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GM commits to $850 million in Canadian R & D

Thanks in part to government restructuring support, has generated nearly 100 records of invention

Published: July 24, 2012, 9:00 AM

GM trucks

General Motors Canada president and managing director Kevin Williams said today that the manufacturer will make $850 million in R & D investments in Canada between 2009 and 2016. "Since 2009 alone, employees at our Canadian Engineering Centre have generated nearly 100 records of invention which allow us to offer better solutions for our customers, helping GM to design, build and sell the world's best vehicles," he said.

With help from a government bail-out following 2008's market collapse, GM Canada has grown activities at its Oshawa, Ontario, Canadian Engineering Centre; they're now committing to further "leveraging Canada's expertise ... by expanding activities in light-weighting materials, mechatronics, software and communities."

In outlining its R & D plans, the company said it will position the Oshawa centre as "an integral part of GM's global engineering and R & D networks"; enhance partnerships with suppliers that "strengthen innovation and competitiveness in the Canadian supplier base"; and continue to "develop formal technology linkages" among Canadian universities, institutes, suppliers and manufacturers in key technology areas.

We're pretty sure they spent at least part of that $850 million on big words, but it's nevertheless good news for an industry that supports nearly half a million jobs in Ontario.