Connecting Ontario’s Manufacturing Might with Critical Minerals in the North

MC Government of Ontario More Jobs Created fro Second Month 1 400

May 2, 2022

The Northern Ontario Regional Technology Development Site (RTDS) will connect Ontario’s manufacturing might with Northern Ontario’s mining and mineral expertise, talent and leadership. It will provide Northern and electric vehicle (EV) businesses with the support they need to help build the next generation of low-carbon, autonomous, electric and connected vehicles.

The Northern Site brings together post-secondary institutions, Regional Innovation Centres, incubators and accelerators, municipal and regional resources, industry and other regional collaborators. It will help businesses develop Ontario’s EV supply chain, including initial critical minerals refining, downstream battery cell design and EV powertrain, manufacturing, and other related EV technologies.

“Right now, Ontario is uniquely positioned to emerge as a North American EV hub and we will continue to invest in Ontario’s manufacturing and innovation ecosystem as we build the cars of the future,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “We’re making sure our innovators, entrepreneurs, and small and medium-sized enterprises in every region of the province have the capital and support they need to bring Ontario-made EV and connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) solutions to the world.”

As the next step in the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), the Northern Ontario RTDS is a collaboration between public and private sector partners in North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Greater Sudbury, Temiskaming Shores, Timmins, and Thunder Bay.

“As the world quickens its transition towards the adoption of electric and autonomous vehicles, Ontario stands ready to lead,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “The OVIN Northern Ontario Regional Technology Development Site will strengthen links between our resources and manufacturing sectors, preparing the province to become a major destination for inward investment, and good-paying, rewarding careers in the new auto industry.”

“Ontario has emerged as a global leader in the automotive and mobility sector as it transforms towards electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles,” said Raed Kadri, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Head of OVIN. “Through the OVIN Northern Ontario Regional Technology Development Site, we are harnessing the critical mineral wealth of Northern Ontario and connecting it to the manufacturing strength of Southern Ontario – cementing Ontario’s role as the global hub for the vehicles of the future.”

Northern Ontario RTDS joins six others across Ontario. They are part of a flagship program to drive innovation and investment across Ontario’s electric, connected and autonomous vehicle sector. A $56.4 million investment in the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) is part of Driving Prosperity ― The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector, the government’s plan to drive deals and secure production mandates for hybrid and electric vehicles, create a domestic battery ecosystem, and strengthen Ontario’s position as a North American automotive and EV innovation hub.

Over the past 18 months, Ontario’s auto sector has seen more than $12 billion in investments for new vehicle production mandates and battery manufacturing. More than $5 billion of these investments are in transformative hybrid and electric vehicle production at Ontario assembly plants. These include significant and historic investments by HondaStellantis and LG Energy SolutionGeneral Motors, and Ford that will generate and secure thousands of local jobs for the province’s highly talented workforce.

Quick Facts

  • •Ontario released its first-ever Critical Minerals Strategy on March 17. It will help generate investment, increase our competitiveness in the global market, and create jobs and opportunities in the mining sector, including EV batteries.
  • •The 2021 Budget Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy announced the government’s $56.4 million investment from 2021 to 2024 to launch the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN). Combined with the province’s $85 million investment in the previous Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN), Ontario’s total investment in this flagship initiative is almost $142 million.
  • •OVIN builds on the success of the AVIN initiative, which has already supported 372 SMEs, attracted $108 million in follow-on investment, supported 68 commercialization partnerships and created or retained 1,880 jobs.


“As we are transitioning rapidly and inexorably into a cleaner, greener, sustainable, and more prosperous province, Ontario leads the way. The Northern Ontario Regional Technology Development Site will ensure that Northern Ontario will be fully networked and a major contributing partner in accelerating the development of new innovations and valuable Intellectual property, which will contribute to next generation OVIN-related contributing technologies, and optimize the substantial benefits from a larger and more enabled critical minerals strategy.”

– Robert Deline
Executive Director, IION (North Bay)

“The City of Greater Sudbury supports innovation in the battery supply chain processes that will set the pace for EV technology adoption in the global mining industry.”

– Mayor Brian Bigger
City of Greater Sudbury

“We are very excited to be an active player in the Northern Regional Technology Development Site. This new Development Site will be at the forefront of the EV revolution in mining and heavy industry. It allows us to further assist our industry partners who are part of this new electric vehicle supply chain, while providing new learning opportunities for our students, who are the future workers in the EV industry. We want to be at the leading edge of this shift toward industrial-level EV technology.”

– Bill Best
President, Cambrian College

“Canadore College, already an economic development leader, is pleased to be a part of the OVIN Northern Ontario Regional Technology Development Site. It is great to be a partner with communities, agencies and institutions across the region in the development of electric vehicles, helping to grow Ontario’s green economy, and produce future job opportunities for our graduates.”

– George Burton
President and CEO, Canadore College

“This partnership will greatly enhance our capabilities to bring new, state-of-the-art technologies into our local mining company’s operations to improve safety, productivity and efficiency.”

– James Franks
The City of Temiskaming Shores

“Establishing the Northern Ontario RTDS is a clear signal that the provincial government acknowledges Northern Ontario’s importance in the transition to a green economy. Northern Ontario is well-positioned to play a leading role throughout this transition, and the Northern Ontario RTDS will serve as a key driver in the innovation and development of battery electric vehicle (BEV) and electric vehicle (EV) technologies.”

– Dr. Audrey Penner
Chair, Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) Board

“There is no question that Sault Ste. Marie has much to offer as a node within the OVIN network and the City is pleased to support the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) in this exciting project. Our community has a strong track record collaborating with diverse stakeholders across the region and looks forward to continuing this with the OVIN network.”

– Tom Vair
Community Development and Enterprise Services, The Corporation of the City of Sault Ste. Marie.

“As the demand for electric vehicles continues to grow, so does the demand for the critical metals used in the production of electric vehicle batteries, including the cobalt and nickel mined and produced by Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations. Due to the abundance of high-grade material located in our Sudbury area nickel mines, we are well-positioned to be a lead supplier to the burgeoning electric vehicle battery market.”

– Peter Xavier
Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, a Glencore Company

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