New Fraunhofer Project Centre @ Western opens as unique Canadian research facility

At the centre of the brand new Fraunhofer Project Centre @ Western stands a larger-than-life materials press with a maximum clamping force of 2,500 tonnes.

Officially opening on November 5, the facility is North America’s latest industry-scale production environment for developing, testing, validating and characterizing new lightweight materials and advanced manufacturing processes. These new materials are expected to provide companies with a competitive advantage because they are lighter, more energy efficient and reduce a product’s carbon footprint.

Members of the media are invited to official grand opening of the FPC @ Western at 11 a.m. on Monday, November 5, 2012. Directions are available here.

A significant funding announcement is also anticipated during the opening ceremonies.

The Centre is a not-for-profit partnership between Western University and Germany’s Fraunhofer Society ( – Europe’s largest research and development organization, which has been credited with the invention and patent of the MP3, among many other discoveries. This is Fraunhofer’s first project centre in Canada.

The FPC @ Western is expected to make London the leading site for advanced composite materials research and testing at a manufacturing scale for several North American Industrial sectors, including transportation, renewable energy and construction.

By engaging in collaborative research and development activities in high-volume production of polymer composite components, the Centre will also provide unique training opportunities and translate new knowledge about materials into stronger, safer, and lighter finished products.

The FPC @ Western is the also the first tenant of the new Advanced Manufacturing Park (, which was provided to Western and Fanshawe College by the City of London to attract research and manufacturing ventures that use advanced manufacturing technologies and products. The City also provided $10 million to build the Centre.

Primarily, the FPC @ Western will focus on:
• discovering, developing, and characterizing new composite materials;
• developing, refining, and optimizing manufacturing processes  to use new materials efficiently, safely, and cost effectively; and
• developing product design intelligence  to provide the tools to bring composite materials into new fields of application.