Archive | Industry Clusters for Economic Prosperity

Beyond ‘the next Silicon Valley’: Why many kinds of economic superclusters matter – by Scott Stern and Richard Florizone (Globe and Mail – April 5, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Scott Stern is the David Sarnoff Professor of Management of Technology at MIT, and co-founder of the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program (MIT REAP). Richard Florizone is the President of Dalhousie University, which is a partner in Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, and chair of the Nova Scotia MIT REAP team.

Can Canada’s disparate regions be harnessed to be more than the sum of their parts? This is the defining question for Canada’s economy and the vision behind the federal government’s recently launched superclusters initiative.

Rather than a “superboondoggle,” Canada’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative lays the foundations for nurturing and extending the global leadership of this country’s regional economic strengths.

While the concept of clusters has been around for a while, too many regional development initiatives simply try – and very often fail – to be “the next Silicon Valley.” Rather than having all regions chasing after the same “next big thing,” research shows that clusters prosper by building on existing advantages. Continue Reading →

Is Ottawa’s ‘supercluster’ funding initiative a superboondoggle in the making? – by Sean Silcoff (Globe and Mail – March 17, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

On the morning of Feb. 15, federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains strode to the stage at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa with his jacket off, sleeves rolled up. The room was full of CEOs and entrepreneurs, academics and reporters, all waiting to hear who was about to win the federal lottery.

Mr. Bains was there to announce the five groups chosen to share the spoils of one of his government’s signature economic initiatives: the $950-million supercluster program. First, though, he had some explaining to do. “This comes up time and time again: What is a supercluster?” he said.

“I know it’s a jargony term,” he acknowledged, before offering a quick explanation: “It’s a made-in-Canada Silicon Valley that will create tens of thousands of jobs.” Continue Reading →

Mining Super Cluster Denied But Doesn’t Deter Regional Expansion – by Dick DeStefano (March 2, 2018)

https://samssa.ca/

Dick DeStefano is the Executive Director of the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA).

I am disappointed by the Canadian Federal Government’s recent decision to ignore a request by CEMI and CMIC and multiple partners to grow our mining and related sector in Canada. It was not chosen as a priority in their Super Cluster competition and remains on the fringe of the government agenda.

But the results will not deter the existing cluster to move its agenda forward in the next years and expand its presence in the global market. A significant effort has been invested in establishing a viable infrastructure and cooperative effort by multiple partners within Northern Ontario and that effort will continue as we move forward.

It’s not a lack of information because our review indicates that over 20 profiles have been published in the past two years and the case study recently released by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities illustrates the shift from an extractive mining sector to a world class mining intelligence sector. Continue Reading →

Tech, mining make strange bedfellows in B.C. supercluster – by Tyler Orton (Business Vancouver – February 28, 2018)

https://biv.com/

B.C. technology, natural resources and health-care companies are partnering with post-secondary institutions to accelerate innovation in the province

In the 1990s, when flip phones were still pricey and 56K modems were a luxury, B.C.’s tech scene was not the guaranteed money-maker that now employs more than 100,000 people. “My dad told me, ‘You’ve got to get a job in mining or forestry because then you’ll have a job forever,’” recalled Edoardo De Martin, director of the Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) Canada Excellence Centre.

New funding from Ottawa’s $950 million supercluster initiative will afford De Martin, who now leads the tech giant’s office in Vancouver, the opportunity to bridge the gap between his chosen profession and his father’s suggestion.

The supercluster program is intended to jump-start public-private partnerships within specific regions across the country to facilitate collaborations between companies and post-secondary institutions that don’t normally work together. Continue Reading →

Exploring Innovation in Northern Canada with Insights from the Mining Innovation System in Greater Sudbury, Ontario – by Heather Hall (The Northern Review – June 29, 2017)

http://journals.sfu.ca/

Heather Hall is the Assistant Professor, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo.

The Mining Innovation System in Greater Sudbury

The remainder of this article focuses on the development of the mining innovation system in Greater Sudbury to provide insights on innovation and economic development in northern regions.1

It is worth noting that Sudbury2 is a unique case study to investigate the northern dynamics of innovation in the Canadian context due to its size (population 165,000) and location. As will be discussed later, it is the largest community in northern Canada and is located in the southern part of the provincial North. That being said, the Sudbury case does provide insights into the economic development challenges that are faced by many communities across northern Canada.

