StartupSource has previously covered the federal government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative, which promised to inject $950 million into developing innovation “superclusters.” The government defines “superclusters” as geographical regions containing strong industrial clusters, or clusters that rely on specialized inputs such as technology and infrastructure. In late May of 2017, the government provided further details for its Innovation Superclusters Initiative, and officially launched the first phase of the application process.
This initiative targets industry-led consortiums, which are groups of businesses (including small and medium enterprises) and organizations (including post-secondary schools and research institutions). Applicants are expected to develop a strategy to build a “supercluster advantage” that is competitive both regionally and globally. The government has emphasized five activities that it hopes applicants will incorporate into their strategies, collectively benefitting the supercluster. These include technology leadership, partnerships for scale, diverse and skilled talent pools, access to innovation and developing a global advantage. Each member of the group should also benefit from their participation in the supercluster, which includes access to the intellectual property developed through collaborative projects.
The government will select up to five superclusters in areas such as advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean resources, clean technology, digital technology, health and biosciences, and infrastructure and transportation. To receive the funding, successful applicants must incorporate as not-for-profit corporations, and must be governed by a board of directors. The recipients will also be expected to match each dollar of the government’s contribution by leveraging private sector financing.
The first phase of the application process requires a letter of intent, due on July 21, 2017, at 12 p.m. ET. Information for the letter of intent can be found on the Government of Canada’s website.