Feds Shortlist Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster Bid – Prospect of Funding is Good News for Hamilton and Region
· by Whitney Eames
HAMILTON October 11, 2017: The federal government today announced that a bid to build an Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster in Southern Ontario is on a shortlist of nine proposals that could qualify for a piece of a $950-million cluster development fund to spark high-quality jobs and global competitiveness.
Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains made the announcement during a media conference earlier in the day. This triggers the next phase of work by the bid team to expand its partnership network and submit a formal business plan due in late November. Five successful supercluster bids, representative of regional strengths across Canada, will be announced in early 2018.
“This is great news for Hamilton’s manufacturing community and our city as a whole,” said Keanin Loomis, CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. “It takes us one step closer to securing resources local area manufacturers need to drive research, adopt new technologies and develop talent. Hamilton is synonymous with manufacturing and the supercluster initiative will help ensure we keep pace with the world.”
The Hamilton Chamber is among a network of Southern Ontario chambers and boards of trade — including the Toronto Region Board of Trade and Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce — that is helping lead the advanced manufacturing supercluster bid.
The vision is to combine leading-edge manufacturing and technology assets concentrated in Toronto, Waterloo, and Hamilton to build an economic powerhouse that can rival regional counterparts in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
“Southern Ontario’s top cities are forming a world-class innovation corridor that is highly-connected, collaborative and focused on the future,” said Loomis, noting that this strengthening of the ecosystem will act as a catalyst for manufacturers large and small, and provide a bridge to postsecondary institutions.
“McMaster University brings a unique combination of expertise in advanced manufacturing research and industrial partnerships to the cluster proposal and we are pleased to play a leading role in this bid along with our partners in Toronto, Waterloo, and London,” said Patrick Deane, President, McMaster University.
To date, more than 100 partner organizations have pledged over $573 million in cash and $149 million in-kind contributions toward the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster bid. Key local area partners include McMaster University, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, and the City of Hamilton.
“Hamilton is a recognized center for advanced manufacturing,” said Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “The proposed Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster would build on existing manufacturing and technology depth in our community and present an opportunity to make significant investments in productivity advancement, research and development, and trade, with a view to making our region a globally-recognized cluster.”
A key success factor is the ongoing relationships with other regional players, including MaRS (Toronto), Communitech (Waterloo Region), City of Burlington, and many others. “It’s all about building and supporting an expansive network,” said Loomis.
The Hamilton Chamber and its partners will continue to engage with local and regional stakeholders as the bid enters the next stage of the competition. Local manufacturers interested in participating in the bid are encouraged to contact the Chamber.
For more information, please contact:
Huzaifa Saeed | Policy & Research Analyst | Hamilton Chamber of Commerce | t: 905-522-1151 ext: 230 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org