BC-led Digital Tech Supercluster gets federal funding
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Initiative to transform Canada's fastest-growing tech sector by creating 50,000 jobs and injecting $15 billion in GDP into BC's economy over 10 years
The British Columbia-led Digital Technology Supercluster is one of the funding recipients for the Government of Canada’s Innovation Supercluster Initiative, announced recently by Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
“It is an exciting and historic time for innovation in Canada. The Digital Technology Supercluster is a generational opportunity – one that holds significant promise for companies in BC and across Canada,” says Bill Tam, Co-Chair of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster consortium. “Now the important work begins. As a collective, we’ll apply data and use technology in new ways, such as mixed reality, which can digitally transform companies, solve industry problems and advance economic opportunities throughout BC, Canada and the world.”
In May 2017, Minister Bains announced a nationwide initiative to create up to five superclusters that will supercharge Canada’s regional innovation ecosystems and “build Canada as a global centre for innovation.” Superclusters are innovation hotbeds, designed to energize the economy and become engines of growth. Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster was created as a collaborative effort of over 200 organisations, including some of Canada’s biggest names in healthcare, telecommunications, natural resources, computing and transportation.
The following examples demonstrate how the Digital Technology Supercluster will contribute to life-changing advancements in precision health, natural resources and manufacturing:
- A secure, anonymous Health and Genomic Platform will build the systems required to allow medical specialists to create custom, leading-edge cancer treatments that are personalized to the unique genetic makeup of each patient, building on Canada’s current leadership in this area.
- An Earth Data Store will facilitate and improve data collection, sharing and visualization in the resource sector – enhancing how information about resource projects is shared between project proponents, Indigenous Peoples, governments and communities.
- A Digital Learning Factory will help facilitate the development of virtual environments that enable design, rapid experimentation and testing of cost-saving approaches to address the most significant challenges in modern manufacturing.
These initiatives are among the estimated 100 projects that will be made possible by this infusion of federal funding.
Using data to drive sustainable long-term solutions across industries and sectors, the Digital Technology Supercluster will generate jobs, create new opportunities for Indigenous communities and support large-scale economic growth. It will allow startups and small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to shine globally, while expanding the productivity and competitiveness of Canada’s larger international firms.
“Leveraging the capability of Canada’s world-leading broadband telecommunications networks, our BC-led Supercluster will use advanced data collection, analytics and visualization to produce innovations that have tremendous local and global impact, including enabling advanced healthcare treatments and cures via precision health analytics,” says Josh Blair, Chief Corporate Officer, TELUS and Executive Vice President, TELUS Health. “As a founding member, TELUS looks forward to contributing to the breakthroughs our Supercluster will deliver for the benefit of Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”