Understanding Canada’s Funding Support for Superclusters
Updated: Mar 29
In 2017, the Government of Canada identified specific industries and sectors that it wished to purposefully support with significant financial backing. The Supercluster Initiative aimed to drive commercially successful innovation, foster growth and create jobs across Canada. In 2017, the Federal Government had set aside $950 million to invest in the Supercluster, to be paid out over the following 4 years. In 2022, the Canadian government reiterated its support by investing an additional $750 million in government funding to the Superclusters. This article provides an overview of the Superclusters program.
Which Industries does the Supercluster Target?
The Supercluster program identifies 5 specific industries: digital technology, plant protein, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and Ocean.
Who Is Eligible to Participate in the Supercluster?
The program encourages collaboration between a myriad of players, including for profit entities, not for profits, indigenous groups, government authorities and accelerators/innovators. The projects can be large scale or smaller in scope. Given that collaboration is a fundamental tenet, an alignment in strategic goals, along with complimentary skill sets is mandatory. Ultimately, however, eligibility is industry specific and determined on a sector by sector basis.
What are the Programs?
Below provides a high level overview of each of the sectors:
A. Digital Technology Supercluster
This pilar focuses on virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity, and so on. The Government has earmarked up to $173 million to invest in this sector, with a focus on funding talent and capacity building projects.
B. Protein Industries
This pillar focuses on agri-food technologies. The Government has earmarked up to $173 million to invest in this sector, with a focus on funding technology and capacity building projects.
C. Advanced Manufacturing
This pilar focuses on next generation manufacturing capabilities, such as machine learning, cybersecurity, 3D printing, the internet of things, and so on. The Government has earmarked up to $250 million to invest in this sector, with a focus on capacity building projects.
D. Scale AI
This pilar focuses on supply chain technology. The Government has earmarked up to $230 million to invest in this sector.
This pilar focuses on marine technology, such as energy generation, digital sensors, automation, marine engineering, marine biotechnology, and so on. The Government has earmarked up to $153 million to invest in this sector, with a focus on technology leadership and innovation ecosystems.