Automobility & Innovation Centre signage and building

Automobility and Innovation

Windsor-Essex is an established hub of automobility and advanced manufacturing excellence. Our Automobility and Innovation department aims to support new and existing businesses in this area by offering a variety of resources and programs that help companies achieve their goals.

We are part of two critical support networks that help foster excellence in the connected and autonomous vehicle development industry.

What we do

We assist entrepreneurs and small-and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) working with academia, economic development associations and governments in:

  • Providing access to hardware and software to test autotech through the Invest WindsorEssex VR CAVE
  • Supporting companies through a digital twin program to adopt simulation capabilities
  • Facilitating trade and logistics efficiently, safely and securely across international borders

Activities focused in three key areas.

We provide entrepreneurs and SMEs with tailored and timely services, such as:

  • Mentoring
  • Simulation services
  • Concierge services
  • Ecosystem networking opportunities

Through our programs, we encourage SMEs to develop and adopt new technology, services and products related to automobility, cybersecurity, CAVs, border logistics and border security.

We work with others to enhance coordination to provide timely and practical information to entrepreneurs and SMEs, including connections for potential technology deployment.

Mobility for the future

Mobility has long been defined as the ability to move or be moved freely and easily. Today, the word mobility has expanded to refer to the evolution in the movement of people and goods through vast technological advancements. The way people and goods travel from point A to point B is changing, driven by a series of converging technological and social trends, including:

  • Vehicle autonomy
  • Electrification
  • Connectivity
  • Secure transportation
  • New transportation innovations (such as: first mile/last mile solutions, data accessibility and automation)

The result, is the emergence of a new economic sector of activity that supports transportation mobility innovation that could offer faster, cheaper, cleaner, safer, more efficient, and more customized travel. Mobility is effectively the journey in the evolution of getting from one place to another. The World Economic Forum refers to the advancements linked to mobility as the beginning of a Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Financial investments

  • In June 2018, our organization was selected by the Ontario Centre of Innovation to manage and deliver a $2.6 million initiative to advance connected and autonomous vehicle technologies through the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN). Windsor-Essex is one of seven OVIN Regional Technology Development Sites across Ontario.
  • In September 2019, the Government of Canada (through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario) announced $5 million over the next three years help catalyze growth of next-generation mobility cluster, transition local economy, attract investment to the region and create jobs of the future.
  • In April 2022, our organization received $2.5 million by the Ontario Centre of Innovation to manage and deliver advanced, connected an autonomous vehicle technology through OVIN.
  • In July 2023, the Government of Canada (through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario) announced a $200,000-investment to support the long-term growth of the electric vehicle (EV) sector in the Windsor-Essex region.

Creating the automobility capital of Canada

Thanks to government funding, local organizations across the Windsor-Essex region, have partnered to develop a coordinated approach to grow and sustain an automobility cluster. These efforts are intended to help shift the region from Canada’s Automotive Capital to the Automobility Capital of Canada by focusing on the following interconnected and reinforcing activities:

  • Create a world-class automobility innovation cluster that is supported by an enabling network of organizations that has access to networking, marketing and research tools
  • Foster a vibrant innovation and competitive entrepreneurial network that promotes a culture of entrepreneurship, by focusing on new entrepreneurs and existing businesses to support the advancement of automobility innovations
  • Advance the development and deployment of technologies and infrastructure to support the next-generation of automobility innovation – connectedness, autonomous, shared and electrification.

More specifically, increased efforts and attention are being dedicated to cybersecurity in the automotive and manufacturing sectors. This is becoming increasingly critical as everything within the industrial ecosystem becomes more connected to the internet and other technical systems and industries.

Contact our Automobility and Innovation team.