3M scientists had the chance to show off Wednesday for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau's visit to 3M's Canadian headquarters in London, Ontario, came on the heels of pledging a $600 million (USD) "innovation budget," part of the prime minister's agenda to improve Canada's technology sector.
Led by 3M CEO Inge Thulin, Trudeau toured the headquarters, plant and research-and-development labs, learning about products such as Novec 1230 solution, which dramatically cools computer servers without requiring huge amounts of electricity. The solution, unlike water, does not damage electronics, even cellphones.
While products like Novec 1230 and 3M's True Definition dental scanner — which takes 3-D images to create a replica of a person's mouth and teeth, replacing the need for molds — are products created for all customers, others are created specifically for Canadian partners such as coatings used by automotive manufacturers.
"We are honored by Prime Minister Trudeau's visit and share in his commitment to keeping innovation and diversity a key priority for Canadian businesses," said 3M Canada President Mojdeh Poul.
Poul added that 3M, which is based in Maplewood, has several partnerships with the Canadian government, postsecondary institutions and research organizations.
3M recently became the founding partner of the "Canada 2067" initiative, a cross-country movement designed to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
Trudeau's goal is to use his innovation budget to help form new technology clusters and networks all around Canada. If successful, the measure would inject fresh Canadian money and resources into budding technological companies that show high promise for new job creation and potentially groundbreaking innovations worthy of Silicon Valley.
He wants to build on the success of IT start-ups in Ontario and Quebec. Toronto, considered Canada's high-tech hot spot, has enjoyed an influx in the last 23 months of operations of Johnson & Johnson, IBM, PayPal, Facebook and Etsy.
Trudeau wants more. And 3M Canada hopes it can help lead the effort. 3M has been in Canada since 1951 and has roughly 1,800 employees, 10 manufacturing plants and three R&D facilities.
Between 2006, and 2008, 3M Canada increased its presence in the oil and gas industry by expanding its Scotchkote plant in Manitoba, building a sales oil and gas office in Calgary, Alta., and forming a partnership with the Alberta Research Council to test the erosion and corrosion of linings used in oil carrying pipes.
"Canada is an important market for us, and our team was pleased to host Prime Minister Trudeau and demonstrate the power of 3M science to solve problems and improve lives," Thulin said. "It was also a valuable opportunity to engage the Prime Minister on our shared priorities, including innovation, education and diversity."