Outlook 2012: Morrison to lead CEMI into a new era [mining research] – by Heather Campbell (Sudbury Star March 30, 2012)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation has made a few changes to prepare for its continued growth. Peter Kaiser, founding president during the startup phase of CEMI, has passed the leadership baton to Douglas Morrison, chair of Holistic Mining Practices, who joined CEMI in 2011 as vice-president.

Kaiser will not be going very far as he will continue to lead the Rio Tinto Centre for Underground Mine Construction, a division of CEMI. During the five years of his leadership the organization more than doubled the initial investment by the Ontario government and founding partners Vale, Xstrata Nickel and Laurentian University.

CEMI directs and coordinates step-change innovation in the areas of exploration, deep mining, integrated mine engineering, environment and sustainability for the metal mining industry. This year, CEMI’s cumulative program funding exceeded the $40-million threshold.

Read more

Canada’s wood firms cluster for survival – and growth – by Tavia Grant (Globe and Mail – March 31, 2012)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

WALKERTON, ONT.—  Three hours northwest of Toronto, a group of Ontario manufacturers is throwing the traditional rules of business out the window.

Business owners visit each other’s factories. They share secrets. They plan long-term hiring strategies, collaborate on research and development, and ponder productivity enhancements. They help solve each other’s problems on a shared website.

In years past – tumultuous years, given the surge of competition from China and the soaring Canadian currency – these small and medium-sized makers of furniture, flooring, doors and cabinets viewed each other as direct competitors. Now, 30 business owners gather every few months in small boardrooms to share ideas.

The companies formed a cluster, a concept first coined by Harvard University’s Michael Porter two decades ago that has since been adopted in countries from Germany to China. While some clusters have emerged in Canada – tech in Waterloo, aerospace in Montreal – manufacturing clusters remain relatively rare in this country.

Read more

Prosperity scorecard measures how cities foster business hubs [industrial clusters]- by Richard Blackwell (Globe and Mail – March 26, 2012)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

But is it possible to force-feed clusters, or to shift a city’s existing
cluster mix? James Milway, executive director of the Martin Prosperity
Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business, said
the most effective move is “to take what you’ve got and make the best of
it.” Local educational institutions need to turn out skilled graduates
that the existing clusters need, he said, and “if the government can
prod that along, that’s great.”

For a thorough analysis of Sudbury’s four mining clusters, go to: Sudbury is the luckiest city in North America

Mike Tims is clearly in the sweet spot. The company he chairs, Peters and Co., is an investment bank that operates at the intersection of two of the most vibrant sectors of the Calgary economy – resource extraction and financial services.

Those two industry “clusters” are crucial to Calgary’s success, as they bring together a complex group of players whose interaction, competition and collaboration accelerate productivity and innovation.

Canadian cities are increasingly recognizing the need to nurture and refine these business hubs, getting leaders, educational institutions, and government agencies together to spur them along as they compete for economic activity with other municipalities in North America and around the world.

Read more

Northern mining communities prosper as south struggles – by Chip Martin/QMI Agency (December 12, 2011)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Mining analyst Sudol said the high-tech nature of mining
in 2011 is not well understood. “We all talk about high
tech in Kitchener-Waterloo and Silicon Valley in California
and we are sort of ignoring an extraordinarily interesting
concentration of mining technology, research and education
in Sudbury.”

The same thing killing jobs in southwestern Ontario is creating them by the thousands in Northern Ontario.

The industrialization and urbanization of China, Brazil and India is causing the flight of well-paid industrial jobs to those emerging economies. The fallout is unemployment in Ontario’s industrial sector and unemployment rates soaring to 9.8% in London and 10.8% in Windsor.

But the loss for the south is a gain for the north.

Unemployment is low in places such as Kirkland Lake and Sudbury. Mines and mine-related businesses are clamouring for workers.

“The industrialization and urbanization of China, India and Brazil and many other developing countries will be ongoing for many generations to come,” says respected mining consultant and analyst Stan Sudol.

Read more

Closing the [Canadian] innovation gap – by Carol Goar (Toronto Star – October 21, 2011)

The Toronto Star, has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

The role of the provinces would be to target subsidies
at emerging industries (Premier Dalton McGuinty’s green
energy program is an example) and regional clusters
(biotechnology and life sciences in Toronto, high-tech
development in Waterloo, mining technology in Sudbury).
(Carol Goar – Toronto Star Editorial Board)

For roughly 30 years, Ottawa has been pouring taxpayers’ dollars into Canada’s “innovation gap” — and achieving precious little.

