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Derek Mundy is the owner/operator of Hay River’s Poison Graphics, which has received the territorial government’s inaugural NWT Manufacturing Innovation and Technology Contribution.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

A Hay River business has become the first recipient of support under a new GNWT program.

Poison Graphics received $100,000 to help with the purchase of a specialized printer.

The funding, announced on Jan. 14, is the territorial government’s inaugural NWT Manufacturing Innovation and Technology Contribution.

Introduced in the Northwest Territories Manufacturing Strategy of 2019, the contribution is designed to support manufacturers investing in technology aimed at reducing costs or improving productivity, and resulting in increased local employment.

“Thanks to the GNWT’s support, Poison Graphics is set to take another step forward,” said Derek Mundy, the owner/operator of Poison Graphics. “In particular, we will be able to offer packaging and displays that will allow entrepreneurs to get their products to market – and establish in-store displays for their products. This promises to open an exciting new chapter in Hay River’s manufacturing sector.”

Mundy said the HP R200 Latex Printer will be very big.

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“It will be able to print 100 inches wide directly onto the substrate,” he said, explaining substrate means such things as wooden panels or plastic.”Right now, the way we’re going about doing it is we’re printing all of our signs on the vinyl adhesive decal and then we’re mounting them to the substrates.”

The new printer, which will cost a total of $330,000, is not expected to arrive from the United States until the spring.

Mundy noted it will be one of just 20 such printers in all of Canada.

With increased outputs, Poison Graphics anticipates a need to hire more technicians, graphic designers and sales personnel.

The new technology is also expected to reduce waste and production costs, while contributing to improved delivery times.

“The GNWT is working to expand the NWT’s manufacturing sector by supporting the professional and technological advancement of the industry,” stated Industry, Tourism and Investment Minister Caroline Wawzonek in a news release announcing the funding for Poison Graphics. “Increased consumer awareness and demand for NWT products will help drive supply and contribute to employment, investment and economic activity in this sector.”

The application deadline was Dec. 13 for the inaugural NWT Manufacturing Innovation and Technology Contribution.

A total of 15 applications were received – 11 from the North Slave and four from the South Slave.

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