The federal government will pump $950 million into five innovation superclusters, collaborative hubs involving research and industry. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister, Navdeep Bains, predicts such industry and research will grow Canada’s economy by $50 billion over the next decade.
The new big 5 innovation superclusters
The superclusters represent consortia of more than 450 businesses, 60 post-secondary institutions and 180 other research institutions and non-government organizations. Each of the groups will have a particular focus:
- an “advanced manufacturing” supercluster in Ontario
- a “digital technology” supercluster in British Columbia which will connect “big data” with industry
- a “protein industries” supercluster in the Prairies to develop plant proteins
- an artificial intelligence and robotics supercluster in Quebec and
- an “ocean” supercluster in Atlantic Canada to improve competitiveness in fisheries, oil and gas, and clean energy.
The Innovation Minister has compared the idea to creating areas of concentrated research and development, like California’s Silicon Valley, home to some of the tech giants that have dominated the 21st-century digital economy.