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Government of Canada invests in three commercialization centres

Investments will support telecommunications, environmental monitoring and micro-electronics industries, create jobs and growth, bring technologies to market faster

From left to right: Peter van der Gracht, James Maynard, Andrew Saxton, Normand Bourbonnais, Réginald Thériault, David Climie

July 21, 2015 – Vancouver, BC — Networks of Centres of Excellence

Three commercialization centres will receive additional support from the Government of Canada to continue their work in bringing telecommunications, environmental monitoring and micro-electronics products and technologies to market faster.

On behalf of the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, today announced that Wavefront will receive $8 million over five years to continue to accelerate the growth and success of companies in the area of wireless technology by connecting them with critical resources, partners and opportunities. Funding has also been awarded to: Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North – LOOKNorth ($3.5 million over five years) and MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre - C2MI ($8 million over five years).

These investments are the result of the most recent competition in the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program. CECRs match clusters of research expertise with the business community, facilitating the development of products and technologies at a stage in the commercialization process where it is difficult to attract private-sector investments.

Quick facts

  • CECR grants totalling $19.5 million over five years have been awarded to the following centres across Canada:
    • LOOKNorth (St. John’s, NL)
      Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North – LOOKNorth develops remote sensing technologies for the sustainable development of Canada’s northern natural resources.
    • C2MI (Bromont, QC)
      MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre – C2MI brings together business and research partners to create next generation prototypes of microelectronic products to benefit the information and communication technologies, automotive, aerospace and environment sectors.
    • Wavefront (Vancouver, BC)
      Wavefront supports the growth and success of wireless companies by connecting them with critical resources, partners and opportunities, which helps yield economic and social benefit for Canada.
  • The CECR program currently funds 22 centres, working in areas that include information and communications technologies, health, natural resources and energy.
  • Created in 2007, the CECR program invests $30 million per year in Canadian innovation.
  • The updated science technology and innovation (ST&I) strategy, Seizing Canada’s Moment, is a vision and a road map for strengthening Canada’s position as a global leader in scientific research and harnessing greater Canadian research and development that creates jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.
  • The CECR program corresponds to the innovation pillar of the renewed ST&I strategy by encouraging businesses to work with partners in the innovation system and to leverage the expertise of the research community to help them compete and win in the global marketplace.

Quotes

“Our government is proud to support these outstanding centres, which are helping to bridge the challenging gap between innovation and commercialization. As a Centre of Excellence in Commercialization and Research, Wavefront supported successful Canadian wireless companies who create high-quality jobs and economic growth in Vancouver and Canada.”

Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver

“Under our government’s updated Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy, we are focused on harnessing Canadian science to boost business innovation. The Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research are supporting competitive Canadian businesses to move ideas from the lab to the marketplace while creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians.”

Ed Holder, Minister of State for Science and Technology

“Our research ecosystem needs to be balanced in a way that supports the constant interchange between discovery and innovation. Commercialization centres satisfy a very specific need, by providing a solid connection between the ideas generated by foundational research and the expertise that can take the most promising ideas to the marketplace.”

– B. Mario Pinto, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and Chair, Networks of Centres of Excellence Steering Committee

“This CECR funding will help to Canada capitalize on the next wave of economic growth – one that is powered by mobile technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) solutions. These disruptive technologies will deliver the same economic impact as steam and electric power during the industrial revolution.  We will leverage this funding to expand our offering and further accelerate the commercial success of wireless firms in these global markets. This investment reinforces the Government of Canada’s commitment to exploit the mobile revolution to fuel the prosperity of Canadians by delivering more than a billion dollars of economic impact over the 10 years of our CECR.”

– James Maynard, President and CEO, Wavefront.

“Canada has been an early leader in the development and operational application of Earth observation technology. LOOKNorth helps to keep Canadian developers at the forefront of the EO industry, where they can help ensure that responsible development of Northern resources takes place.”

– Bill Jefferies, Executive Director, LOOKNorth

“C2MI is proud to have contributed, since 2010, not only to the growth of the Canadian economy by developing new commercial products, but also in helping to promote recognition of Canadian expertise by addressing the challenges of a wide range of sectors where microelectronic systems are integrated. Our highly effective collaboration ecosystem is generating highly qualified jobs and opportunities for future generations of scientists as well as supporting the reputation of Canada as an innovative nation. We are extremely pleased that the Government of Canada recognizes C2MI’s exceptional contribution by this additional funding that will allow us to position ourselves as an international innovation hub in microsystems technology and to continue working in synergy with Canadian SMEs and researchers.”

– Normand Bourbonnais, President and CEO, C2MI

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Scott French
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)
613-943-6177

Media Relations
Industry Canada
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1-800-328-6189
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Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
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