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article imageNew funding for Canadian technology 'superclusters'

By Tim Sandle     Feb 17, 2018 in Business
Toronto - Clusters of companies with similar goals helps drive innovation through collaboration and competition. This is the idea behind Ottawa's new 'superclusters', with supporting funding coming from the Canadian government.
The Canadian government has announced five industry consortia who will receive $950-million in funding under a new flagship innovation initiative. The aim is to further develop Canada's emerging technology sector by creating so-termed "superclusters. The hubs are designed to propel economic growth across high-potential sectors.
While many countries attempt to boost economies through supporting centers of excellence the scheme in Ottawa is different in that the research institutions and industry groups selected, from the hundreds that applied, are ones that would not ordinarily work together. The aim is to simulated economic growth through a series of atypical collaborations.
The idea of clusters is to help to create a steady flow of innovation. By companies working alongside each other, using shared spaces, and have capable suppliers and related industries, helps each company to cooperate and compete with each other to spawn further rounds of innovation throughout the clustered industries.
The five winning consortia are:
AI-powered supply chains supercluster. This is based on defining a global supply-chain platform to boost artificial intelligence and data science in Canada.
Advanced manufacturing supercluster. This is to drive collaboration between the technology and manufacturing sectors, using technologies like Big Data, intelligent machines and the Internet of Things.
Digital technology supercluster. This is to boost competitiveness in precision health, manufacturing and resource and environment technologies throguh digital technologies centered on data collection.
Ocean supercluster. The focus here is with sustainable development of the ocean economy, looking at how digital technologies can aid aquaculture and clean energy.
Protein innovations supercluster. This is to provide technologies in relation to the supply of plant-based proteins and related products.
The five groups represent consortiums of more than 450 businesses, 60 post-secondary institutions and 180 other participants, such as research institutions.
Quoted by Canadian Sailings, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains said: "This was about seeing how the private sector can step up. We wanted to see more collaboration … more ambition" on the part of Canadian industry."
In related Canadian technology news, Digital Journal recently profiled Toronto's booming technology scene, which is now threatening the economic power of some of more established parts of the U.S. The review looks at several reports that chart the continued rise of Canadian digital innovation.
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