Canada Pouring Hundreds of Millions into “Advanced Microelectronics Supercluster”; Looks to Own and Lead Supply Chain
Major tech firms backing $300 million supercluster bid from York Region
Excerpts and salient points ~
+ A consortium of more than 50 organizations with offices in the York Region area have organized a supercluster bid focused on the development of microelectronics and backed by a pledge of more than $300 million in funding.
+ The bid, titled “The Advanced Microelectronics Supercluster” involves major tech brands alongside numerous smaller businesses in the area north of Toronto, with Markham, Ont.-based VentureLab Innovation Centre (ventureLAB) as the central organizing force. It targets the Liberal government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative that promises $950 million between 2017-2022 to business-led innovation superclusters that promise to supercharge Canada’s economy and create jobs in the knowledge economy.
“Microelectronics and semiconductors are the baseline fundamental technologies that are really enablers for many of the other technologies,” she says. “From artificial intelligence to machine and deep learning, to quantum computing, all of those advanced technologies required the basic hardware of a chip.”
+ It’s silicon and copper that’s ultimately the enabler of the software and algorithm-driven bids from the other 50 consortia making bids for the federal funds, Chee says. Even companies that are not widely recognized as hardware manufacturers are in the process of developing specialized microchips that are not available on the market today so they can pursue next-generation applications and services.
+ “We have the ability to build those prototypes here in Canada, and then offer the opportunity to the rest of the world when we need to ramp into mass production and high volume manufacturing,” she says. “There’s a manufacturing opportunity for Canada to own and lead that entire supply chain.”
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