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FRACTION OF FUNDING FOR FEDERAL SUPERCLUSTERS PLAN SPENT TO DATE

Ottawa has provided $30 million to date for five superclusters in the $950-million flagship innovation program with an ambitious goal of adding tens of thousands of new jobs and growing the economy by tens of billions of dollars by 2028.
 
The five-year Innovation Superclusters Initiative, which was first announced in the 2017 budget, brings together “clusters” of private businesses, financiers, and research bodies focused on strategic sectors to collaborate and provide new commercial opportunities for Canada.
 
When the five superclusters were picked in February 2018 following an open competition, the Liberal government estimated that the initiative would create more than 50,000 “middle-class” jobs and increase Canada’s GDP by $50 billion in the following decade.
 
The winning superclusters represent the oceans industries, as well as sectors for digital technology, advanced manufacturing, proteins, and artificial intelligence. Federal funding agreements with them were signed in late 2018.
 
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) spokesperson Hans Parmar told iPolitics that to date, Ottawa has provided $29.9 million to the five superclusters for projects, operating and administrative costs.
 
Parmar said $85 million in federal dollars is now attached to 40 approved projects, valued at $228 million. The remaining $143 million was leveraged from the private sector. The program is designed so that private-sector partners match federal contributions at least dollar-for-dollar.
 
In total, 156 partners, including 95 small and medium-sized enterprises, are involved in the 40 projects green-lighted. Each supercluster has its own intake process for funding projects which must be approved by a board.
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