It also highlights the importance of public investment and infrastructure for enhancing northern innovation. In the circumpolar context, Sudbury is not unlike Oulu (Finland), Tromsø (Norway), and Luleå (Sweden) in terms of its development, size, and function as a regional-service centre. Continue Reading →

Why Indian Aluminium Firms Are Banking on Clusters – by Special India Correspondent (Aluminium Insider – February 21, 2018)

https://aluminiuminsider.com/

Leading Indian aluminium companies are turning to the cluster model to tap downstream investments and diversify aluminium applications in the country.

Both state run entities National Aluminium Company (Nalco) and Vedanta Ltd, the Indian arm of London listed metals conglomerate Vedanta Resources Plc, are developing aluminium parks to offer a conducive ecosystem to players in the downstream space.

To lure the downstream industries, both primary aluminium producers are offering a suite of incentives ranging from discounted molten aluminium supplies to concessional land plots at the parks. India’s aluminium growth story is robust. Between 2015 and 2016, the country’s total aluminium consumption expanded by 18.75 per cent, riding on increased offtake in the electrical, transportation and construction sectors. Continue Reading →

Hard work lies ahead for superclusters – by Sarah Turnbull (iPolitics.ca – February 16, 2018)

iPolitics.ca

The Liberal government’s $950 million supercluster program is being touted as a good news story Friday – despite ongoing hesitation about what comes next for the five winning projects, stakeholders say.

“It can’t just be about a billion-dollar cheque,” said Jamison Steeve, executive director of the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity. “There’s an actual positive force of the government, that is as an organizer, as convener and as a cajoler.”

The five supercluster winners were announced Thursday and are distributed fairly evenly across the country, with hubs being located in British Columbia, the Prairies, Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario. This is causing a bit of eyebrow raising within the tech circle, he said. Continue Reading →

Well, there’s $950 million we didn’t need to spend – by Andrew Coyne (National Post – February 17, 2018)

http://nationalpost.com/

Recipients of Superclusters cash don’t have to persuade consumers of the value of what they produce. They just have to be good at lobbying the federal Liberals

If you were to leave $950 million at the corner of Bloor and Yonge in downtown Toronto — in packets of twenties, it would create a pile roughly 1.45 metres square by 2.6 metres high — I can guarantee you the result would be a substantial boost to economic activity.

People in the area would pick up the money and spend it on goods and services. With such a sudden influx of cash in search of something to spend it on, factories would have to step up production; distributors and retailers would take on staff.

These new hires would spend their wages on more goods and services, leading to yet more new hires and so on. With such “spin-offs” included, the economic impact of dumping all that cash on the ground could be multiples of the initial outlay. Continue Reading →

Federal government names winners of $950-million ‘supercluster’ funding – by Sean Silcoff (Globe and Mail – February 16, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The federal government unveiled the winners of its flagship innovation funding program on Thursday, committing $950-million to five industry consortiums drawn from hundreds of companies, research institutions and industry groups that don’t typically collaborate but that Ottawa hopes will create economic growth by combining forces.

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said the goal was to create “a made-in-Canada Silicon Valley” that will add billions of dollars to the GDP and get businesses to invest heavily in research and development – and create 50,000 jobs.

The winners represented a broad cross-section of industry and academic players, which Mr. Bains said was the government’s intent. “This was about seeing how the private sector can step up,” he said in an interview. “We wanted to see more collaboration … more ambition” on the part of Canadian industry. Continue Reading →

CEMI NEW RELEASE: CLEER MINING PROPOSAL NOT SELECTED IN INNOVATION SUPERCLUSTERS INITIATIVE (February 15, 2018)

Industry remains committed to investing in mining innovation

Ottawa, February 15, 2018 – The consortium behind the CLEER supercluster proposal remains committed to transforming Canada’s mining industry through innovation, despite not being amongst the five projects selected by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for supercluster funding.

The Canadian mining industry developed the pan-Canadian supercluster initiative, CLEER (Clean, Low-Energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated) to power clean growth through mining innovation. The CLEER submission was prepared on behalf of the mining sector by CEMI, CIMRE, CMIC, COREM, IMII, and MSTA. The CLEER proposal was one of nine projects that was shortlisted by the federal government and the only proposal focused on clean resources.

