Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Feds Names Five 'Superclusters' That Will Share $950M in Government Cash

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Feds Names Five 'Superclusters' That Will Share $950M in Government Cash

Article excerpt

Feds name superclusters that will share $950M

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OTTAWA - The federal government named the five winning bids Thursday of its high-tech "superclusters" sweepstakes that will divvy up $950 million of public funding in hope of stoking economic growth and job creation in return.

Ottawa's big bet on government-designated superclusters was designed to encourage academia, not-for-profit organizations and companies of all sizes to work together on strategies to boost high-growth sectors.

The winners, announced by Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, closed out a nine-month competition that represents the centrepiece of the Liberals' so-called innovation agenda.

"What is a supercluster? It is a made-in-Canada Silicon Valley that will create tens of thousands of jobs -- that's what a supercluster is," Bains said Thursday as he unveiled the winners in Ottawa.

"It's about collaboration as well. Look at this room -- we have academia, business, you have small business and large business, and we have government -- working together, promoting collaboration, supporting our supply chains and also developing and nurturing skills and knowledge and making sure that we pass that knowledge from one generation to another.

"Superclusters -- it's a job magnet."

The winning bids, chosen from nine finalists, were spread evenly across the country. Bains insisted their selection was the result of a rigorous process that involved third-party experts.

The superclusters are:

-- The Ocean supercluster based in Atlantic Canada will use innovation to improve competitiveness in ocean-based industries, including fisheries, oil and gas and clean energy;

-- The Scale AI supercluster in Quebec will work on building intelligent supply chains through artificial intelligence and robotics;

-- The Advanced Manufacturing supercluster in Ontario will connect technology strengths to the manufacturing industry to prepare for the economy of tomorrow;

-- The Protein Industries supercluster in the Prairies will work on making the country a leading source of plant proteins;

-- The Digital Technology supercluster in British Columbia will use big data and digital technologies to unlock new potential in important sectors like health care, forestry, and manufacturing. …

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