Background

Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick

Customization of products without mass production is a growing manufacturing need. Whether for rapid prototyping or the manufacturer of highly specialized components, there is a need to explore opportunities in advanced and additive manufacturing.

Recognizing the potential to leverage expertise at University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Engineering, the UNB Technology Management and Entrepreneurship program engaged Stiletto to conduct a needs assessment. The assessment would help develop a concept for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping in New Brunswick.

Solution

Through research, Stiletto produced:

  • A document of secondary research to confirm best practices / trends and identify federal government programs in the areas of advanced manufacturing, mechatronics, prototyping, value-added wood and/or fibre materials. 
  • A series of extensive consultations with key stakeholders and companies in the provincial ecosystem. This approach identified current capabilities, capacity and offerings in the province. Local industry needs and gaps were also discovered in support, equipment, expertise and services.

Germany was subsequently chosen as a world leader in prototyping and advanced manufacturing. On-site meetings with short-listed exemplary facilities in Germany were organized to explore opportunities for collaboration.

Results

The exercise confirmed a gap in the New Brunswick marketplace. The proposed centre would be of interest to companies not only directly involved in traditional manufacturing sectors, but also those engaged indirectly in the areas of industrial design, value-added food, value-added wood and resource development. 

Four partners were identified and confirmed in Germany for the Centre of Excellence. UNB secured funding to establish the Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence with a focus on prototyping for marine manufacturing. This approach aligns with local manufacturer Irving Shipbuilding and the Halifax Shipbuilding Project.