Innovative Automation (IA) donated $250,000 to Georgian College’s research and innovation training program. One in four employees at Innovative Automation has graduated from Georgian College .

Steve Loftus, IA President, announced the investment April 5 with his co-owners Michael Lalonde and Matthew Setterington at Georgian’s new Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre (ATIRC). The centre is scheduled to open at the start of the new school year, September 2018.

“To continue to lead in the new global economy, the required skill level of our staff has to increase,” said Loftus. “Innovative Automation is looking to our partnership with Georgian, including combined degree-diplomas with Lakehead, to meet our growing needs.”

IA celebrated their own grand opening earlier this year, of a 62,500-square-foot facility in Barrie. They are also seeking to employ 29 new innovators on their team.

Students will be able to conduct research and innovation collaborations to develop, incubate, test and commercialize products that will help strengthen the local economy.

“Innovative Automation is a forward-thinking business that understands that research and innovation are essential economic drivers,” said Georgian College President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes. “We are so thankful for their continued support. Their donation will play a critical role in helping to strengthen research and innovation in our region, which over time will drive prosperity and improve our competitive position.”

The ATIRC will also introduce degrees in electrical engineering, and environmental sustainability to the county through a partnership with Lakehead Orillia.

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(Pictured L to R: former Georgian student Steve Loftus, Georgian alumnus Matthew Setterington, and Michael Lalonde)