Engineering giant ABB is to invest another $90 million into a research and development centre in Canada.
The Swiss company, which also is one of the world’s biggest industrial robot manufacturers, is to establish its new North American research and development facility in Montréal.
As a result of the investment, Canadians will develop next-generation solutions for electric vehicles, says the government in a statement.
Navdeep Bains, Canada’s minister of innovation, science and economic development, welcomed the investment after meeting in Davos with Dr Ulrich Spiesshofer, president and chief executive officer of ABB.
The new Montréal headquarters, set to open in 2017, will maintain 700 jobs and consolidate ABB’s research and development, manufacturing, assembly and testing facilities under one roof.
The new facility will also house the company’s North American Centre for Excellence in e-Mobility, which will focus on developing energy-management solutions for electric buses and trains.
The Canadian government says this investment “will put Canada on the map” in a number of emerging technologies, such as robotics and Internet-connected devices, that will power the industrial systems of the future.
The Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda aims to make the country a global centre for innovation – one that “drives economic growth and leads to better skills, jobs and opportunities for all Canadians”.
Bains and Spiesshofer discussed additional ABB investment opportunities in research and development related to the Internet of Things, robotics and the automation of food processing.
The Minister expressed his commitment to ongoing engagement with ABB on investment opportunities that will strengthen Canada’s innovation ecosystem and create jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.
Bains says: “When global companies look to invest, many seek the most innovative countries – the ones with the most creative and entrepreneurial people who can turn ideas into solutions.
“ABB’s decision to select Canada for its flagship North American operations is a clear vote of confidence in the talent and expertise of highly skilled Canadians. As a result of this investment, Canadians will develop next-generation industrial systems and the skills needed for the jobs of the future.”
Spiesshofer says: “As a pioneering technology leader, ABB is helping its customers unlock value from digitalization and the Energy and Fourth Industrial revolutions.
“With its excellent universities and associated ecosystem, Canada provides all the right ingredients for research and development needed to develop global technology platforms.
“There are huge opportunities in making transportation systems smarter and greener. At ABB, we want to run the world without consuming the Earth.”