University of Waterloo part of two winning innovation supercluster initiatives

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The University of Waterloo will be a key partner with leading Canadian companies and sectors chosen to help grow our country’s global competitiveness through significant investments in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced manufacturing.

As part of the Government of Canada’s $950 million Innovation Supercluster Initiative, Waterloo will take a leading research role in two of the five winning bids announced today. The effort will see researchers and innovators from Waterloo become key contributors in industry-led consortia.

 “The University of Waterloo is very proud to be participating in two of the five initiatives selected by government to help advance our nation’s economy,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor at Waterloo. “With the discoveries already made to date in Waterloo, we can only imagine what can be accomplished when our knowledge and expertise in the fields of artificial intelligence and advanced manufacturing join with the power of some of Canada’s most important industrial players."

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The successful supercluster proposals, selected from more than 50 applications in a Canada-wide competition, were chosen by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for their potential to energize the economy, act as engines of growth and create well-paying jobs.

The proposals with University of Waterloo involvement are:

  • SCALE.AI – defining a new, AI-powered global supply chain platform to make a profound impact in the retail, manufacturing and infrastructure sectors.
  • NGM Canada – driving collaboration between the technology and manufacturing sectors using the Internet of Things, big data, sensors and intelligent machines. 

“The ambitions of both superclusters dovetail perfectly to address the urgent need to digitize across different business operations and interoperability and real time feedback will enable companies to react more quickly,” said Pearl Sullivan, dean of Waterloo Engineering. “Future manufacturing and supply chains will require integration of new technologies from artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous systems, to big data analytics, mobile connectivity and the Internet of Things.

“We are well known as a dynamic hub for research, talent and team development, industry collaborations and start-up activity in all of these areas and are excited to shape Canada’s connected economy.”

The superclusters program, which includes matching funding from industry participants, is designed to bring together large and small regional partners, including academics from post-secondary institutions and research institutes, to spark innovation and economic growth.

This article was originally featured on Waterloo Stories.