Canada Announces Five Superclusters

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Canada commits to its vision to develop five new superclusters:
  • Ocean Supercluster (based in Atlantic Canada)
  • SCALE.AI Supercluster (based in Quebec)
  • Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster (based in Ontario)
  • Protein Industries Supercluster (based in the Prairies)
  • Digital Technology Supercluster (based in British Columbia)

Together the superclusters represent more than 450 businesses, 60 post-secondary institutions and 180 other participants in sectors covering 78 percent of Canada’s economy.

“The Innovation Superclusters Initiative created an important dialogue between industries, companies, and communities focused on building the next generation of manufacturing firms in Canada,” said Jayson Myers, CEO, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada. “These vital conversations have set the stage for new partnerships, customer relationships, and investment opportunities that will shape the future of advanced manufacturing in Canada.”
Source: SSTi
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Canada’s Manufacturing Supercluster

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On the heals of the top 9 supercluster proposals.  Ontario has been selected as the location for the Government of Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, which is part of a $748 million Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The supercluster will bring together small, medium-sized and large companies, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations to generate bold ideas, resulting in new jobs, groundbreaking research and a world-leading innovation economy.
The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster will develop next-generation manufacturing capabilities, such as advanced robotics and 3D printing. Ultimately, the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster aims to position Canadian companies to lead industrial digitalization, maximizing competitiveness and participation in global markets.
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(Photo: HE Canadian Press/Todd Korol)
Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development,
“The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster will create new opportunities for all the companies involved, help create more than 13,500 new jobs in Ontario and across Canada, and add more than $13.5 billion [US$10.6 billion] to Canada’s economy over 10 years,” said Gould. “This is great news for Ontario’s economy, for Canadian innovation and for our society.”
Source: SSTi

Canada’s Focuses on Superclusters

waving canada flagCanada is demonstrating a commitment to growing its economy and creating middle-class jobs for its citizens by moving forward with an Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The initiative will leverage a federal investment of up to $759 million (CAN$950 million) to generate public-private partnerships in innovative industries across the country.

The first phase attracted more than 50 letters of intent, which represented more than 1,000 businesses and 350 other participants from all regions of Canada. The applicants put forward strategies to increase growth and create jobs across a wide range of innovative industries. Nine applicants have been prioritized and up to five will eventually be selected as Canada’s new superclusters:
  1. Artificial Intelligence-powered Supply Chains Supercluster; Quebec
  2. Building an Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster for Canada; Ontario
  3. Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster; British Columbia
  4. Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated (CLEER) Supercluster: Powering Clean Growth Through Mining Innovation; Ontario, with Quebec and British Columbia
  5. Mobility Systems and Technologies for the 21st Century (MOST21) Supercluster; Quebec, with Ontario, British Columbia and Atlantic Canada
  6. Ocean Supercluster; Atlantic Canada
  7. Protein Innovations Canada (PIC) Supercluster: Unleashing the Potential of Canadian Crops; Saskatchewan
  8. Smart Agri-food Supercluster; Alberta
  9. Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure (SSRI) Supercluster; Alberta
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Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced the nine successful supercluster applications during a cross-country tour.  “Our government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative has started conversations and created solid partnerships between government, the private sector, academia and communities,” said Bains. “In today’s knowledge-based economy, this collaboration is essential. Together, we are building the economy of the future, creating the jobs of today and tomorrow, and gearing up for global success that will benefit all Canadians.”
Source: SSTi
While many cities are looking at localized or regional cluster efforts,  Canada leads the way with a national vision to develop competitive advantage.  With a national plan they can focus resources on cluster objectives and integrate industry supercluster across the nation and potential globe.  With national representation, at the highest levels, leading the way it sets a precedent in terms of both approach and potential of advancement for the nation.  It also great a clear vision as a global brand to the industries they are looking to partner and lead in.

Wisconsin Water Cluster Growing

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Wisconsin’s water cluster initiative continues to attract companies from across the nation and world to participate in their innovation and education centers,  the growing network of ecosystem development and their growing brand of industry leadership.

A recent example of attraction comes from Austrialia and south east Asia.  With its head office located in Sydney, Australia, a sales and operations office based in Singapore and a contract assembly hub in Shanghai, China, the BioGill team knew it was time for a U.S. office to be established.

In January of 2017 the company established BioGill North America Inc., and in July opened its Milwaukee office within the Global Water Center, employing Annie Weidert as Regional Manager for the Americas. In October BioGill exhibited at WEFTEC, along with The Water Council, in Chicago. After the company delivered a technical paper at the event there was a tsunami of interest in the technology, which has led to the expansion of its U.S. team by adding a second full-time employee in January 2018.

“One of my beliefs in business is that one plus one should equal three. To successfully scale up in business, you need to look for ways to value add, leverage and network. And that’s what the water hub in Milwaukee has delivered to us. We’re plugging into an influential and well- established industry network, helping us to make better informed decisions as we grow our client base in the U.S.” – Paul Hatten / CEO BioGill

“We looked at many locations and states for our U.S. operation, but Milwaukee and Wisconsin best suited our needs,” said Paul Hatten.  “While we have many sites and proven projects around the world, the U.S. is a relatively new market for us. The Water Council has proven to be a powerhouse of knowledge, contacts and advice. In the end, it was an easy decision and made perfect business sense to locate in Milwaukee.”

