Digital Technology Investment Will Fuel Canadian Innovation


For Immediate Release
February 15, 2018

VICTORIA – Canada is poised to become a global leader in digital technology and innovation following today’s decision from the Government of Canada to support Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, say leading educators.

Today, the Government of Canada announced its support for Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, a BC-led consortium of large, medium and small businesses, start-ups, and post-secondary institutions.

Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster was selected based on its ability to accelerate Canada’s global advantage in digital technology using big data to create new economic opportunities and address the productivity, health and sustainability challenges facing Canada and the world today.

“This investment promises to position Canada as a global leader in digital technology,” said Prof. Jamie Cassels, President of the University of Victoria and Chair of the Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia. “It will have a lasting impact on our economy, our graduates and our ability to create innovative solutions.”

Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster Consortium is an industry-led initiative dedicated to ensuring BC and Canada are leaders in the digital economy. Based out of British Columbia with partners from across the country, the consortium includes founding members AMPD, Augurex, Avcorp, the Business Council of BC, BC Tech Association, Change Healthcare, D-Wave, Lifesciences BC, Microsoft, Providence Health Care, Premier’s Technology Council, The Research Universities’ Council of BC members UBC, SFU, UVic, UNBC together with Emily Carr and BCIT, Teck, Telus, Terramera, Timberwest, Urthecast and Wavefront. New members joining in late 2017 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 BC post-secondary institutions.

“The Supercluster will draw on research strengths, catalyze innovation and create new linkages and capacity in talent development”, said University of British Columbia President Prof. Santa Ono. “This initiative has already fostered unprecedented collaboration across sectors and we are excited about opportunities to strengthen existing partnerships and build new ones that will benefit all Canadians.

“The Digital Technology Supercluster will create and grow new companies, creating jobs that require advanced skills.” said Prof. Andrew Petter, President of Simon Fraser University. “And it will build on research strengths in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, data science and quantum computing to advance industry relevant solutions”.

“This initiative will benefit our students and our communities,” said Dr. Daniel Weeks, President of the University of Northern British Columbia. “Innovative, data-driven solutions are transforming the global economy, including traditional industries such as forestry, resource management and agri-foods.”

“The Supercluster will also accelerate growth in new creative technologies and leading edge programs for graduates who will take their new knowledge and ideas into the marketplace”, said Dr. Ronald Burnett, President of Emily Carr University of Art and Design. “This will benefit a new generation of thinkers and creators.

“This initiative supports students who are eager to succeed in the jobs of the future and industry that is in need of skilled talent,” says Kathy Kinloch, President of the British Columbia Institute of Technology. “New partnerships and training advancements will ensure graduates have the right skills for the changing workplace. Together, we are ensuring that Canada is at the forefront of the digital economy.”

The Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia represents the Province’s research-intensive universities. RUCBC members UBC, SFU, UVic and UNBC have joined with colleague institutions Emily Carr University of Art and Design and the British Columbia Institute of Technology as a founding member of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster.

Information Contact:
Robin Ciceri, President
The Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia (250) 480-4859

Information Contact for Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster Consortium:
Kathleen Reid (604) 724-1242

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