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Canadian colleges and institutes to play a key role in the innovation superclusters

Ottawa, February 15, 2018 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is thrilled to see many of its members from across the country involved in the innovation superclusters announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. By sharing their expertise with the many partners involved, they will play an important role in the success of these newly bolstered networks and help propel Canadian innovation to new levels.

In total, the government of Canada is investing $950 million to fund five supercluster initiatives through Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan. The winning projects are in the field of AI-powered supply chain, advanced manufacturing, digital technology, ocean industries and protein innovations. Their objective is to bring together Canadian businesses of all sizes, post-secondary institutions, and not-for-profit organizations to spark growth and help Canada realize its potential as a global leader in innovation.

Several supercluster initiatives have called on Canadian colleges and institutes for the critical role they play in their communities. Their ongoing participation will not only help to solve a variety of challenges encountered in different industries, but also help meet labour needs in these emerging sectors. The many skills training and technical education programs they offer will play an essential role in supporting the growth of the superclusters.

“Colleges and institutes have a long history of collaborating with private sector, community and government partners to bring Canadian innovation to life, making them natural partners for the companies and organizations involved in the various superclusters”, noted Denise Amyot, president and CEO of CICan. “But this is only the beginning. We fully expect to see more colleges and institutes get involved in the superclusters going forward. Today’s announcement should be a catalyst to boost research in five key areas, and colleges and institutes are well positioned to be active players.”

With over 175 research centres, more than 220 labs, and a wealth of experience in applied research, colleges and institutes occupy a critical space in Canada’s innovation ecosystem. This includes expertise in advanced manufacturing, agri-food, natural resources and clean technologies, health and bio-science and digital technology. The superclusters will help leverage their ingenuity and unique role in order to advance Canadian leadership in key sectors and respond to industry needs.

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members add over $190B to Canada’s economy each year and contribute to inclusive economic growth by working with industry and community partners to offer more than 10,000 programs to learners in urban, rural, remote, and northern communities.

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For more information:

Julien Abord-Babin
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
jabord-babin@collegesinstitutes.ca
Tel. : 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter : @CollegeCan