Hamilton is Key to Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster in Southern Ontario

· by Whitney Eames

The Government of Canada is teaming up with business to turbocharge targeted industries with untapped global promise.

The goal is to help ensure that Canadian firms rank among the best in the world measured by productivity and growth.

The strategy is to invest in regional “superclusters” — dense geographic areas of business activity driven by connectivity and collaboration. These places exist across Canada. They are where organizations large and small are tackling challenges such as renewable energy, sustainable food production and disease prevention.

The Hamilton Chamber is part of an interdisciplinary team building an Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster in Southern Ontario, the epicentre of Canadian manufacturing. The team, led by a consortium of chambers of commerce and boards of trade, has submitted a draft bid to the federal government.

It outlines a plan to combine Ontario’s complementary strengths in manufacturing and technology to create jobs and prosperity. These strengths are concentrated in an innovation corridor anchored by Toronto, Waterloo Region and the Greater Hamilton Area, and supported by surrounding communities.

Our chamber convened a forum at McMaster Innovation Park on September 7 to offer local area manufacturers and technology providers an update on the bid and next steps. It attracted a capacity audience.

“It’s clear that Hamilton area companies are eager to compete and win as part of a high tech manufacturing supercluster,” said Hamilton Chamber CEO Keanin Loomis. “They see the proposed ‘supercluster hub’ as an effective way to share expertise, bridge gaps and manage change.”

Loomis emphasized Hamilton’s role in the future of an industry-led supercluster: “We add manufacturing heft and research prowess to the mix,” he said.

A special thanks to forum panelists (see image below) and guest speaker Patrick Deane, president, McMaster University.

Bid organizers are awaiting word from the federal government on whether to proceed with a detailed business case — the next step in the competitive process. If successful, work to  formalize the supercluster will start in early 2018.

Panel at Hamilton Supercluster Forum on Sept 7 2017

To learn more, contact Huzaifa Saeed at h.saeed@hamiltonchamber.ca or 905-522-1151 x 230.