Digital Technology Supercluster builds momentum with 14 new projects

Blog January 16, 2020

Posted by Joanna Schlosser

Digital Technology Supercluster builds momentum with 14 new projects Featured Image

Eight capacity-building projects will help women, Indigenous peoples and citizens in remote and rural areas develop digital skills.

The Government of Canada is committed to growing the economy, creating middle-class jobs and keeping Canada competitive. That is why the Government has brought together small, medium-sized and large companies, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations to serve as anchors of innovation, growth and job creation through the ambitious Innovation Superclusters Initiative.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced six new technology projects approved by the Digital Technology Supercluster to support the digital transformation of key industries, including aviation, water quality systems, health care and agriculture. These projects will bring together 34 partner organizations, including 14 SMEs.

“The Digital Technology Supercluster is building strong momentum, creating a hotbed of innovation, collaboration and growth here in the greater Vancouver region and across B.C. and Canada. The projects announced today will have a transformative effect across Canada’s economy. They are not only ensuring all Canadians have access to employment opportunities in the technology sector but also empowering companies to experiment with new technological solutions for some of our most pressing challenges.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Minister Bains made the announcement during a visit to one of the funding recipients, Terramera, a clean technology company that specializes in sustainable farming techniques. Terramera is collaborating with nine partner organizations—including three universities—to use machine learning and robotics to test new pest control measures that will make the world’s food supply safer.

The Minister also launched the Digital Technology Supercluster’s first set of projects specifically designed to address long-term systemic challenges. Eight capacity-building projects will promote skills development, diversity and inclusion in the technology sector and will help attract students to careers in digital technology. These projects will bring together 40 partner organizations, including eight SMEs.

For example, one project will see the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC), Accelerate Okanagan, the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre, Purpose Five, Communitech and the University of Victoria collaborate to launch a women’s entrepreneurship program that is expected to empower women wanting to set up technology ventures. Together, these organizations will organize boot camps, workshops, mentorship and peer-sharing sessions to help Canadian women gain key business skills.

“Digital innovation is revolutionizing the workplace and changing the needs of employers. The Capacity Building Program creates opportunities for Canadians to be skilled and job-ready so that our resource, traditional and non-traditional sectors can continue to leverage the opportunities digital transformation delivers. Our Technology Leadership Program brings our members together in an effort to solve some of Canadians’ most urgent problems in health care, manufacturing, agriculture and data.”

– Sue Paish, CEO, Digital Technology Supercluster

Quick facts

  • Superclusters are a true partnership with industry. The six technology projects represent a total investment of $20.4 million, including $7.3 million from the Government of Canada and $13.1 million from industry and other partners.
  • The eight capacity-building projects represent a total investment of $5 million, including $1.5 million from the B.C. government, over $600,000 from the Government of Canada and $2.9 million from industry and other partners.  
  • The Government of Canada is investing up to nearly $153 million in the Digital Technology Supercluster, with industry expected to match dollar for dollar in project value over a five-year horizon.
  • The Digital Technology Supercluster is expected to create more than 13,500 jobs and add more than $5 billion to Canada’s economy over 10 years.

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