Superclusters drive Canada’s innovation economy

The kraken is a mythical, giant sea creature that is said to live off the coasts of Norway and Iceland, rising from the depths of the ocean to scare sailors, fishermen and other sailors. (It’s also what Seattle calls its new NHL expansion team.)

Far from Seattle or the Norwegian Sea, in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, it’s named after 10-year-old ocean tech company Kraken Robotics, which now runs a $20 million commercial project in part of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster.

Kraken Robotics is the ultimate example of the power of the country’s burgeoning superclusters initiative and how these networks of companies, academics, researchers and government agencies working towards a common goal can contribute to propel Canada’s economic prosperity.

Together with its partners, Kraken develops underwater technology platforms for mapping the seabed and has grown from 70 to 210 employees in just over two years. “We were able to scale and leverage $10 million from industry, in part because of the doors opened by the Oceans Supercluster,” says Vice President Bill Donovan.

Kraken is just one of more than 7,000 organizations that benefit from Canada’s five superclusters and the support they provide. The five Superclusters are focused on fueling innovative collaboration across Canada’s key industrial sectors to drive growth and prosperity.

After just over four years of operation, the superclusters offer impressive solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing our country and our planet.

In British Columbia, for example, through the Digital Supercluster, Ideon Technologies is leading a team to accelerate the global transition to low-impact mining through the world’s first visualization platform to identify minerals. critical up to a kilometer below the earth’s surface.

In Ontario, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, a member of the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster, is leading a team of researchers and technology companies in the development of the world’s first fully automated steelmaking process, which promises to important to reducing the sector’s GHG emissions.

In Quebec, Scale AI member AlayaCare is leading a team developing an AI-powered software platform that gives home care agencies better planning and management tools to optimize their workforce and deliver better care as they grapple with the impacts of the COVID -19 pandemic.

And on the Prairies, Protein Industries Canada is supporting a team led by Enhanced Medical Nutrition and Infinit Nutrition Canada working to improve health care outcomes for recovering patients in hospitals by developing powerful plant-based protein supplements.

These cross-industry consortia show what it takes to turn bold, ambitious ideas into results. And the momentum is rising.

Across the five superclusters, there are now over 400 projects underway, including 332 led by small and medium-sized businesses. More than 1,200 new products, processes or services have been developed thanks to more than 1,755 collaborative partnerships. Virtually all of the targets set by the federal government have been met or exceeded – 11,000 well-paying jobs have also been created, towards a target of over 50,000 by 2028.

The federal government’s initial investment of $950 million to launch the supercluster initiative has been leveraged to leverage over $1 billion in matching private investment, grow Canada’s innovation ecosystem and do it with speed, agility and deliver tangible results for Canada.

The work of superclusters and their members is attracting attention from Europe, Asia and the United States, putting Canada on the map as an innovation leader.

Now is the time to double down on those impressive results. As Federal Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne recently noted when asked about superclusters at an event organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal: “When we talk about innovation, we are talking about long term.

Our thoughts exactly. As we increasingly unleash our ideas, creativity and innovation into the world through superclusters, Kraken Robotics and many others like it will take their place on the global innovation stage, generating bold new ideas and demonstrating the strength of Canadian ingenuity. .

“Our partnership with superclusters has been a game-changer. We are now able to put vehicles and sonar in the water to collect data and allow people to see areas of the ocean floor that they would otherwise never see… it’s like unleashing the Kraken him -even,” says Donovan.

Julien Billot, Bill Greuel, Kendra MacDonald, Jayson Myers and Sue Paish are the CEOs of Scale AI, Protein Industries Canada, Ocean Supercluster, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada and Digital Technology Supercluster respectively.

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