Supercluster tech groups to share in up to $950 million in federal funds

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

February 15, 2018
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press

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OTTAWA—Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains has named five technology groups that will each get a piece of up to $950 million in what the government calls its “superclusters” initiative.

  • The Ocean Supercluster based in Atlantic Canada will use innovation to improve competitiveness in Canada’s 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 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.

The concept of the supercluster is to bring together small, medium-sized and large companies, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations to generate forward-looking, job-creating ideas and innovation.

“Today we are investing in five superclusters so that tomorrow we will be more than 50,000 jobs richer and benefit from an even stronger economy—an innovation economy,” Bains said in a statement.

The government is betting on Canadian expertise, he added.

“We looked at what we did well across our great nation and we asked industry, academia and NGOs how we could do it better. The response was impressive and the ideas were remarkable.”

The Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA) said it is one of 118 partners from industry, enabling organizations, and research institutions who will participate in the supercluster.

“This country was built by supply chains and remains a vibrant, prosperous, and revered nation because of the dedicated work of almost a million innovative supply chain professionals,” said Christian Buhagiar, president and CEO, SCMA. “The Government of Canada’s investment combined with the contribution of our industry partners in SCALE.AI represent a bold new direction for supply chain innovation in Canada.”