“We thank Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for considering the CLEER proposal and are honoured to have been a finalist. While we are disappointed with the final outcome, we remain optimistic, firmly committed to mining innovation and working towards building up this significant initiative,” stated Adrian McFadden, Chair of the CLEER Interim Board. Continue Reading →

Mining as a nation-builder: CEMI among six groups forming supercluster to bring clean Canadian mining expertise to the international market – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – December 1, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

For six mining groups in Canada that have joined together, including one in Sudbury, mining is a nation-building exercise they want to take to the world. The hope is by joining together, they can qualify for government funding to help them support the mining industry on a holistic level.

Sudbury-based Centre for Mining Innovation (CEMI) is among the group that are pursuing a $200 million funding initiative to move their supercluster forward. Titled Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated (CLEER), to compete for funding though the federal government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative.

The are many reasons for bringing this supercluster together, explained Charles Nyabeze, director, government affairs for CEMI, all of them go back to making mining in Canada more competitive, cleaner, diverse and showing the public the importance of mining to the nation’s economic stability. Continue Reading →

Sudbury part of mining ‘supercluster’ proposal – by Staff (Sudbury Star – October 12, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

A group that includes Sudbury’s Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation has made the shortlist of groups that could receive funding under the Ottawa’s $950-million “supercluster” program.

The federal government has whittled down its list of finalists from more than 50 proposals to nine, according to a list supplied to the Financial Post by the ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. The supercluster program is part of a sizeable spending push by the Trudeau Liberals to spur Canadian innovation.

Ottawa opened up its bidding process last May, and received proposals from more than 1,000 private companies, business associations and research institutions. Continue Reading →

Sudbury cluster plays key role in health and safety – by David Robinson (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – September 2017)

Home

Mining is still one of the most dangerous industries in the world. According to the International Labour Organization, while mining employs around one per cent of the global labour force, it generates eight per cent of fatal accidents. As bad as it seems, there has been an enormous improvement. Safety in mining is now an obsession.

Safety has become a key target for the mining industry in developed countries, and standards are rising around the world. Some countries have a long way to go. China, for example, accounts for 40 per cent of global coal output, but 80 per cent of the world’s mining deaths. The artisanal and small mining sector, which may have as many as 50 million people working in it, is largely unregulated and undocumented. The number of deaths and injuries in the sector are unknown.

What is known at the global level is that health and safety progress in the mining sector has been astonishing. The deadliest year in U.S. coal mining history, for example, was 1907, when an estimated 3,242 deaths occurred. The number fell to 19 in 2002. China is claiming an 80 per cent reduction in deaths in its coal industry. Continue Reading →

Ottawa to kick off $950-million innovation ‘supercluster’ competition – by Sean Silcoff (Globe and Mail – May 24, 2017)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

OTTAWA — The federal government will kick off the centrepiece of its innovation agenda Wednesday by officially launching a program that will disburse $950-million to as many as five “supercluster” initiatives geared toward creating high-paying jobs in fast-growing sectors.

Initial applications for the funds will be due July 21 from industry-led consortiums in eight high-potential sectors: advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital technology, health-bioscience, clean resources, infrastructure and transportation. Shortlisted applicants will have until Oct. 20 to submit detailed proposals, and the government plans to select the winners by year’s end.

“This initiative is about government partnering with industry, academia and communities to build on our strengths to develop the economy and the jobs of the future,” Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains said in an interview. Continue Reading →

Key measures aimed at energizing Canadian high-tech clusters, like those in Ottawa-Gatineau – by James Bagnall (Ottawa Sun – March 23, 2017)

http://www.ottawasun.com/

Perhaps we should be a little insulted. There’s a section in Wednesday’s federal budget that highlights how a multitude of measures aimed at accelerating innovation are supposed to work.

The government wants us to create innovation superclusters — “dense areas of business activity” capable of attracting the very best talent and companies from around the world. To give us an idea of what these look like, the budget lists four urban areas that have already achieved this distinction: California’s Silicon Valley, Berlin, Tel Aviv and the Toronto-Waterloo corridor.

A nod in the direction of the capital region would have been nice. While it’s true Ottawa and Gatineau long ago lost the distinction of being the planet’s most important supercluster in matters of telecommunications technology, the cities’ innovators are mounting an impressive comeback. Continue Reading →