Source:  The Water Council

Wisconsin continues to lead in the US in terms of cluster development and building a global brand for industry leadership.   They have already launched over 6 cluster initiative in varying cities across the state but have the infrastructure and operational models to continue to move into more emerging industries faster than states that have no vision for cluster development and the regional advantage and attraction it creates.

U.S> Cluster Leaders Share Insights

screenshotI attended the SSTi webinar featuring several speakers from leading cities that are successful driving industry based clusters initiatives.  This webinar discussed how they launched their initiatives and the benefits to the region they are already realizing.   It was also clear that the success has reached an international level of industry recognition, corporate participation an investment.

Speakers included:

  • Dean Amhaus, president and CEO, The WisconsinWater Council
  • Vijay Chauhan, St. Louis-based project lead, Global STL
  • Donn Rubin, president and CEO, BioSTL, and founder of Global STL

 

MN DEED / IOT Event

DC83A188-F5EB-46CA-A76F-8BC6A759B531The Minnesota Department of Economic Development hosted the first open IOT meeting to discuss the state’s future in the IOT industry.  A wide and diverse group of stakeholders attended this event that offered discussion around the state assets and activities in the many aspects of the IOT industry.   As of the time of the meeting, it was suggested that Minnesota currently holds a lead over most states in the IOT space.   This is based on the level of activity featuring over 3000+ identified companies working in IOT infrastructure or implementing significant IOT solutions into their current business operations.  While IOT represents many layers of technology and design it is still built on connected systems architectures that have been around for many years. Several of the systems integrators spoke to decades of experience in these spaces and that they are serving global clients in new IOT solutions.   Currently, Minnesota is also a leader in hosting Industry events, like IOT Fuse, that attracts attendees from far outside of Minnesota.

The conversation also covered other areas of the United States that are now putting the focus on cultivating IOT industry and workforce.   International examples looked at the IOT clusters in Germany where also discussed the need to Minnesota to actively develop a regional strategy to capitalize on our current lead in the field.   Cluster development is growing in size and investment across the globe.   Minnesota has been slow to create a vision of the future for the state’s industries much less a play for new emerging industries.  While the state is rich in all forms of assets,  the leadership to develop a shared vision is still an opportunity waiting to happen for the region.

See event photos in the gallery

 

Canada’s Innovation Budget / Superclusters

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the 2017 budget included an Innovation and Skills Plan.   This is a bold and visionary plan for the development of the country.   It is driven by concerns for the stability of the USA as a long-term trading partner and focuses on building the necessary assets required to be a leading country in tomorrow’s global innovation economy.   The future state plan is multi-faceted targeting major investments in the development of their ecosystem around six superclusters and emerging industries.   It also incorporates the building of new education offerings around lifelong learning for both the current workforce and next generation of students and workers.  While many regions around the world are working on their regional cluster strategies,  this marks a leading trend of county-wide strategies targeting the development and integration of cross-region assets into superclusters.
Here is a quick summary of the budget announcement.
Proposed industry efforts include:
  • $950 million CAD ($709.8 million USD) over five years to develop superclusters in six key national industries:
  1. advanced manufacturing
  2. agri-food
  3. cleantech
  4. digital industries
  5. health/bio-sciences
  6. clean resource
    (+ 7. emerging AI cluster)
  • $50 million CAD ($37.4 million USD) to launch Innovative Solutions Canada.  This is a government procurement program modeled after the United States’ Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
  • $400 million CAD ($298.9 million USD) over three years to help drive investment in growth-stage companies. Through the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI), the Business Development Bank of Canada would make late stage venture capital deals with the intent of stimulating co-investment from the private sector.  The government hopes to unlock nearly $1.5 billion CAD ($1.1 billion USD) in private sector investments through these efforts.
Proposed education and research efforts include:
  • $3.1 billion CAD ($2.3 billion USD) for research and research training – e.g., scholarships, fellowships, research grants, and support for the overhead costs associated with federally funded research conducted in post-secondary institutions.
  • $741 million CAD ($553.3 billion USD) for investments to accelerate infrastructure projects at universities and colleges and affiliated institutions through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund.
  • $340 million CAD ($253.9 million USD) in planned support for equipment and facilities for post-secondary institutions, research hospitals, and other not-for-profit institutions.
  • $158 million CAD ($118 million USD) for several of the country’s public-private partnerships such as Mitacs, Genome Canada, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Stem Cell Network, the Institute for Quantum Computing, Brain Canada and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
Proposed Workforce efforts include:
  • $454.4 million CAD ($339.3 million USD) over four years, starting in 2018–19, and $46.3 million CAD ($34.6 million USD) per year thereafter, to help Canada’s middle-class workers find and keep good jobs.
  • $225 million CAD ($168 million USD) over four years, starting in 2018–19, and $75 million CAD ($65 million USD) per year thereafter, to establish a new organization to support skills development and measurement in Canada.
  • $221 million CAD ($165 million USD) over five years to fund up to 10,000 work-integrated learning placements for post-secondary students and graduates each year.
  • $186 million CAD ($138.9 million USD) would be provided to support other, unspecified research and development and related scientific activities in the higher education sector.
  • $7.8 million over two years to implement a new visa program that would allow certain skilled workers to obtain a work permit.
  • $50 million CAD ($37.4 million USD) for a new initiative – Coding Kids. The new two-year initiative would help teach Canadian children how to code to help prepare them for future IT-related careers.

 

See images of the announcement in the international gallery

Stay tuned to follow the progress of this initiative and more to come on cluster development and supercluster integration.