As part of the region-wide sector development work undertaken by York Region Economic Strategy and its local municipalities, regional economic development staff led in June 2023 a business delegation to the annual AutoTech industry conference held in Detroit.
The 20-person delegation included influential automotive technology companies from across the region including AutoMetrics, CARITY, CIeNET Technologies, Martinrea International, Megalab Group, Microart Services, Syntronic, local innovation support organizations – ventureLAB and YSpace, along with the municipalities of East Gwillimbury, Markham, and Vaughan. Together, the delegation showcased the remarkable strength and potential of the autotech ecosystem in York Region.
Throughout the 3-day activity, delegation members engaged in networking opportunities, business meetings, professional sessions, and innovation tours. They immersed themselves in the future of automotive technology and made valuable connections within the industry in such areas as electric vehicles, autonomous driving, advanced manufacturing, battery technology, and other groundbreaking industry developments. Here are a few of the top moments:
Consulate General of Canada Event
Some delegates participated at a special anniversary celebration event at the Consulate General of Canada’s office in Downtown Detroit. There are many linkages between the York Region and Detroit autotech ecosystems. Watch the video to see why Colin Bird, Consul General of Canada in Detroit believes there’s a great opportunity for potential partnerships to grow the automotive sector in both Detroit and York Region.
Offsite visit to Newlab @ Michigan Central mobility innovation hub
The day before the AutoTech Detroit Conference the delegation was invited to a unique mobility technology showcase organized by the Newlab technology center located within Ford Motor Company’s Michigan Central hub. The event brought together attendees from automotive industry leaders, including Magna International, Stellantis, Bosch, Michelin, Denso, Mahindra and Tech Mahindra, Mercado Libre, Lear Corporation, start-ups, innovation eco-system stakeholders and others. Delegation members experienced a full day of mobility technology demonstrations and networking curated from the Newlab ecosystem. Learn more about Michigan Central and Newlab in Detroit.
York Region on the conference floor
The York Region booth was a central location for delegates to come together and engage with 2,500+ industry stakeholders attending the conference. The space was a collaborative effort with the Province of Ontario and the Automotive Parts Manufacturing Association (APMA). The APMA showcased on the conference floor Project Arrow – the first all-Canadian built zero-emissions concept vehicle. Project Arrow was collaboratively developed with a number of Canadian suppliers – including four from York Region. The enthusiasm and positive energy around York Region and its partners’ show floor spaces was truly remarkable.
CARITY on the innovation stage
Mission delegate Ricci Ng, Co-Founder and Head of Partnerships start-up CARITY AI, was selected by conference organizers to speak on the innovation stage and delivered a talk titled “Kickstarting AI with Corporate Evangelists: A Journey Through the Eyes of a Startup”. Ricci shared the start-up journey of CARITY to solve the pains of car buying and selling for consumers, highlighting the lessons learned. He also shed light on how they have collaborated with customers and partners to navigate both technology and business obstacles to advance customer experience with the power of conversational AI.
York Link would like to thank all mission delegates and participating members as well as collaborator organizations including the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing as well as Invest Durham. All were instrumental in amplifying the delegation’s impact and highlighting the strength and potential of York Region’s autotech ecosystem.