CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Jan. 28, 2016) - Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Canada's first open-access apparel research and development facility officially opened in Calgary today. This new state-of-the-art facility will provide businesses with services to test, design and manufacture innovative apparel products for the consumer apparel and industrial protective clothing markets.

Western Economic Diversification Canada, through the Western Diversification Program, invested close to $3 million to enable Olds College, in partnership with AGM Wear Ltd. (Alberta Garment), to establish the Apparel Innovation Centre. Through this support, the Centre was able to purchase product testing and prototype development equipment, as well as garment design hardware and software.

The Apparel Innovation Centre, which houses North America's most advanced apparel research and development equipment and technologies, will provide opportunities for Canadian manufacturers and businesses to seize new opportunities and compete globally.

Quick Facts

  • The Apparel Innovation Centre houses world-class hot liquid and steam protection testing chambers, which will enable businesses to test personal protective equipment (PPE) for burn resistance.

  • The Centre is also home to a thermal comfort testing chamber, equipped with a Newton Thermal Manikin. The chamber is capable of simulating a variety of physiological conditions that replicates the human thermoregulatory system. The comfort and thermal sensation data produced will allow researchers to further study and evaluate the performance of the apparel.

  • This Centre complements Old's College's Fashion Marketing and Apparel Technology programs and is connected to the Alberta Garment Manufacturing facility in northeast Calgary.


"The Apparel Innovation Centre's grand opening will help increase innovation, productivity and competitiveness in Canada's apparel industry. The Government of Canada is proud to support the Centre, as it works with western Canadian apparel companies and entrepreneurs to develop and test new products for the market."

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

"Today's grand opening ensures businesses and students have access to the latest tools, resources, and technologies needed to thrive in today's specialized apparel market. This is an important contribution to the diversification and long-term growth of the Canadian economy."

- Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans' Affairs and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre

The Apparel Innovation Centre is a crown-jewel that reflects the Olds College dedication to Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and celebrates our relationship with government, industry and stakeholders. We welcome the opportunity to help strengthen the apparel industry, one which will continue to employ Olds College students in the future.

- Dr. H. J. (Tom) Thompson, President, Olds College

"We applaud the Government of Canada's vision and commitment to help create the world-class Apparel Innovation Centre. It will become a magnet for innovative thinkers in the apparel industry as it fulfills its mission of helping entrepreneurs create innovative apparel and enhancing the growth of the economy of Western Canada.

- Adrian Bussoli, President, Alberta Garment

Related Products

- Government of Canada partners with Olds College to establish the Apparel Innovation Centre in Calgary

Additional Links

- Apparel Innovation Centre

- Olds College Fashion Institute

- AGM Wear Ltd.

- Industry Canada Apparel Industry Profile

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Contact Information:

Donna Kinley
Communications Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada

Dean Turnquist
Manager, Corporate Communications
Olds College

Michael Bussoli
Alberta Garment

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