The establishment of a new product-testing facility at Fanshawe College, set to open in spring of 2016, has come under fire by many private sector labs.

The construction of the Canadian Centre for Product Validation is taking place on land donated by the City of London and will cost $16.2 million.

According to the Financial Post, 13 private labs called on Ontario to halt the lab.

“By providing this gift of land to a for-profit commercial enterprise, the City of London is now in breach of the Ontario Municipal Act prohibition against bonusing,” the labs wrote in a news release.

Ben Cecil, associate vice-president, academic excellence and innovation at Fanshawe College, believes that these labs have been misinformed and haven’t actually taken a look at the business case for the CCPV.

“It should complement the private sector labs. We’re going to be out there promoting the benefits of validating products, getting products to meet compliance regulations in a market space that is seeing more and more regulations come to it,” he said.

Peter White, executive director of government relations at Western, said Western has supported the centre with a letter of support and they’ve been having direct dialogue with the centre.

“Fanshawe is planning on implementing projects for the students, so it's going to have a great effect in that it will give opportunities for students to get some actual experiential learning ... being exposed to some real world examples,” said White.

According to Cecil, CCPV will be doing developmental testing in a multi-modal format, allowing them to test across a number of different modes of analysis to reflect actual or potential conditions that the product will see in the field.

“Industry is telling us they’re looking to get their products to market faster and this will increase their competitiveness and the potential for new job creation within those firms and the firms that support them as well,” he said.

Cecil said the purpose is not only to create new jobs at the CCPV, but support jobs that would otherwise leave the region or can’t be supported in the region due to a lack of growth of the companies.

“Local firms are saying to us please give us capacity and capability to compete on the world stage because right now they don’t believe that they have the capacity locally to serve their needs,” he said.


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