Canada’s Semiconductor Council releases action plan that aims to build chip-fuelled economy by 2050
Canada’s Semiconductor Council released the Roadmap to 2050: Canada’s Semiconductor Action Plan, which lays out short-term, medium-term, and long-term recommendations to build Canada’s semiconductor industry.
“Our Council formed because we’re in the midst of a global shortage of semiconductors and the time to act is now,” said Sarah Prevette, Chair, Canada’s Semiconductor Council and CEO, Future Design School. “Canada has homegrown STEM talent, access to critical raw materials, and a strong foundation in research, innovation, and design. Today’s report is a roadmap for how we can seize the opportunity before us.”
The action plan makes recommendations based on four goals:
1-Strengthen and diversify the supply chain
In order to shore up supply of critically-needed chips, Canada must act swiftly and in a unified manner. Companies and industries must come together and secure our imported supply of chips, and at the same time establish a case for increasing domestic production.
2-Develop onshore manufacturing
Given the growing global demand for semiconductors, domestic production would yield tremendous economic benefits for Canada. To achieve this: (1) There is a need to understand which semiconductors are in the highest demand and establish a business model for fabricating those chips; (2) Canada’s environmental and political stability and international partnerships must be used to attract multinational semiconductor manufacturing partnerships; and (3) Canadian engineering talent must improve upon the traditional fabrication process and pioneer a more flexible approach.
3-Establish a unique specialization and brand for Canada
There are two key areas where Canada can specialize within the semiconductor sector: (1) design and R&D, and (2) electric vehicles, batteries, and sensors. These two broad areas lend themselves to Canada’s existing expertise and top engineering talent. Both of these sectors are poised for significant growth, support a wide range of important domestic industries, and present significant opportunities for Canada to establish itself as a vital hub of innovation in the value chain.
4-Foster innovation and support market development
Because of the steep and ongoing capital needs throughout the lifespan of a semiconductor company, Canadian VCs and angel investors alone cannot provide sufficient funding. As a result, a mix of public partnerships, programs, and incentives are required to support growth in the Canadian semiconductor industry.