Niagara College at the Forefront of Advanced Manufacturing Innovation and Research

Source: Niagara College

Manufacturing plays a vital role in Ontario’s diverse economy and, like most sectors in the trades, faces a growing labour shortage. Consequently, there’s a high demand for skilled workers to fill gaps in industrial careers for millwrights, machinists, robotics engineers, and more.

To support the development of highly skilled workers and give local businesses access to technology and expertise, Niagara College received funding from the Ontario government, as well as a substantial donation from Niagara-based company Walker Industries, to build the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (WAMIC) in Welland, Ontario.

Opened in 2017, the 15,000-square-foot centre features a dedicated manufacturing lab for hands-on training, an innovation space for companies to work onsite, and office space for students and industry staff. 3D printing, parts fabrication, and precision metrology are just some of the available technologies at WAMIC.

Partnering with Local Businesses

One of WAMIC’s main purposes is to give small- and medium-sized businesses in the Niagara region access to leading-edge technology and the expertise of applied research teams to support their innovation goals.

Since its inception, Niagara College and WAMIC have partnered with dozens of local businesses to solve challenges across a wide range of areas, including:

  • Agriculture
  • Food production
  • Landscaping
  • Helicopter manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Visual effects
  • Medical devices
  • And more!

Leading Manufacturing Innovation

To support innovation across the province, Niagara College founded the Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI) – a network of colleges and universities that collaborate with companies to tackle manufacturing-related challenges.

In 2020, the group received recognition for taking action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Niagara’s WAMIC team alone produced and donated 37,000 Health Canada-certified face shields to front-line Niagara Health System workers, as well as to other essential workers in Ontario. WAMIC researchers also supported those at McMaster University in developing 3D-printed laryngoscopes, which – like many things during the pandemic – saw supply chain interruptions.

With so many research projects happening at WAMIC – past and present – it’s no surprise that Niagara College was named one of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges for 2023.

Learn More About Niagara’s WAMIC

To learn more about research and innovation at Niagara College’s WAMIC, visit You can also get a look inside the facility by watching Niagara’s virtual tour video.