The government spends roughly $5 billion a year to induce business to invest in research and product development. Cabinet ministers regularly exhort corporate leaders for their unwillingness to use their earnings to leap ahead of their global competitors. Conferences are held, reports written.

Yet according to the latest statistics from the Organization for Economic Growth and Development, Canada remains at the back of pack in terms of private spending on research and development (16th out of 27 industrial countries).

This record of failure calls for a “fundamental reordering of how innovation, research and development are funded in Canada,” says the Mowat Centre in a provocative new study.

Read more

Newfoundland community interested in Sudbury mining suppliers – by Northern Ontario Business staff (October 17, 2011)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business  provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. Ian Ross is the editor of Northern Ontario Business ianross@nob.on.ca.

The Long Harbour Development Corp. in Newfoundland wants to import the expertise of Sudbury’s mining supply and services companies.

The community is the site of Vale’s $3-billion hydromet processing facility, currently under construction, and it will process nickel sulphide concentrate from Vale’s Voisey Bay Mine in Labrador. The development corporation wants to identify suppliers so when the facility goes into production in 2013, they are ready to meet the supply and services requirements.

“I am a matchmaker,” said Joe Bennett, executive director of the Long Harbour Development Corp. “I want to take advantage of the experience of the suppliers in Sudbury and see if we can create a marriage between organizations in Newfoundland who might want to do a joint venture, or partnership, or sub-office, with someone who is already experienced in dealing with Vale on the supply side and hopefully get a leg up.”

Read more

Canadian cities need a lesson in academic potential – by Nick Rockel (Globe and Mail – September 14, 2011)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

If you’re a student or a professor at the University of Waterloo, any intellectual property that you create there belongs to you. This unusual policy has helped make Ontario’s Waterloo Region a leading patent generator. It has also sparked local successes such as smart-phone giant Research In Motion Ltd. and software developer OpenText Inc., both university spinoffs.

“They basically have evolved from student days into incredible multinationals,” says John Jung, chief executive officer of Canada’s Technology Triangle Inc., the public-private economic development agency for the Waterloo Region.

Encompassing the cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, the region has long understood the value of close ties between business and academia. Its almost 60,000 full-time students – Waterloo’s two other key schools are Wilfrid Laurier University and polytechnic Conestoga College – are a vital source of talent for local companies.

Through the University of Waterloo’s decades-old co-op system, Canadian and international students apply their knowledge in the real world. The region’s three major postsecondary institutions have representatives on the Technology Triangle board, alongside business leaders.

Read more

NEWS RELEASE: [Sudbury-based] NORCAT Recognized for Outstanding Achievement by NASA

August 25, 2011 – The Northern Centre for Advanced Technology Inc. (NORCAT), has been awarded the NASA Group Achievement Award for outstanding efforts in support of the 2010 International Lunar Surface Operations InSitu resource Utilization Field Test (ILSO-ISRU). Specifically this distinction is awarded in recognition of the quality of results and level of impact on NASA programs, effective management of cost and schedule, customer satisfaction, capacity for future contribution and the development of innovative approaches in responding to unforeseen crises.

In addition to technical contributions such as the drill and sample acquisition system for the NASA RESOLVE lunar water prospector testing and fuel cell system design for the lunar water utilization experiment, NORCAT’s role during this ILSO-ISRU field exercise was as overall field mission lead and coordinator.

Read more

The best investment in the world [Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region] – by Matthew Mendelsohn and John Austin (National Post – June 13, 2011)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

Matthew Mendelsohn is the director of the Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto. John Austin is the nonresident senior fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program at Washington, D.C.’s Brookings Institution. To learn more, visit www.greatlakessummit.org.

Regions are becoming more important because capital and talent tend to cluster
geographically so that employers have easy access to potential partners and
employees. Clusters emerge in regions that possess natural, cultural and place-
defining attributes that make them attractive places to live and work. They also
emerge near centres of public and private research and education.
(Matthew Mendelsohn and John Austin)

In the first in a five-part series ahead of the Mowat Centre and Brookings Institution Summit on the Future of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region, starting next week in Windsor and Detroit, two experts argue that with proper governance, the Great Lakes region could be the success story of the century ahead.

Regions will be just as important as nation-states in ensuring the wellbeing of communities in the coming decades. The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region – made up of the eight states and two provinces (Quebec and Ontario) that surround these great waters – has everything necessary to succeed in this new world.

