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Driving innovation towards a sustainable future with Westhill Innovation’s CEO, Gina Succi

This article was originally written by Carol Aeschelmann for Women Driving Change Magazine. Read the original article here.

Gina Succi is a Professional Engineer and a member of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. For over 30 years, her career interests have included leadership in engineering, product development and technology commercialization. Gina has a proven track record of bringing new and innovative technologies to vastly different market sectors, such as mining and transportation, steelmaking, construction and renewable energy. She is the SME representative of the Ontario Advanced Manufacturing Board of Directors and sits on the Engineering Deans Advisory Board at McMaster University. 

Ms. Succi is CEO of and plays a key role in mentoring teams and leading clean technology solutions at Westhill Innovation, a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of solar electromobility solutions for commercial transportation.

Gina Succi, CEO of Westhill Innovation

Tell us more about Westhill Innovation.

Since Westhill Innovation’s inception in 2018, we’ve been committed to developing products and values that not only transform the commercial transport market but also address the pressing needs of the future. In a world where technological advancements are constantly reshaping industries, Westhill stands out as a beacon of forward-thinking solutions that go beyond mere technology. At the heart of our ethos lies a dedication to innovation, sustainability, and customer-centricity.

Our journey began with the launch of Westhill’s SunShifter, a groundbreaking solar energy harnessing kit comprised of proprietary technology, which includes integrated structural solar roofing, power equipment and SolarKinnect Software. This initial venture laid the foundation for our commitment to providing integrated solutions that prioritize both environmental and economic sustainability.

What are Westhill’s business goals?

Our primary goal is to solidify Westhill Innovation’s position as a trusted partner for our OEM and Aftermarket stakeholders. We aspire to be more than just an equipment supplier; we aim to be a single point of contact to help address our customers’ immediate ESG goals by offering them renewable energy solutions that not only exceed government GHG emissions mandates, but also help to reduce their operational costs and increase their equipment ROI.

Central to our business is our unwavering focus on Research and Development (R&D), which constitutes a significant portion of our annual revenues. With our R&D center situated in Southwestern Ontario, we boast a team of diverse and forward-thinking engineers and operations executives who are constantly exploring technologies and market trends ahead of their time!

Moreover, our commitment to innovation extends beyond our internal employee structure. We’ve established robust partnerships with universities, research centers, and government funding agencies, fostering a collaborative ecosystem that fuels creativity and drives progress. By working closely with customers and leveraging external expertise, we ensure that our solutions remain at the forefront of industry needs.

How do your products support commercial transport stakeholders in their efforts to decarbonize?

At the core of our strategy and of utmost importance to our customers are four key drivers: 

  • Reducing GHG emissions,
  • Minimizing weight and size,
  • Accelerating ROI, and
  • Advancing technology.

By focusing on these pillars, we aim to address the evolving challenges faced by the transportation sector, particularly in the category of temperature-controlled freight. This category plays a crucial role in modern logistics, yet it comes with significant environmental implications, notably in terms of energy consumption and emissions. Recognizing this, we’re committed to developing solutions that not only enhance efficiency but also align with regulatory efforts to reduce GHG emissions across the commercial transport industry.

SunShifter, our bolt-on solution for refrigerated trailers and box trucks, enables fleet owners to harness the power of the sun to continuously charge their EV and hybrid units to eliminate their need for diesel fuel and greatly reduce their reliance on shore power. In future, this will also enable fleet owners to extend their range, thereby contributing to a greener and more sustainable industry. By embracing renewable energy and leveraging innovative technologies, we are helping our customers navigate the transition towards decarbonization.

What’s next for Westhill Innovation?

In line with our commitment to sustainability for our customers, we’ve established a comprehensive framework for Westhill that encompasses three key fronts: 

  • Building a sustainable company,
  • Manufacturing sustainable solutions, and
  • Fostering a sustainable supply chain.

From pursuing carbon neutrality in our operations to partnering with environmentally conscious suppliers, every aspect of our business reflects our dedication to making a positive impact on the environment.

As we continue our journey, we remain steadfast in our mission to deliver solutions that not only meet the needs of today but also anticipate the challenges of tomorrow. Through collaboration, creativity, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, we’d like to think we’re doing our part in shaping a future where sustainability and technology converge to create a better world for all.

About SunShifter and Westhill Innovation

To find out more about SunShifter and Westhill Innovation’s suite of renewable energy solutions, please visit www.westhillinnovation.com.

Westhill Innovation Inc. was founded in 2008 as an innovative industrial panel manufacturer.  In 2018 the company rebranded itself as a mobile solar integration technology company. They have leveraged their composites expertise with integration of state-of-the-art solar, battery and power distribution systems to offer a differentiated solution in mobile energy systems. The company designs and manufactures the products in their 40,000 sq.ft. facility located in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.

Innovation Factory

Innovation Factory is a business accelerator, dedicated to helping Ontario-based businesses launch, scale, and succeed. We provide start-ups, and scaling companies with advisory services, training, mentorship, and strategic connections to help bring disruptive technologies to market, leverage intellectual property, increase revenues, attract investment and create jobs. Serving as the catalyst for tech innovation in the greater Hamilton area since 2011 we are driven to help: Entrepreneurs bring new ideas to life and to market Small/Medium Enterprises (SMEs) get to the next level Hamilton build a dynamic culture and a community of innovation Innovation can happen anywhere. Our goal is to make it work everywhere. We work to elevate key industry sectors including, advanced manufacturing, clean tech, information technology, integrated mobility, life sciences & health care and social innovations.

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