Fact Sheet: Canadian Centre for Product Validation (CCPV)
Fanshawe: Vital Economic Partner
In September 2009, the London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) hosted an Economic Summit where it was recognized that both Fanshawe College and Western University are vital contributors to London and the surrounding region. The City and LEDC sought to leverage both institutions’ unique skills and attributes to enhance economic development through the creation of an Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).
The AMP is a cooperative enterprise designed to inspire and attract world-class research and manufacturing from diverse sectors and generate high technology, skilled employment and research opportunities. The convenient colocation provides an innovation cluster with an increasingly dense web of flourishing connections.
The Centre will present a unique opportunity for Fanshawe to create a culture of excellence that will house leading-edge equipment; build on promising new technologies; support business innovation by helping small and medium-sized enterprises bring new technologies, products and processes to the marketplace; and more importantly, provide the training needed to connect students with available jobs in a wide-range of skilled professions.
The City of London created the AMP with financial support from both the federal and provincial governments with a view to creating a unique site with unique facilities that would assist London and the region to compete for jobs and new industries at a global level, particularly following the economic downtown experienced most severely in southwestern Ontario. Every centre located at the AMP is designed to set London and the region apart from other cities and regions.
The CCPV and its specialized offerings was developed with a view to support this economic vision and expand the existing innovation ecosystem that AMP had developed to date.
Consultation with Business, Industry and Government
Fanshawe’s research team explored areas of strength and opportunity for the College based on its expertise and proven research capacities. After a comprehensive review of internal capabilities (e.g., projects, research, commercial and community partnerships, grants, equipment, expertise, etc.), product validation was determined to be one of the College’s biggest areas of strength.
Product validation was also identified as an area that would support both students (through research projects, co-op placements, etc.), faculty (applied research), and the communities Fanshawe serves (engagements with small and medium sized enterprises to help develop and prove products for faster entry into the market).
To develop the proposal further College staff met with various local parties, industries, businesses, potential partners (construction, manufacturers, large employers, small and medium sized enterprises, defense contractors, the National Research Council, UWO, TechAlliance, OCE, LEDC, and Chambers of Commerce) to gather information and assess interest in supporting a venture such as a product validation centre.
“Access to the third party validation root cause analysis and solution development provided by the CCPV provides a clear advantage for the entrepreneurs and companies that are bringing innovation to the global marketplace. OCE will be able to promote the CCPV to many of our companies that are in need of these services, and companies using CCPV services may find OCE’s commercialization programs can help them to leverage their testing results for business growth.”
Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)
“A critical part of our success can be attributed to the formation of strategic partnerships and collaborations with organizations and institutions such as Fanshawe College as we collectively seek to offer a continuum of services across the community and region. We consider the CCPV project as a key piece in this continuum and a great extension of our new MVP (Minimum Viable Product) lab opening in April, a prototyping lab which will offer access to the software, equipment and technical expertise needed to develop an early stage prototype.”
Marilyn Sinclair, President and CEO, TechAlliance
Upon completion, detailed plans for the CCPV were presented to a large group of potential partners in 2014 and the concept was fully supported and endorsed. Over 50 firms and potential partners attended the President’s Breakfast event to learn more about CCPV and were enthusiastic about the concept.
CCPV: Filling a Gap
The CCPV is unlike any other testing facility in Canada. It has been uniquely designed to be a multimodal developmental test facility conducting electrical, mechanical, performance, environmental and thermal testing under one roof. As well, the CCPV offers services not typically offered by existing test labs such as marketing and benchmarking studies; the creation of proprietary test protocols based on actual field usage and analysis of critical interfaces within a product; as well as commercialization activities.
As such, the activities of CCPV are unique within the product validation sphere – filling an unmet need in the market space. Numerous letters from industry stated the importance of CCPV as an integral component to their future success.
“The path today, to have a product validated is a pain-staking journey. In most cases, it means shipping product out of the country.”
George Warren, President, Centennial Windows and Doors
“The ability to perform this testing locally will be of great benefit to our organization. We also see the ongoing potential to identify additional testing opportunities to support our future design and development activities.”
Danny Deep, Vice-President, General Dynamics Limited Systems (GDLS Canada)
Fanshawe College submitted a 200+ page comprehensive submission to the federal government outlining the CCPV concept. The total cost to establish the CCPV is $16.22. Fanshawe is funding half this cost through existing budgets with funding of $8.11 million from FedDev Ontario, through the “Investing in Commercialization Partnerships” (ICP) initiative announced in March 2015.
The 25,000-square-foot Centre is located at the Advanced Manufacturing Park where a 10-acre parcel of land was donated by the City of London to Fanshawe College. The City also donated 25 acres of land to Western University where it has located three facilities: the Fraunhofer Institute, The Collider and The WindEEE Dome.
Market Share Forecast
As identified by Statistics Canada, the Ontario testing sector is marked at $3.4 billion per year. CCPV’s revenue forecast is $4.6 million per year, or 0.13% of the market. The CCPV expects to work with up to 25 small to medium sized enterprises per year.
Test Lab Partnerships
Commercial test labs in Ontario have recognized the benefits of partnering with CCPV. Three private sector testing labs, Thermodyne Engineering, Global EMC and Raymond EMC have recently partnered with CCPV with five-year agreements to jointly develop new testing technologies to serve emerging test markets currently unserved in Canada. These testing technologies will enhance Canadian manufacturing capacity, build national testing capability and support new, high-tech jobs within Canada. Further partnerships are in development and are expected to be announced shortly. The CCPV welcomes discussions and further partnerships with other test facilities as well as industry associations.