Minister Bains launches cross-country tour in Halifax announcing superclusters shortlist

Minister Bains launches cross-country tour in Halifax announcing superclusters shortlist

Shortlisted superclusters initiatives will energize regional economies and create jobs

HALIFAX, Oct. 10, 2017 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is demonstrating its commitment to growing the economy and creating middle-class jobs for Canadians by moving forward with the Innovation superclusters initiative. The Initiative will leverage a federal investment of up to $950 million to generate public-private partnerships in innovative industries across the country.

Superclusters will energize regional economies and help build a skilled workforce, enhance Canada's global competitiveness and create thousands of well-paying jobs for this generation and the next.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, launched a cross-country tour to announce the shortlisted applicants to the superclusters initiative.

At the Steele Ocean Sciences Building at Dalhousie University, Minister Bains announced the successful applicant from the Atlantic region.

The Ocean Supercluster would maximize the economic potential of Canada's ocean economy by investing in digital ocean technologies in aquaculture, capture fishery, offshore oil and gas, and clean energy.

Of more than 50 proposals, involving over 1,000 firms and 350 other participants, nine have been shortlisted and up to five will be selected as Canada's new superclusters.

The Innovation superclusters initiative is a centrepiece of the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, which is preparing Canada for a changing economy.


"I'm thrilled to kick off a cross-country tour in Halifax today to announce shortlisted applicants to the superclusters initiative. Superclusters are job-creating regions with strong economies, like Silicon Valley, and our government intends to create five of them in Canada. Through the superclusters initiative, we've started conversations and created solid partnerships between government, the private sector, academia and communities. 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.

"Today I announced the shortlisted applicant to the Innovation superclusters initiative for the Atlantic region. If selected as one of Canada's five superclusters, the Ocean Supercluster would energize Canada's ocean economy by investing in digital ocean technologies that will increase Canada's competitiveness and create middle-class jobs for this generation and the next."

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • Minister Bains is announcing the shortlisted superclusters applicants during a cross-country tour that includes stops in Halifax, Montréal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. In addition, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, will be announcing the shortlisted supercluster for Saskatchewan in Regina on Minister Bains' behalf.
  • Superclusters are dense areas of business activity where many of the middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow are created. They attract large and small companies that collaborate with universities, colleges or not-for-profit organizations to turn ideas into solutions that can be brought to market.

Related product

  • Backgrounder – Quotes

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Follow Minister Bains on Twitter: @MinisterISED


Innovation superclusters initiative: Third-Party Quotes

The Innovation superclusters initiative will allocate targeted, high-value investments worth a total of $950 million. Industry-led consortia were invited to apply under a two-phase process. 

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.

"The Innovation superclusters initiative will create a competitive advantage for Canada by bringing together high-value innovative industries and world-class researchers to accelerate innovation and energize the economy. The superclusters initiative will allow us to scale up our business partnerships by strategically leveraging our cutting-edge research facilities and world-class talent. In the initial stage of the supercluster competition, our research-intensive universities have worked closely with regional and sectoral leaders. We look forward to continuing to build these ambitious partnerships through the supercluster program and beyond."
– Dr. Guy Breton, Chair, U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities, and Rector, Université de Montréal

"All thriving advanced economies are anchored by concentrations of high-growth domestic innovative businesses. These groups of businesses are called superclusters. Canada's superclusters are sources of high-margin exports and new revenue for our economy. I welcome the efforts by Minister Bains to design a strategic initiative that advances Canadian entrepreneurs and begins a sustained growth of Canada's innovation outputs."
Jim Balsillie, Chair, Council of Canadian Innovators

"The Government's bold supercluster initiative has advanced and deepened innovation ecosystems in key economic areas of the country. The inclusion of polytechnics and colleges in the supercluster program criteria has laid the ground for new innovation collaborations, as seen by the robust representation of our members in the competitive process for superclusters. The final selection of superclusters will benefit our economy precisely because they will harness polytechnic commercialization and innovation solutions for industry."
– Nobina Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, Polytechnics Canada

"Superclusters bring researchers, students and businesses together in new collaborative ways that will help transform Canada's economy and improve lives. Harnessing discovery research in partnership with business and civil society creates lasting benefits for Canadians and positions us well in the new global economy."
Paul Davidson, President, Universities Canada

"Canadian businesses are eager to invest in promising technology, skills and research partnerships across the country. Thanks to this initiative, a large and growing number of companies, academic institutions and start-ups are exploring new ways of working together."
– The Honourable John Manley, President & CEO, Business Council of Canada

"The 'new competitiveness'‎ is all about leadership in transformative technologies and cutting-edge innovation applied to all sectors of the economy. To achieve this, countries need the depth and density of talent, technology and capital that, today, only global superclusters can attract and retain. That is why the Government of Canada's Supercluster initiative is so pivotal: by creating Canada-based superclusters in various areas, it will boost high growth sectors and new jobs through  Canadian leadership in pathbreaking technologies and business innovation diffusion. Through such a technology and innovation focus, Canada can compete with the world's best and win."
The Honourable Kevin G. Lynch, P.C., O.C., PH. D, LL.D, Vice-Chair, BMO Financial Group; former Clerk of the Privy Council, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service of Canada  

SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

For further information: Karl W. Sasseville, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, 343-291-2500; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 343-291-1777, [email protected]

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