What does the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster mean for Ontario?

With the announcement of the $950 million Innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI), Canada’s dedication to technology and innovation was clear for all to see. Last fall, over 50 applicants were narrowed down to nine bids spanning across the country. In February, the following five final superclusters were announced by the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains:

  • AI-powered supply chains supercluster: The Quebec-based proposal is focused on defining a global supply-chain platform that will boost artificial intelligence and data science in Canada, particularly in the retail, manufacturing and infrastructure sectors.
  • Advanced manufacturing supercluster: The Ontario-based supercluster aims to facilitate collaboration between the tech and manufacturing sectors, using technologies like Big Data and the Internet of Things to scale up production and improve efficiency.
  • Digital technology supercluster: The British Columbia-based consortium aims to boost competitiveness in precision health, manufacturing and resource and environment technologies by advancing data collection, analysis and visualization.
  • Ocean supercluster: This Atlantic Canada-based finalist aims to maximize the potential and sustainable development of the ocean economy. It would invest in digital technologies for industries such as aquaculture, fisheries, offshore oil and gas and clean energy.
  • Protein innovations supercluster: The Saskatchewan bid would harness technologies to help Canada become the world leader in supplying plant-based proteins and related products.

The province currently accounts for half the country’s manufacturing GDP and the investment in the Advanced Manufacturing supercluster is projected to further impact Canada’s GDP by $13.5 billion, while creating 13,500 new jobs over the next 10 years.

The Advanced Manufacturing supercluster will be spearheaded by Next Generation Manufacturing Canada. According to NGM, the supercluster will:

  • Help manufacturers meet four key requirements for being globally competitive in a high-cost economy
    • Innovative product development
    • Optimized production processes
    • Access to global markets, supply chains, trends and technologies
    • Highly skilled and engaged workers
  • Provide customized support for companies at all life-cycle stages
    • Start-ups – rapid prototyping and ramp-up to industrial production scales
    • SMEs – product development and process improvement through the application of advanced technologies
    • Large companies – innovation opportunities, supplier and customer development
  • Address widely recognized challenges
    • Low rates of technology awareness and adoption
    • Aversion to risk in adopting/investing in technologies
    • Workforce capabilities and capacity for managing technologies
    • Heavy reliance on domestic and US markets
  • Position companies for the new digital age of manufacturing
    • Focus on the application of advanced technologies
    • Foster stronger links between technology research, start-ups, technology providers, and the manufacturing sector
  • Focus on manufacturing and technology strengths in key industry sectors
    • Auto, food processing, steel, wood products, materials, new devices

Mississauga has already established itself as one of Canada’s advanced manufacturing hubs focused on automotive, aerospace and clean technologies and is continuing to grow. It’s one of the reasons that the

National Research Council’s (NRC) Centre for Excellence Advanced Manufacturing and Materials will be opening in the city. The hub is also home to the Xerox Research Centre of Canada, whose scale-up facilities connect academic research to commercialization opportunities.

Along with the planned Mega Hub at Toronto Pearson International Airport, these organizations can help entrepreneurs in the Peel Region go from ideation to global reach. Learn about how these resources impact your business at Bump Into The Future on March 28, 2018.

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