NRC collaborative open space for manufacturing and automotive innovation

The NRC London facility is part of NRC's Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Centre. The facility supports the Canadian automotive industry, owing primarily to its proximity to the Canadian market, automaker and supplier manufacturing facilities and R&D centres. This sector is vitally important to the regional economy and is the focus of regional and provincial initiatives.

A new open-space concept, scheduled to be operational in summer 2018, unique to the NRC London facility, is intended to be a collaborative workspace in which all levels of the automotive supply chain may work together with the NRC and the research ecosystem in Canada. Through this facility, we will provide technical solutions and apply them directly to our collaborators' products and processes.

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What we offer

The focus of this new NRC open space is to help Canadian automotive manufacturers adopt more advanced manufacturing approaches, including mass customization, process industrialization, and data-driven factory automation, as well as manufacturing with new materials and other new vehicle technologies. New capabilities will be developed to enable the digital factories (Industry 4.0) that will produce transportation technologies such as Connected/Autonomous Vehicles (CAV).

Physical spaces

  • Four laboratories for flexible and confidential work. Lab space can be expanded as required.
  • Two vehicle bays, complete with lifts and related automotive shop capability. Each bay has the ability to maintain project confidentiality.
  • A high crane bay as a manufacturing space for scale up and/or digital microfactory workspace development.
  • Private office workspace.
  • Meeting areas and conference rooms.

Why work with us

The key concept is to offer a flexible and agile collaborative space set-up to rapidly solve industry problems with novel technology solutions that can be integrated on a short-term basis. It is designed to be flexible and modular, with client confidentiality in mind. As such, we can address the immediate needs of industry to launch projects quickly to:

  • Host collaboration projects in which NRC staff and partners integrate products/technologies from multiple members (academic, government, SME, NRC) into a digital factory or vehicle platform or subassembly, particularly if a neutral location is desirable.
  • Act as a physical location to bring multiple teams together to work on collaborative R&D to develop technology demonstrators.
  • Enable an R&D consortium for high-level integration and industrialization.

Infographic: The NRC's new automotive & manufacturing lab in London Ontario (PDF, 2.4 MB)

Infographic: The NRC's new automotive & manufacturing lab in London Ontario. Long description follows.

Infographic: The NRC's new automotive & manufacturing lab in London Ontario

Long description of the infographic

The infographic illustrates the services and opportunities offered at the NRC in London, Ontario.

An innovation hub offering

  • A place to conceptualize, integrate and operationalize multiple technologies from multiple sources
  • Solving industry problems with novel technology solutions
  • Increasing the productivity and competitiveness of the Canadian automotive industry

Strict confidentiality through:

  • Providing technical service and collaborative research agreements with project-specific intellectual property (IP) management
  • Helping Canadian auto manufacturers adapt to advanced design and manufacturing, including mass customization, process industrialization, and factory automation

A collaboration workspace that is flexible, modular and agile, where participants from across the automotive supply chain can work together with the NRC and partners in the Canadian research community.

Opportunities to integrate NRC technology, such as

  • Design, numerical modeling and simulation, prototyping, testing and validation
  • Electrical/electronics, communications, sensors, controls and systems
  • Multi-material structural assemblies
  • Joining
  • Microfactory
  • Vehicle structures
  • Computation in Big Data, real-time analytics, data fusion, cryptosecurity
  • Digitally assisted health and safety, adaptive production cells, microfactory de-risking, simulation and demonstration

A functional and flexible facility featuring:

  • 1,300 square metres (14,000 square feet) of collaborative workspace
  • Four, 70 square metre (750 square foot) laboratories with configurable workspace
  • Two, 140 square metre (1,500 square foot) vehicle bays
  • One, 560 square metre (6,000 square foot) high crane bay

To learn how to set your custom project, visit

Targeted industries

Automotive, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Contact us

Business inquiries

David Fraser, Business Advisor
Telephone: 613-991-9972

Technical inquiries

David Muir, R&D Director
Telephone: 519-430-7095

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