Supercluster poised for impact
Accelerate Okanagan - Feb 14 - Columnists

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With a new year comes new opportunities for Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster. In late November, the supercluster submitted its final application to the Government of Canada’s Innovation Supercluster Initiative after being shortlisted as one of nine concepts under consideration.

Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster positions Canada as a global leader in using the rapid growth of data to advance economic opportunities, and address the industrial productivity challenges, health care opportunities and sustainability issues facing Canada and the world today.

Over a ten-year period, the BC-born consortium anticipates it will invest more than $1.4 billion to fund more than 100 collaborative projects involving more than 1,000 organizations across Canada. Over this time period, the projects will generate a projected $15 billion in GDP and 50,000 new jobs that provide skilled and long-term employment opportunities for Canadians.

The consortium includes founding members TELUSMicrosoftTeckChange HealthcareProvidence Health Care, and the University of British Columbia.

Since being short-listed as one of nine applicants, new members from across Canada have joined, including: Shoppers Drug MartCanfor, GE DigitalThe Terry Fox Research InstituteUniversity Health Network (“UHN”) – Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, SickKids and over 200 other organizations and post-secondary institutions resulting in over $500 million in committed funding.

Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster will advance projects that are guided by defined industry needs across the country, drawing upon capabilities from participants in advanced solutions, using mixed, virtual and augmented reality, data analytics including artificial intelligence and quantum computing as well as leveraging cloud and secure blockchain based technologies.

Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster will initially focus on the following industries: health, natural resources, and industrial applications; recognizing the strength of these industry sectors in Canada and the ability for these industries to share knowledge, collaborate on solutions and create world-leading impact.

“Our collaboration framework will draw upon expertise and skills from companies, organizations and individuals across Canada,” said Bill Tam, the supercluster’s co-chair. “We aim to tackle opportunities that would not have been undertaken by any company alone, but instead through a collective effort, these projects will have global impact—like advancing cancer treatment with the goal of finding a cure—and to position Canada as a world leader in a number of cutting-edge technologies.”


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