Ottawa launches $950 million supercluster initiative to jumpstart job creation, innovation

Consortium-led approach to innovation brings together small and large companies, academia and not-for-profit organizations.

OTTAWA — The federal government has officially launched its $950 million initiative designed to jumpstart innovation in high-growth sectors, while boosting job creation in those areas.

The superclusters program is a centrepiece of the government’s Innovation and Skills plan. It is expected to focus on advanced manufacturing, agri-food, digital technology, clean technology, health and biosciences and clean resources. There’s also an infrastructure and transportation component.

Up to five superclusters will be chosen.

The government says the superclusters approach is meant to attract large and small companies that collaborate with university, colleges or not-for-profit organization to form consortiums that to ease the commercialization of innovative ideas.

Applications for funding under the program must be submitted by either a Canadian company or an international company with operations in the country leading the consortium. Each business-led consortium must include companies of all sizes, as well as post-secondary institutions or not-for-profit organizations.

To be eligible for funding, each consortium must be incorporated as a not-for-profit organization governed by a board of directors. Eligible consortiums must also commit to matching dollar for dollar the amount it’s requesting under the initiative.

Interested consortiums must submit a letter of intent by July 21. From there, a shortlist of applicants will be invited to prepare a full application.

The superclusters program follows on innovation commitments made by the federal government in its March federal budget.

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