A massive car manufacturer is making more than a dent in Canada’s technical field and contributing back to the educational fields that will supply it.
Today marks the official opening of GM Canada’s new Canadian Technical Centre (CTC) in Markham, Ontario, as well as the announcement of the brand new GM Canada STEM fund, a $1.8 million commitment for educational programs encouraging students in STEM fields and inspiring a new generation of technology innovators.
The new CTC in Markham will employ 700 Canadians and focus on software development as well as innovation in next-generation active safety, car infotainment systems, and software and controls related to GM’s development of autonomous vehicles. It is Canada’s largest automotive and mobility software centre and will leverage university and local company partnerships.
“General Motors is redefining mobility and focused on realizing our vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” said GM Canada president Steve Carlisle. “We believe that to realize this vision, we will need to support far greater participation in STEM.”
The new GM Canada STEM fund will build on the successes of past projects such as the company’s work with UOIT in Oshawa. There will be a particular focus on initiatives revolving around introducing elementary and high-school girls to STEM through interactive programs across Canada.
Past high-school, the Fund will enable young researchers to complete their education through a new series of scholarships at certain universities. The first of these scholarships will be at the University of Waterloo. The tech and STEM powerhouse will now be home to the GM Canada Innovators Award for students completing graduate engineering work.
The new Markham CTC campus is the latest in a strong of innovation-oriented hubs from GM, including another CTC campus in Oshawa, a Cold Weather Testing facility in Kapuskasing, Ontario, the 2908 innovation lab at Communitech in Kitchener-Waterloo, and a soon-to-open Urban Mobility Campus in Toronto.
“GM’s commitment to diversity in innovation by expanding their STEM program for young Canadian women, will inspire the next generation of astronauts, engineers, doctors and even video game developers,” said Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
GM Canada’s continued progress into the car and autonomous vehicle innovation signals Canada’s overall dedication to the “car of the future” industry. Other companies like BlackBerry and Mojio are dedicated to innovating in the field, but GM is a massive player in the market as well, having already co-hosted AI hackathons and made waves when it comes to advancing the ecosystem.