NORTH BAY -- The Government of Canada is spending more than $1 million in the Nipissing-Timiskaming region to help fund three initiatives in the area.

The money is coming from FedNor’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Funding to help businesses thrive by optimizing their technology and processes.

“In these uncertain times, we want Canadian businesses to know that we have their back,” said Melanie Joly, the minister responsible for FedNor, in a news release. “We will help our business and community partners to innovate, modernize their operations and adapt to the quickly evolving social and economic realities so they may come back stronger than ever.”

FPInnovations will see more than half a million dollars in funding. It will be aimed at encouraging innovation and technology uptake within northern and Indigenous forestry businesses.

“It’s really for us to help all the small businesses, First Nation businesses, all the small operators in the forest to have better operations,” said Stephane Renou. “We provide them webinars, we transfer to them technology and we go do intervention when they are asking for them to help secure or improve part of their operation.”

He said the funding will help create one job in North Bay, one in Kenora and help maintain existing jobs in the Thunder Bay area.

Emile Janveaux Forest Products Ltd., a logging company in Mattawa, is receiving just under $400,000 to help purchase new equipment. The money will be used to purchase one machine that will be able to increase efficiency for felling, topping and delimbing.

Lastly, Canadore College is receiving just more than $100,000 for a sterilization machine. The UltraViolet Qube-it was developed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic for small businesses and social organizations to have a “user-friendly, cost-effective sterilization method.”

“Funding from FedNor will support the initial prototype, marketing costs, testing and certification,” said Emily Yates.

This device was created through Canadore’s Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping (ICAMP) in partnership with FEME Innovations.