Canada is demonstrating a commitment to growing its economy and creating middle-class jobs for its citizens by moving forward with an Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The initiative will leverage a federal investment of up to $759 million (CAN$950 million) to generate public-private partnerships in innovative industries across the country.
These superclusters will energize regional economies and help build a skilled workforce, enhance Canada’s global competitiveness, and create thousands of well-paying jobs.
The first phase attracted more than 50 letters of intent, which represented more than 1,000 businesses and 350 other participants from all regions of Canada. The applicants put forward strategies to increase growth and create jobs across a wide range of innovative industries. Of those, nine have been shortlisted and up to five will eventually be selected as Canada’s new superclusters. The shortlist includes:
- Artificial Intelligence-powered Supply Chains Supercluster; Quebec
- Building an Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster for Canada; Ontario
- Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster; British Columbia
- Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated (CLEER) Supercluster: Powering Clean Growth Through Mining Innovation; Ontario, with Quebec and British Columbia
- Mobility Systems and Technologies for the 21st Century (MOST21) Supercluster; Quebec, with Ontario, British Columbia and Atlantic Canada
- Ocean Supercluster; Atlantic Canada
- Protein Innovations Canada (PIC) Supercluster: Unleashing the Potential of Canadian Crops; Saskatchewan
- Smart Agri-food Supercluster; Alberta
- Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure (SSRI) Supercluster; Alberta
These applicants will be invited to submit detailed proposals by November 24, 2017. At the conclusion of the second phase, up to five successful applicants will receive non-repayable contributions. The successful applicants will be required to match dollar for dollar the federal funds that they receive.
Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development announced the shortlisted superclusters applicants during a cross-country tour that included stops in Halifax, Montréal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. In addition, Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced the Saskatchewan-based shortlisted applicant in Regina.
“Our government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative has started conversations and created solid partnerships between government, the private sector, academia and communities,” said Bains. “In today’s knowledge-based economy, this collaboration is essential. Together, we are building the economy of the future, creating the jobs of today and tomorrow, and gearing up for global success that will benefit all Canadians.”