Digital Supercluster Highlights Top 2021 Digital Innovations That Matter to Canadians

Seven ways digital innovation is keeping Canadians healthy, addressing climate change and driving economic productivity.

October 21, 2021 – Vancouver BC – Canada can lead the digital world. The Digital Supercluster was created to make this vision a reality by accelerating Canada’s development and adoption of world-class digital technologies. Here are seven projects in the Supercluster portfolio that clearly demonstrate a positive impact on Canadians, the growth potential of Canadian SMEs and the opportunities for Canada to lead the Digital world. 

“Three years ago, our model of collaborative innovation did not exist in Canada,” said Sue Paish, CEO of Canada’s Digital Supercluster. “Since then, we’ve accelerated digital transformation across industries and seen tremendous results from our portfolio of 80+ projects valued at over $350 million. For Canada and Canadians, the real story is the positive impact these projects are delivering to Canadians, their families, industry, communities and the new generation of digital-ready leaders. Together, we are building a better Canada, and we are just getting started.”

The Digital Supercluster’s innovation ecosystem includes over 1,000 industry partners, academic and research leaders, government and public service organizations – demonstrating how cross-industry collaboration expedites Canada’s economic recovery and improves the lives of Canadians. Products and services created are strengthening our health systems, delivering better health outcomes, improving environmental sustainability, creating digital skilling opportunities and supporting an inclusive society with more opportunity for all.

“Thanks to the huge steps that have been taken in genetic research and the ability to share this information through the “Autism Sharing Initiative” project, our doctors and our family now have access to genetic specialists from across Canada and all over the world that can look at my son’s complete scan of his genome sequence, identify genetic defects and guide us to a more precise treatment for his pain,” said Dirk De Keersmaecker, a Vancouver-based father of nine years old twins. “This will allow him to have more mental resources to manage his other Autism symptoms and therefore be able to focus on attaining skills he will need later in life. This is really a big deal for us as a family.”

Here are seven projects that are making a difference:

1) Autism Sharing Initiative

The Autism Spectrum Disorder refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by social, communication and learning skills challenges. In Canada, approximately one in 66 Canadians are on spectrum. This project is building the first global network for sharing genomics and biomedical data to accelerate research and develop precision healthcare approaches for individuals on the spectrum.

More information: project and video

2) Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator (CTTA)

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered Canada’s economy and labour market. In particular, the rapid increase in online work has widened the digital divide and skills gap, contributing to higher unemployment – especially for Indigenous, Black and other racialized citizens, people with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ youth, women and newcomers to our country. This project supports Canada’s economic recovery by providing technology skills and job opportunities to 3,900 unemployed and underemployed youth from communities underrepresented in the digital economy. To date, more than 70% of CTTA graduates are employed within 4 months of completing the program and graduates have a 98% completion rate.

More information: project and video

3) COVID Cloud

As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, there remains an urgent need to understand the DNA footprint of this virus and its new variants. The “COVID Cloud” platform enables the sharing of real-time genomics, clinical, epidemiological, and other data on COVID-19, allowing scientists and decision-makers to make better-informed decisions.

More information: project and video

4) Emergency Food Distribution Network

In Canada, 58% of food produced is either lost or wasted. This project leverages data and digital solutions to provide an Emergency Food Distribution Network, enhancing the food supply chain’s efficiency, reducing waste and better connecting farmers, supplies, buyers and charities in four provinces. To date, 14 million meals have been rescued.

More information: project and video

5) Healthy Access

As workplaces re-open, it is critical that safety tools are available to check workers and visitors entering a worksite. This project features a touchless biometric solution for worksite health screening, security and workforce management.

More information: project 

6) Rapid Deployment of Emergency Care Management

More than half of Canadians face an increased risk of COVID-19 because they are seniors or have underlying health conditions. It’s critical that health and social service agencies can connect with each other and, together, monitor the healthcare of these vulnerable populations, especially those in isolation due to the spread of the disease. This project has created a digital solution that will provide ongoing virtual case management and collaboration including tracking, support, communication and coordination for COVID-19 and ongoing health issues. To date, 3000+ high risk patients have been supported, with services deployed across 19 sites.

More information: project 

7) Telewound Care Canada

In Canada, 30 to 50 per cent of all healthcare involves a wound. Without regular care, these patients can face infections that drive hospitalization, amputation and even death. This project uses artificial intelligence to deliver remote wound care to the most vulnerable patients. To date, 1000+ wound patients have received care, there is a 56% drop in nursing and supply costs and 28 provider organizations use the platform.

More information: project and video

In addition to these positive impacts on Canadians, the Digital Supercluster is committed to supporting Canadian small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Through faster product innovation, co-investment, IP education, export-led growth and strategic partnership development, the Supercluster is accelerating the success of Canada’s small businesses domestically and internationally. Over 50% of the Digital Supercluster members are SMEs, and over 70% of Supercluster investment in projects goes to SMEs. To date 25 SMEs have successfully scaled, growing over $1 billion in potential revenue for Canadian businesses.   

To learn more about the companies behind these projects, listen to this 20-minute panel discussion with Invixium, NPower Canada, Swift and Careteam, sharing the impact of their projects at the Digital Supercluster AGM held September 28, 2021.

About Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster

Ahead of the curve starts here. The Digital Technology Supercluster is building a better Canada by growing Canadian businesses, creating a digitally skilled workforce and positively impacting lives across our Country. We accelerate the development and adoption of digital technologies that keep Canadians healthy, address climate change and drive economic productivity. Through a powerful combination of co-investment, cross-sector collaboration, IP creation and digital talent development, we unlock the potential of Canadians to lead and succeed in the Digital world. For more information, visit: