Vancouver, British Columbia, February 15, 2018 – The British Columbia-led Digital Technology Supercluster is one of the funding recipients for the Government of Canada’s Innovation Supercluster Initiative, Minister Navdeep Bains announced today.
In May 2017, Minister Bains announced a nationwide initiative to create up to five superclusters that will supercharge Canada’s regional innovation ecosystems and “build Canada as a global centre for innovation.” Superclusters are innovation hotbeds, designed to energize the economy and become engines of growth. Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster was created as a collaborative effort in British Columbia, of over 200 organisations, including some of Canada’s biggest names in healthcare, telecommunications, natural resources, computing and transportation.
“LifeSciences British Columbia has been involved in the supercluster discussions from the beginning. We quickly realized that the challenges facing our companies as they grow, are similar, regardless of sector. The extended networks, new relationships and collaborations that have resulted from the ISI initiative, will benefit the innovation ecosystem well into the future.” Lesley Esford, President & CEO, LifeSciences BC.
A secure, anonymous Health and Genomic Platform will build the systems required to allow 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. Using data to drive sustainable long-term solutions across industries and sectors, the Digital Technology Supercluster will generate jobs, create new opportunities for Indigenous communities and support large-scale economic growth. “This investment will have a lasting impact on our economy, our graduates and our ability to create innovative solutions,” says Jamie Cassels, President of the University of Victoria and Chair of the Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia.
It will allow start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to shine globally, while expanding the productivity and competitiveness of British Columbia’s SMEs.
“Leveraging the capability of Canada’s world-leading broadband telecommunications networks, our BC-led Supercluster will use advanced data collection, analytics and visualization to produce innovations that have tremendous local and global impact, including enabling advanced healthcare treatments and cures via precision health analytics,” says Josh Blair, Chief Corporate Officer, TELUS and Executive Vice President, TELUS Health. “As a founding member, TELUS looks forward to contributing to the breakthroughs our Supercluster will deliver for the benefit of Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”
The Digital Technology Supercluster Consortium extends gratitude to founding members AMPD, Augurex, Avcorp, BC Business Council, BC Tech Association, Change Healthcare, D-Wave, Life Sciences BC, Microsoft, Providence Health Care, Premiers’ Technology Council of BC, Research Universities’ Council of BC, TELUS, and Wavefront.
The collaborative effort of this Supercluster set it apart throughout the application process. When short-listed as one of nine finalists in October 2017, new members from across Canada joined. We would like to thank 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 for coming on board.
“The Canadian Digital Technology Supercluster is a powerful example of what we can achieve together as we build a globally-recognized technology hub along the Cascadia Innovation Corridor. The economic growth to be generated by the British Columbia-born consortium is a testament to how emerging technology will create new industries and jobs. Bravo to the Canadian Federal Government for making this bold investment in the future of Canada’s fastest-growing tech sector,” says Brad Smith, President, Microsoft.
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About LifeSciences BC
LifeSciences BC is a not-for-profit, non-government, industry association that supports and represents the life sciences community of British Columbia through leadership, facilitation of investment and partnering, advocacy, and promotion of our world-class science and industry.
Life sciences sectors, from biopharmaceuticals and medical technology, to digital health and medical devices, are integrated into our organization and all that we do, ensuring that no life sciences sector is working in isolation — and that all sectors come together in a comprehensive, complementary and coordinated fashion.
Throughout the year, LifeSciences BC undertakes numerous programs and projects in support of these sectors. These include public policy initiatives, facilitating trade missions between global industry and our local organizations, raising the profile of our industry internationally and thus facilitating investment and global partnering opportunities, and helping nurture economic development in British Columbia through the life sciences industry.
About Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster Consortium:
Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster Consortium is a cross-industry initiative dedicated to ensuring BC and Canada are leaders in the digital economy. It is proudly based out of British Columbia, with partners from (and benefits that will be felt across) the nation. The consortium includes founding members AMPD, Augurex, Avcorp, BC Business Council, BC Tech Association, Change Healthcare, D-Wave, Lifesciences BC, Microsoft, Providence Health Care, Premiers’ Technology Council of BC, Research Universities’ Council members (UBC, SFU, UVic, UNBC with Emily Carr and BCIT), Teck, Telus, Terramera, Timberwest, Urthecast and Wavefront. We also had new members join in late 2017 after we were shortlisted as one of nine applications in the running. New members include: Shoppers Drug Mart, Canfor, GE Digital, Illumina, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at University Health Network (supported by the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation), SickKids, the Terry Fox Research Institute and more than 200 other organizations and post-secondary institutions collaborating to solve the biggest challenges facing the world today.
The Supercluster will advance projects guided by defined industry needs to advance solutions using virtual mixed/augmented reality, data analytics and quantum computing. To learn more, visit www.digitalsupercluster.ca