These industry-leading companies are owning winter in Winnipeg
Innovative Winnipeg companies and organizations are turning the city’s winter windchills into economic windfalls
Welcome to Winnipeg, Manitoba – one of North America’s leading cold-weather economies.
What’s a cold-weather economy? It’s defined by the companies and organizations who take advantage of Winnipeg’s chilly winter temperatures to grow their businesses and ultimately build Winnipeg’s economy.
We’ve highlighted some of the innovative companies and organizations reaping the windfalls of Winnipeg’s winter windchills.
Winnipeg Airports Authority, Northstar Robotics and Airport Technologies Inc.
What better place to test North America’s first autonomous snow plow than in Winnipeg – a city that gets plenty of chilly temperatures and a heavy helping of snow every winter.
— Northstar Robotics (@NorthStarRobot) February 14, 2019
In October 2018, Winnipeg Airports Authority announced a pilot project partnership with Northstar Robotics and Airport Technologies Inc. to apply autonomous technology to a snow plow which will be deployed, to start, in low-risk areas of the airport away from active aircraft. The plow, provided by Airport Technologies Inc., will be programmed with Northstar Robotics’ system to clear snow along a predetermined route while being monitored in a command centre using a tablet.
Thermëa by Nordik-Spa Nature
When The Nordik Group was looking for a Canadian city to build their next unique spa experience, they simply couldn’t resist the draw of a Winnipeg winter. Like all of The Nordik Group’s venues, Thermëa uses centuries-old European technique of alternating hot and cold experiences – and Winnipeg has plenty of cold to offer. Although you can experience Thermëa any time of year, winter offers the perfect balance to the delightfully hot and humid indoor venues.
With a total investment of $11-million, The Nordik Group created 100 new jobs in the city. It opened to the public on a brisk January day in 2015. YES! Winnipeg played an important role in supporting the project by providing The Nordik Group with local demographic and trend data, help with the approval process through the City of Winnipeg and assistance in connecting them to local suppliers.
New Flyer Industries and Red River College’s MotiveLab
Winnipeg-based New Flyer Industries wants potential buyers to know its fleet of zero-emission buses are the most dependable in the world, and a not-so-secret weapon—Winnipeg winters—play a key role.
In addition to testing its buses in real world (and real cold) conditions on the streets of Winnipeg, New Flyer is also partnering with Red River College’s innovative new MotiveLab (opening 2019), a 3,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, to test its buses. When in operation, the lab will act like a giant heater or freezer for year-round testing at extreme temperatures and under full loads using a 1,000 horsepower, three-axle dynamometer.
Bell MTS Data Centre
Bell MTS’s 64,000-square-foot data centre offers the same services as similar facilities around the world, but few take advantage of their climate like the Winnipeg-based facility.
In a city where the temperature can be below 0°C (32 °F) for six months of the year, using outside air to cool the data hall means significant energy savings for the company. That means lower costs for clients who use its colocation, managed hosting and cloud services in the Tier 3 design-certified facility.
GE / Standard Aero Test Research and Development Centre (TRDC)
GE and Standard Aero’s Test Research and Development Centre (TRDC), located at James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, has been using Winnipeg’s cold winters to test the some of the world’s best jet engines since 2011.
Last year the facility completed a $26-million upgrade that allowed for testing of the industry-leading GE9X engine, which will power Boeing’s 777X aircraft. Winnipeg was picked as the site for the centre back in 2011 thanks to its colder winter climate, which allows GE to maximize its engine ice certification testing. During an engine test, all data and video captured is fed to a control room in GE's Cincinnati headquarters in real time, meaning engineers there can make decisions while the test is happening.
If you think your business can benefit from Winnipeg’s winters, contact our YES! Winnipeg business development team. Their services are free and can support bringing your company to the city, assists entrepreneurs in bringing ideas to life and help existing businesses expand operations.
Did you know? Winnipeg is an accredited member-city of the World Winter Cities Association for Mayors (WWCAM), a network of over 20 northern cities worldwide dedicated to promoting winter technologies and experiences.