Electronic Products & Technology

CMC Microsystems and ventureLAB sign MOU in support of semiconductor growth in Canada

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Under the agreement, the organizations will support each other’s complementary programs to evolve the advanced technology ecosystem in Canada

CMC Microsystems, a not-for-profit organization that accelerates research and innovation in advanced technologies in Canada, and ventureLAB, leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada located in York region, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize their relationship and advance Canada’s advanced technology ecosystem.

The ceremony was held at the ventureLAB Innovation Centre in Markham, ON, with industry leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, and representatives of the Governments of Canada, Ontario, and Markham including Tony Van Bynen, Member of Parliament for Newmarket—Aurora.

From left are Hugh Chow, CEO of ventureLAB; Tony Van Bynen, Member of Parliament for Newmarket—Aurora; and Gordon Harling, President and CEO of CMC Microsystems. Source: CMC Microsystems

Under the agreement, the organizations will support each other’s complementary programs to advance the advanced technology ecosystem in Canada. CMC has made a formal commitment to support the Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI), which provides support for hardware and silicon small- and medium-sized (SMEs) companies building transformative solutions in healthcare, telecommunications, advanced computing, connected transportation and smart energy. In addition, ventureLAB has committed to supporting CMC’s Virtual Incubator Environment (VIE), a program designed specifically for startups which provides a bundle of design tools and manufacturing technologies at accessible price points. ventureLAB is also committed to supporting the FABrIC initiative, a proposed five-year $200M project led by CMC and 14 other founding organizations to secure Canada’s future in advanced semiconductor manufacturing and design.

Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI)

ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative is Canada’s only lab and incubator for founders building hardware and semiconductor-focused products, enabling the creation of transformative technologies that will power our products of tomorrow — including healthcare technology, consumer electronics, telecommunications, smart energy, connected transportation, and more. Funded in part by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Hardware Catalyst helps tech companies accelerate their time to market in a sector that normally incurs lengthy entry and scale times, enabling Canadian hardware and semiconductor companies to grow and scale locally, and compete globally.


Virtual Incubator Environment (VIE) & FABrIC Initiative

CMC’s Virtual Incubator Environment (VIE) is a suite of tools, technologies, and services for startups. Startups can access design and simulation tools, technical support from CMC experts, and access to state-of-the-art fabrication in microelectronics, silicon photonics, and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) at accessible rates. FABrIC is a proposal presented to the Government of Canada for a five-year, $200M plus project to secure Canada’s future in semiconductors. FABrIC lowers barriers for entrepreneurs in Canadian companies who develop microchip manufacturing processes, create Internet-connected products and services, and export into a global market growing made-in-Canada microchip manufacturing, internet-connected products and services (IoT), and quantum technologies. FABrICgrows Canada’s semiconductor ecosystem by leveraging existing chip design and manufacturing facilities, providing companies with financial support, and access to the CMC Innovation Platform – a nationwide chip design and manufacturing knowledge base backed by a trusted global supply chain and deep technical expertise.

“The ventureLAB team is excited to join forces with CMC” said Hugh Chow, CEO of ventureLAB. “With CMC’s extensive national presence across Canada and an international network of collaborating researchers and suppliers, the future is promising. Together, through the Hardware Catalyst Initiative, we eagerly anticipate entrepreneurs from every corner of Canada, empowering them to launch their innovations into the global market and support their growth.”

Source: CMC Microsystems

For Gordon Harling, President and CEO of CMC, working with ventureLAB will bring concrete benefits for its own network, and the entire Canadian ecosystem. “ventureLAB has a proven track record supporting, accelerating, and scaling firms that create transformative technologies which power our products of tomorrow. The Hardware Catalyst Initiative in particular will benefit researchers and entrepreneurs from the CMC network by providing more prototyping and test opportunities to improve development and accelerate their time-to-market.”

Canada Chips Week in Markham Oct. 7-11

Both leaders also emphasized that FABrIC is a key initiative that will boost the entire Canadian semiconductor and advanced technology ecosystem. “Canada is recognized around the world as a leader in some of the most innovative and advanced semiconductor technologies such as compound semiconductors, photonics, internet-connected devices, and quantum technologies – specialized advanced technologies with exponential growth opportunities and high value-add” said Harling. “FABrIC is an innovative, cost-effective way to create a resilient and sustainable semiconductor ecosystem in Canada, and keep Canada at the forefront of advanced manufacturing and advance Canada’s knowledge-based economy,” said Hugh Chow

Chow and Harling also announced that Canada Chips Week will be taking place October 7-11 in the Markham area. Canada Chips Week will bring together leaders from across the semiconductor ecosystem to plot a way forward for Canada in crucial areas such as talent development, and manufacturing innovations such as advanced process controls. Canada Chips Week will also include CMC’s Canadian Semiconductor Symposium, and ventureLAB’s HardTech Summit.


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