.


“Manufacturing is a vital sector that supports our workers and businesses, while pushing Canada’s economy forward year after year. CME’s new Technology Assessment Program will equip smaller manufacturers to shift towards advanced technologies, meaning improved productivity, higher value jobs and sustainable economic growth. We are working with you to help businesses and innovators access the right tools they need to grow and succeed.”

 -The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages


“Businesses that invest in new technologies have a considerably better growth outlook than their non-adopting counterparts, at home and in global markets. This program will help manufacturers adopt new technologies sooner and access its wide range of potential benefits like lower operating costs, increased product quality, higher innovation capacity and, increased customer satisfaction.”

– Dennis A. Darby, Eng., ICD.D, President & CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters


“Manufacturing continues to be a vital driver of our economy. We are delighted to partner with CME to offer this program to SMEs in the manufacturing sector to enhance their growth and competitiveness.”

– Rakesh Naidu, President & CEO, WindsorEssex Regional Chamber of Commerce

Quick Facts

  • There are nearly 18,000 small- to medium-sized manufacturers in southern Ontario, contributing to local economies.
  • Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters will collaborate with the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce to deliver the program to approximately 35 manufacturers in the Windsor-Essex region.
  • FedDev Ontario’s support for the Technology Assessment Program is expected to generate up to $40 million in follow-on investments.
  • Eligible businesses will receive an assessment by a vetted technical Qualified Service Provider (QSP), valued at up to $25,000.
  • Since 2009, FedDev Ontario invested more than $58 million in CME to deliver SMART-branded programming, which has funded more than 1,400 projects, creating and maintaining more than 22,000 direct jobs.


Since 1871, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has been helping manufacturers grow at home and, compete around the world. Our focus is to ensure manufacturers are recognized as engines for growth in the economy, with Canada acknowledged as both a global leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing and a global leader in exporting. CME is a member-driven association that directly represents more than 2,500 leading companies who account for an estimated 82 per cent of manufacturing output and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports.



Stefi Proulx
Director of Communications
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
C:  613-292-6070 | stefi.proulx@cme-mec.ca | @CME_MEC


Alexander Cohen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic
Development and Official Languages


Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

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