Kingston Economic Development driving innovation in Eastern Ontario

A number of Kingston businesses were consulted in the creation of a new economic development strategy

The Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI) announced that they have formed an ecosystem partnership with the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, a not-for-profit organization. Kingston Economic Development Corporation was established in 1998 creating a sustainable and thriving ecosystem to support business growth, start-ups, investment attraction and new foreign direct investment opportunities in Kingston and the region while focusing on opportunities for growing the sustainable manufacturing and health innovation sectors.

Led by Niagara College, SONAMI is a network of 11 post-secondary institutions, that, through their respective Research and Innovation Centres, collaborate with small- and medium-sized companies to tackle their manufacturing-related challenges. The award-winning network aims to leverage faculty, students, and state-of-the-market equipment together with funding from the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON), to support manufacturing in Canada.

"The SONAMI network continues to provide important resources and support to manufacturing businesses. This network is giving businesses the chance to innovate and grow their ventures so they can create new opportunities across Ontario," said the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. "This latest partnership with the Kingston Economic Development Corporation is contributing to SONAMI's work and providing more essential tools to SMEs while extending the reach of SONAMI so more businesses can thrive. The Government of Canada will continue to support southern Ontario's advanced manufacturing sector." 

"The City of Kingston enthusiastically welcomes this partnership between Kingston Economic Development Corporation and SONAMI-a strong network that the Government of Canada is proud to support," said Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands. "The SONAMI ecosystem is a shining example of how multi-level collaborations can positively impact Canada's manufacturing sector, and the growth of its network into eastern Ontario will only make it stronger."

The partnership will aim to bolster awareness regarding funding, resources, expert researchers, and students available to support companies within the manufacturing industry in eastern Ontario, including across critical sectors such as clean technology, electric vehicles and battery technology, food processing and sustainable manufacturing.

"This ecosystem partnership strengthens SONAMI's ongoing commitment to support industry and innovation in eastern Ontario," explained Marc Nantel, PhD, Vice President or Research, Innovation and Strategic Enterprises at Niagara College. "Kingston Economic Development Corporation has been a great partner to date, and today's announcement formalizes our already robust relationship." 

"In addition, building these ties will link post-secondary institutions and industry, enriching students' educational journeys through experiential learning opportunities," he said.

"This collaboration underscores our commitment to fostering innovation and economic growth in Kingston and eastern Ontario. By joining forces with SONAMI and its network of post-secondary institutions, we are opening up a wealth of opportunities for local businesses, researchers and students, driving forward progress in critical industries such as clean technology, electric vehicles and sustainable manufacturing. Together, we are forging a stronger and more prosperous future for manufacturing in this region," said Donna Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer of Kingston Economic Development Corporation.

To access the advanced manufacturing network, representatives from interested businesses can contact SONAMI's Business Development Lead, Mitchell Lutz at For more information about the network, please visit the SONAMI website.

With files by CFRA's Connor Ray