Feds shortlists nine 'superclusters' for $950M in funding

Postado Outubro 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.

The finalists come from different regions of the country and Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said the proposals focus on fast-growing areas like artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing and clean technology.

On Tuesday, Bains was in Halifax to announce that an "oceans supercluster" is among the contenders.

The proposal is backed by Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador - one of over 25 firms, including Emera Inc., Clearwater, Aspin Kemp & Associates, radient360 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.

Another proposal on the short list based in Quebec is created to bolster Canadian leadership in artificial intelligence and data science.

This cluster is backed by over 80 firms, including Optel Group, Agropur, Aldo, Alimentation Couche-Tard, Bell Canada, CGI Group, Cascades, and Polytechnique Montreal. (TSX:CAS) and the University of Montreal's Polytechnique.

Montreal-based flight training and simulator company CAE Inc. leads the mobility systems and technologies supercluster proposal, which includes more than 170 firms.

The "Clean, Low-Energy, Engaged, and Remediated" Supercluster (Ontario): Transform Canada's mining sector and position Canada as a global 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.

The AI-powered Supply Chains cluster will "empower Canada as a leading exporter - for example through demand forecasting, products customization and flow optimization - to profoundly impact the retail, manufacturing and infrastructure sectors", according to a statement from the Canadian Press. Capture the massive export market opportunity for safe, nutritious plant-based food and feed by stimulating collaboration on novel technologies and value-added supply-chain infrastructure. (TSX:LNR), Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

The "Smart Agri-food" Supercluster (Prairies): Make Canada the preferred global supplier of sustainable, high-quality, safe food. (TSX:AGU) would work on building information technologies in the crop, livestock and agri-food processing sectors.

A proposed digital technology supercluster led by Telus Corp. and including Microsoft Canada Development Centre and six post-secondary institutions in B.C. wants to focus on inventing, developing and applying digital technologies. "It has been put together in a very thoughtful way, with a very broad base of support". One of the authors moved to the region some years ago while the other was born and raised in Quebec.