The University of Waterloo is part of two ‘supercluster’ initiatives still in the running for $950 million in federal funding intended to stimulate innovation.
While making the announcement on October 10, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said the nine proposals, shortlisted from over 50, focus on fast-growing areas like artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing and clean technology.
The Canada-wide competition is expected to help boost the economy, promote research and create high-quality jobs.
The University of Waterloo is part of the artificial intelligence-powered supply chains supercluster selected for the final phase of the initiative. The AI proposal is co-chaired by Louis Roy, president of OPTEL GROUP and by Hélène Desmarais, chairperson and chief executive officer of the Centre d'Entreprises et d'Innovation de Montréal (CEIM) and Chairperson of Board of HEC Montréal.
If selected, the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO), the University of Waterloo, as well as other Canadian universities, would assist the consortium with their research capabilities in artificial intelligence and related digital technologies.
"The implementation of intelligent, ethical and responsible supply chains will help create numerous quality jobs while ensuring sustainable growth for our businesses," said Roy in an OPTEL Group news release.
Pearl Sullivan, Waterloo‘s dean of engineering who attended the announcement, said the University of Waterloo is honoured to be working with industry partners and IVADO.
"The initiative is based in Montreal and focused mainly in Quebec and Ontario, yet it is an inclusive project that will have a positive impact on the entire country and will be highly beneficial to the Canadian economy," said Sullivan.
The University of Waterloo is also included in the shortlisted proposal to drive collaboration between the technology and manufacturing sectors. The University’s partners in the advanced manufacturing supercluster are Communitech Corp., MaRS Discovery District and Maple Leaf Foods.
The federal government plans to announce the five supercluster finalists in early 2018.