Regions are becoming more important because capital and talent tend to cluster geographically so that employers have easy access to potential partners and employees. Clusters emerge in regions that possess natural, cultural and place-defining attributes that make them attractive places to live and work. They also emerge near centres of public and private research and education.

Read more

Prosperity is Created, not Inherited – Ontario Mineral Industry Cluster: A Case in Point (2007)

Published in the Ontario Mineral Exploration Review by the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines in 2007. www.omicc.ca

National, provincial and regional governments are continually searching for new tools to improve the economic prosperity of their citizens. Prosperity is a widely used term in government documents, reports and position papers. Evidence from both the developed and developing world is that economic prosperity is created, not inherited.

For example, some countries and regions rich in natural resources remain poor, whereas other countries and regions with little in the way of a natural endowment have and continue to enjoy a higher standard of living. Inherited comparative advantages such as natural resources, geographic location, or a supply of labour are becoming less important in achieving prosperity.

According Harvard professor Michael Porter, renowned for his pioneering work on competitiveness and cluster theory, “A nation can be prosperous and productive in virtually any field. What matters is how a nation competes, not what industry it competes in…we must stop thinking that traditional industries are bad and that the nation must move into high tech”.

Read more

Mining clusters fuel economic growth – by Indira Singh (September, 2006)

Interrelated industries and institutions drive wealth creation

Clusters are a group of interrelated industries and institutions that drive wealth creation primarily through innovation and the export of goods and services. Clustered industries mutually reinforce and enhance
competitive advantage by acting as each other’s consumers, competitors, partners, suppliers and sources of research and development.

The Ontario Mineral Industry Cluster (OMIC) includes exploration companies, major mine operators, service and equipment suppliers, labour, training and education institutions, associations and other allied entities. Other well-known clusters include Hollywood, California’s Silicon Valley, Ottawa’s Silicon Valley North, the Netherlands’ cut flower industry and Houston’s oil and gas sector.

Over the last decade, clusters have attracted substantial attention from policy makers, legislatures, business leaders, academics, economic development practitioners and development agencies around the world.
Governments with widely differing ideologies in more than 30 countries and in the majority of U.S. states have adopted cluster-based economic development models. The cluster approach is also used by European governments, as well as governments in the Asia-Pacific region.

Why clusters work

Productivity and productive growth are the fundamental drivers of prosperity. Innovation is the key driver of productivity. Clusters drive innovation, economic growth and development.

Read more

Sudbury Basin Mining Cluster Still Awash With Opportunities – by Bill Bradley

Northern Life, Greater Sudbury’s community newspaper, gave Republic of Mining.com permission to post Bill Bradley’s article. www.northernlife.ca

Times may not be as bad as they may seem for the mining cluster, said participants at a mining cluster meeting Wednesday morning at the Howard Johnson Hotel on Brady Street.

The Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA) was holding its annual general meeting. Association members employ an estimated 15,000 workers locally.

Though executive director Dick DeStefano has admitted several hundred layoffs have occurred, in general, the mining cluster remains healthy.

Access to financing, a key component of business health, still remains viable so far.

Denis Goupil, associate director of northern Ontario operations of Roynat Capital, said while the chartered banks may be tightening up their lending practices in the short term, other long term finance companies like his organization and the Business Development Bank, have a longer outlook.

Read more

Social Capital, Clusters and Connections in Sudbury’s Global Mining Sector – by Dr. David Robinson

Dr. David Robinson - Laurentian University Economics ProfessorDr. David Robinson is an economist at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Canada. Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal showcases the mining expertise of North Bay, Timmins and Sudbury.

Scott Tiffin is a Canadian who lives in Chile. For the last five years he has been Director of Research and International Relations at the Universidad Alfonso Ibanez in Santiago, one of the best business schools in Latin America. Scott is an expert on entrepreneurship. He wants to help Chileans develop a dynamic mining supply sector, so last week Scott came to Sudbury to steal our ideas.

Scott especially wants to know how universities help resource sector businesses grow. He will look at Chilean, Canadian and Finnish or Australian examples to identify “best practices’’ that can be used to promote Chilean development.

The visit uncovered a few surprises: one Laurentian University Economics professor just back from Chile where he talked about how the supply and service sector developed, a team from the Faculty of Management collaborating with Chilean researchers to study small firms in the mining sector, and a couple of engineers just back from giving a course in Antofagasta. They didn’t know about each other’s work.

Read more