Innovation minister announces mining, advanced manufacturing as candidates for federal superclusters initiative

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 12, 2017

The announcement, made at the MaRS Discovery District, was the latest stop on Bains's cross-country tour to announce the nine proposals Ottawa selected from over 50 submissions to be on its short list - up to five of which will ultimately receive federal funding.

On Tuesday, Bains was in Halifax to announce that an "oceans supercluster" is among the contenders. It is led by Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador, and includes Emera Inc., and Dalhousie University.

The Superclusters Initiative plans to leverage a federal investment of up to $950 million to generate public-private partnerships in innovative industries across the country, according to a news release. It is led by the Optel Group and includes proponents such as Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

"I think that the government needs to think about what they can do to help the startups and small business, and especially in AI, this is a really important aspect of the strategy to make Canada a leader in this field". (TSX:ATD.B), Bell Canada (TSX:BCE), CGI Group Inc. (TSX:CAS) and the University of Montreal's Polytechnique.

The proposal is backed by CAE Inc. - one of over 170 firms, including Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp., UrtheCast Corp., Marinvent Corp. and Polytechnique Montreal.

In Ontario, a proposed clean, low-energy supercluster led by the Canada Mining Innovation Council wants to position Canada as a leader in clean resources, clean technology and responsible sourcing of metals. Tackle global challenges of energy intensity, water use, and environmental footprint through collaborative innovation, initiate export pathways and create new skilled jobs. Drive collaboration between technology and manufacturing sectors to create and diffuse new solutions by scaling production and speeding adoption.

The "Protein Innovations Canada" Supercluster (Prairies): Position Canada as the world's paramount supplier of plant-based proteins and related products. (TSX:LNR), Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

The Canadian government has announced two winning superclusters in Quebec, which will focus on AI-powered supply chains and mobility technology. Advance market competitiveness by building information technologies, including data analysis and quality verification platforms, to add informatics, connectivity and traceability in the crop, livestock and agri-food processing sectors.

Stantec Inc. (TSX:STN) leads a proposed infrastructure supercluster that aims to use advanced digital communications and interconnected applications to improve design and construction.

The University of Toronto, the country's top-ranked university and a major player in the Toronto-Waterloo corridor's existing technology and commercialization cluster, is a supporter of several of the proposed superclusters.

The proposal is backed by Telus - one of over 70 firms, including Avcorp Industries Inc., D-Wave Systems Inc., Timberwest Forest Corp., Microsoft Canada Development Centre and six post-secondary institutions. "It has been put together in a very thoughtful way, with a very broad base of support".

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