Today, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), Navdeep Bains officially launched the Superclusters program that will disburse $950-million to five “supercluster” initiatives geared toward creating high-paying jobs in fast-growing sectors.
Initial applications for the funds will be due by July 21 from industry-led consortiums in eight high-potential sectors: advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital technology, health-bioscience, clean resources, infrastructure and transportation. Shortlisted applicants will have until Oct. 20 to submit detailed proposals, and the government plans to select the winners by year’s end.
- Winning consortiums must include two industry-leading “anchor” companies, six small and medium-sized enterprises and one postsecondary institution.
- Proposals must lay out how each group would create globally competitive sectors with high-paying, “resilient” jobs, boost economic growth and translate into commercial success for Canadian companies.
- For every dollar requested, each consortium will commit a dollar of cash or in-kind contributions of their own. Industry sectors such as artificial intelligence and clean tech that received commitments in the March budget may bid for additional supercluster cash.
- To qualify, supercluster participants must commit to creating and governing a not-for-profit organization, which would receive and disburse the money.
- The bids must also include an intellectual property (IP) strategy to ensure that breakthrough technologies developed by the consortiums benefit Canada. (Bains noted to ensure “the taxpayer gets the innovation benefits as well)
- Anchors can be Canadian-based subsidiaries of foreign corporations.
Andre has already engaged departmental officials in ISED to garner additional details about the program and I will follow-up with you in the coming week.