Industry 4.0, often referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution describes smart, connected technologies transforming the manufacturing and production landscape. 

Starting roughly circa. 1780, industry has progressed quickly towards ease, automation, and efficiency. Before 1913, for instance, it took a car over 12 hours to be made at a factory. That was until Henry Ford invented the first moving assembly line, and took that figure down to 1 hour and 33 minutes – an 87% reduction in time due to a simple invention!

Now, Musk’s Tesla churns out more than one car every minute. Yes, you read that right, every minute.

Industry 4.0 is characterized by the integration of digital technologies into manufacturing processes. It focuses on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data to create smart factories. Think AI-driven predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization with blockchain tech, digital twins, AR-based training, and energy management sensors. 

As per Mordor Intelligence’s latest report on the Global Industry 4.0 size and scope, conservative estimates peg its current value at US$94.42 billion, expected to grow to US$241.58 billion at a CAGR of 20.67%.

Canada is Already a Leader in Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced Manufacturing, albeit a broader term than Industry 4.0, provides a much needed foundation for this revolution to really flourish. The good news is Canada already has a very robust, well-established manufacturing base, which is supported by government backing, an excellent education system, a very conducive research and development (R&D) environment, and great collaboration between businesses, universities, research centres, and industry groups.

Here are some more fun facts about Canada’s current state of Advanced Manufacturing:

  • Canada boasts the G20’s first tariff-free foreign trade zone for industrial manufacturers, signalling an open, business-friendly environment
  • 44% of Canadian manufacturers already use additive manufacturing (3D printing) technologies!
  • Canada ranks #6 globally for AI skill penetration rate

Let’s also look into some top sectors in Canada for Advanced Manufacturing to help understand how ready the manufacturing industry already is to build on the Industry 4.0 trajectory:

  • Automotive: Canada’s automotive sector, a top exporter, attracts global giants like Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota thanks to its expert manufacturing and global market access.
  • Aerospace: Canada’s global aerospace industry ranks in the top 5 for flight simulators, engines, and aircrafts in 2021, with more STEM jobs than the manufacturing average.
  • Machinery and Equipment: Leading in innovation, Canada was actually the first to introduce the world’s first self-driving forklift by OTTO Motors, meeting the high demand of the global agriculture and natural resources industries.
  • Chemicals: Home to over 3,396 chemical manufacturing firms, Canada contributed over $25 billion to its economy in 2020, attracting the world’s largest chemical producers with its rich natural resources and low costs.

How Brampton is Embracing Industry 4.0

With nearly US$ 4 billion already flowing from Brampton’s manufacturing sector into Canada’s national GDP, and over 16% of the city’s workforce employed in the advanced manufacturing sector, Brampton is ripe for the taking of Industry 4.0!

Graph showing advanced manufacturing in Brampton

Source

Advanced Manufacturing companies like Stellantis Canada, Brampton Assembly ABB Inc,  Brican Automated Systems Armacell Canada Inc.,  Matcor Automotive Inc., Velcro Canada Corp. Amcor Packaging, Aircraft Appliance & Equipment Ltd, and more already have bases in Brampton..

Top 5 Reasons Why Brampton is Ready to Excel as an Industry 4.0 Hotspot:

  1. Hotbed for manufacturing investment: In just the first half of 2023, two companies announced big plans for advanced manufacturing in Brampton – Magna International announcing an eighth location of half a million sq. ft. and creating 560 jobs, and Axium Packaging Inc. expanding their operations and committing over US$80 million to create 250 jobs. Such bold investments are indicative of the trust that companies have in the government, infrastructure, workforce, and the larger community of Brampton.
  2. MDA’s permanent home: MDA –  an international space mission partner, leading the global charge in viable Moon colonies, enhanced Earth observation, and communication in a hyper-connected world – has had a home in Brampton since the 1970s. Just last year it confirmed plans that it would make Brampton its global headquarters! This space technology company which is growing at an annual rate of about 26% is opening up a 200,000-square-foot facility and will look to add 700 jobs to the city.
  3. Digital Infrastructure: The city has also been actively working on enhancing its digital infrastructure, with initiatives such as the “Digital Brampton” strategy, which aims to support the growth of the local tech sector, promote digital literacy, and improve access to high-speed internet.
  4. Cyber Security Hub: Industry 4.0’s push towards digitization and interconnectedness in manufacturing brings with it increased cyber risks. With the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and big data analytics that means increased chances of data breaches, operational disruption, compromise of product integrity, or ransomware attacks. But with Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst the national centre for innovation and collaboration in cybersecurity- right in the neighbourhood, which has raised upwards of $56 million since its inception in 2018, startups can get access to acceleration and support for cyber scale-ups, applied research and development, and public education.
  5. Vision 2040: The city of Brampton is marching on towards making Vision 2040 a reality, and Industry 4.0 is directly tied to the city’s future. By focusing on key areas such as the environment, job creation, urban centres, neighbourhoods, transportation, social issues, health, and arts and culture, Brampton is laying the groundwork for a holistic approach to urban development that integrates the principles of Industry 4.0. The emphasis on becoming a Smart City, recognized globally for its citizen-focused innovations, along with fostering a vibrant cultural scene, positions Brampton as a fertile ground for technological and creative advancements.

Creating an Environment for Success with a Modern Workforce

Brampton has a myriad of advantages for Industry 4.0 initiatives and companies in North America to make the city its home. Let alone its diverse population – 250 different nationalities call the city home – it also boasts the lowest average age of 36 across Canada, is located in the middle of Canada’s Innovation Corridor, and is within striking distance of about 4 million skilled labour talent, all of whom are just a drive away from the city.

Incentives for Industry 4.0 Related Start-Ups in Canada

There are many initiatives, funds and resources made available to manufacturing business owners worldwide to set up in Canada. Here are some of the top resources to take advantage of:

Ontario’s Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (AMC): The AMC is a strategic partnership between McMaster University, the University of Waterloo and Western University to provide easy access to facilities and technical expertise required by innovative manufacturing start-ups. 

Accelerated Investment Incentive: A complete write-off for newly acquired manufacturing and processing equipment is available with the new Canadian federal tax credits. Additionally, Canada offers tariff-free imports of advanced machinery and equipment from parent companies – which means no import duties. The first country in the G20 to create this incentive. 

The Advanced Manufacturing (NGen) Supercluster is a triumphant accelerator for advanced manufacturing start-ups as it brings manufacturers, technology providers, researchers, schools, government, investors and business networks to Fastrack manufacturing projects. 

Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Advanced Manufacturing businesses can avail of this tax credit incentive that reduces 15-35% of tax expenditures in the form of tax deduction, tax credit or a cash refund.

Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) offers funds of up to $10M for R&D projects, industrial research and development and technology demonstration.

Want to Start a Business in Canada?

We are BHive, a startup incubator located in Brampton, Ontario. We offer international startups the tools, resources, and space to establish – and quickly scale – their businesses in Canada and North America. To apply to our Global Entrepreneur Incubation Program, click here!