One of two new buildings constructed for the IDEA Project, the Emera IDEA Building dramatically enhances Dalhousie’s capacity for research and development (R&D), providing greater opportunities for students, researchers, and industry to collaborate, innovate, and commercialize technologies in key economic sectors.
A generous $10 million donation from Emera has led to the creation of the Emera ideaHUB, an advanced incubator space designed to foster collaboration and help students, faculty and local startups develop entrepreneurial and innovation capacity, design and build prototypes, and launch new companies emerging from engineering and science research.
In addition to this, private donors generously contributed $2.5 million in support of the Emera ideaHUB.
The third-floor prototyping-labs are accessible to Emera ideaHUB Bridge participants, and the IDEA spaces include several major engineering labs and workshops operated by Dalhousie technical engineers. Students and startups do not have full access to the first floor shops, but depending on availability can have work done on a fee-for-service basis.
Startups resident in ideaBRIDGE are able to gain access to company desk space, assembly space, meeting rooms, lunch room, as well as access to equipment and the third floor prototyping rooms.
Participants in the ideaDESIGN program are given desk space alongside the ideaBRIDGE resident companies. Teams can access meeting spaces and some prototyping resources, including the IDEA MakerSpace.
The Robert J. Gillespie Family Lab includes equipment and resources for rapid prototyping, referred to as “the everything an engineer needs to build something space”. Creating functional prototypes allows startups to experiment with design iterations before moving into the production phase. Equipment includes:
- Hand tools – screwdrivers, wrenches, socket sets, pliers, allen keys, cutters, saws, hammers
- Drill press and scroll saw
- Variable speed drill press
- 10 inch band saw and scroll saw
- Layout tools – calipers, scribes, squares
- Tap and die set
- Small sheet metal bender/brake/shear
- Small arbour press
- Heat gun and scales
- Coordinate-measuring machine
The Randell Family Lab includes specialized equipment for the building and testing of electronics parts. Development of new electronic products includes preliminary production design, schematic diagram, PCB layout, final BOM (Bill of Materials), prototyping, and testing and programming. Equipment includes:
- Signal generators
- DC power supplies
- Soldering and desoldering stations
- Voltera circuit board printer
- Arduino supplies
The MAXIMUM Tools Additive Manufacturing Lab includes multiple 3D printers and specialized equipment for the prototyping of plastic parts and products. 3D printers enable rapid prototyping of three-dimensional designs; the final product is built quickly with minimal waste. Five different types of 3D printers are available with a range of sizes and materials available depending on the application and need. 3D Printers that are available:
- 4x Pruska MK3 printing PLA and PETG
- 2x Dimension printing ABS
- 1X Markforged Onyx Pro – printing chopped carbon reinforced nylon
- 2x Form 3 SLA type printers with a variety of resins
The heavy prototyping lab and machine shop is a state-of-the-art development space where innovative student teams – including the Dal Motosports teams and Renewable Energy Society – can create and build new design solutions. Equipment includes:
- Machine lathes of various sizes
- Vertical Knee mills
- Universal milling machine (CAT40)
- Surface grinder
- CNC milling machine – HAAS VF2YT
- CNC lathe – Tormach Slant Pro 15L
- 4’x8’ CNC router is in a nearby room
- 3’x3’ waterjet cutter
- MIG & TIG welding equipment
- 2T Overhead Gantry Cranes