ACOA invests $3.2 million in P.E.I. aerospace coating company

The federal government announced Monday it is investing $3.2 million in Slemon Park, P.E.I. aerospace coating company MDS Coating Technologies.

New manufacturing processes for MDS Coating Technologies

MDS Coating Technologies 'has developed and commercialized clean technology solutions for a worldwide aerospace market,' says ACOA minister Navdeep Bains. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

The federal government announced Monday it is investing $3.2 million in Slemon Park, P.E.I., aerospace company MDS Coating Technologies.

The repayable funding comes from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, mostly from its Atlantic Innovation Fund.

Navdeep Bains, minister responsible for ACOA, made the announcement along with P.E.I. MP for Egmont Bobby Morrissey.

'Innovation in clean technology'

The money is to be used develop new manufacturing processes and technology for the company's specialized coatings and polishing for aerospace and industrial turbine engines.

"Businesses in aerospace and advanced manufacturing are leading through innovation in clean technology, training and sector growth," a written release said.

ACOA's Business Development Program is providing $200,000 so MDS Coating can purchase a 3-D metal printer to support new manufacturing techniques.

The company's coating technology has led to reductions in engine maintenance costs, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, said the release.

The company has brought new employment opportunities to western P.E.I., Morrissey said.

"I have followed their story with great interest, and I am deeply impressed at their forward-thinking approach," he said.

Space strategy 'overdue': Opposition

MP Matt Jeneroux, federal Opposition critic for innovation, science and economic development, called the announcement "piecemeal" funding and called on Bains to reveal the timeline for a national space strategy.

"That strategy is more than a year overdue with no end in sight. Minister Bains's office has provided no updated timeline, and space stakeholders are getting increasingly frustrated," Jeneroux said in a written release. 

Parts of the project are being done in partnership with UPEI's Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering.

UPEI associate professor Dr. Amy Hsiao said 3-D printing changes how research and development companies do design work.

"We love being at the cutting edge, working with MDS, giving the next generation of engineers the extraordinary opportunity for design and advanced skills."

MDS Coating Technologies was founded in 1997 and established its primary operation in Slemon Park in 2003. It also has a facility in Montreal.

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