DigitalSupercluster
The Government of Canada is investing up to $950-million to create tens of thousands of jobs in innovation and research. The Digital Supercluster, which includes the Princess Margaret, will use big data to unlock new potential in healthcare. (Photo: Digital Supercluster)

Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains announced that the British Columbia-led Digital Technology Supercluster will receive funding from the federal Innovation Supercluster Initiative.

The project brings together over 200 organizations—including the University Health Network's Princess Margaret (PM) Cancer Centre—to work on 100 projects that will "digitally transform companies, solve industry problems and advance economic opportunities."

The Government of Canada defines a Cluster as a" dense area of business activity containing a critical mass of large and small companies, post-secondary and other research institutions. They energize the economy and act as engines of growth," while a Supercluster has even "stronger connections, a long-term competitive advantage, global brand recognition, and an outsized positive impact on job creation and economic growth."

According to the press release, within the realm of healthcare, the Digital Technology Supercluster will enable the creation of "a secure, anonymous Health and Genomic Platform" that will be used by "medical specialists to create custom, leading-edge cancer treatments that are personalized to the unique genetic makeup of each patient, building on Canada's current leadership in this area."

The Digital Technology Supercluster is one of five successful superclusters; together, these superclusters will receive $1.4 billion in total investments from the federal government and funding partners.

"It is an exciting and historic time for innovation in Canada. The Digital Technology Supercluster is a generational opportunity – one that holds significant promise for companies in BC and across Canada," says Bill Tam, Co-Chair of Canada's Digital Technology Supercluster consortium.

Projects funded within the Digital Technology Supercluster will:

  • enable data to be used for the creation of sustainable long-term digital solutions across sectors and industries in Canada
  • create 50,000 new jobs, including new opportunities for Indigenous communities
  • support startups and small- and medium-sized businesses
  • leverage Canada's world-leading broadband telecommunications networks

For more information, see the press release, or visit digitalsupercluster.ca.

The creation of this Supercluster was made possible by the following founding members: AMPD, Aeroinfo, Augurex, Avcorp, BC Business Council, BC Tech Association, Change Healthcare, D-Wave, Life Sciences BC, Microsoft, Providence Health Care (supported by St. Paul's Foundation), Premiers' Technology Council of BC, Research Universities' Council of BC, Teck, Telus, Terramera, Timberwest, Urthecast and Wavefront. In this latest round, additional support has been provided from Shoppers Drugs Mart, Canfor, GE Digital, Illumina, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at University Health Network (supported by The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation), SickKids and the Terry Fox Research Institute.

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