Canada wants to be a global tech leader and big things have been happening on that front in recent years. Indigenous Nations want to be global tech leaders, too — and, in fact, we always have been.
Ideon Technologies announced it closed a US$16M Series A funding round, led by Playground Global. The investment will expand Ideon’s program of measuring cosmic rays deep below-ground to help find metals
In 2020 we realized the important role that tracking variants of concern would have on Canada and the international response to the pandemic. Almost over night there was this unprecedented need for rapid genetic data sharing, internationally. So we brought together this national consortium, co-funded by Canada’s Digital Supercluster, to build a technology we call Viral AI.
Given that the number of new cancer cases per year is projected to rise to 29.5 million by 2040, and given that cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada, anything that greases the wheels to improving patient care and recovery seems more relevant than ever. To that end, CanDETECT is a locally developed AI software that can help monitor cancer recovery and detect recurrence long before it’s clinically evident.
A new Economic Impact Study released today from EY on behalf of Microsoft found that Microsoft and its ecosystem, which includes more than 15,000 partners and substantial cloud infrastructure accounts for nearly 300,000 Canadian jobs and contributes more than $37 billion to Canada’s GDP. In addition, through the collaboration with the Digital Technology Supercluster, Microsoft has supported 30 projects that are currently valued at $190 million, boosting innovation and industry growth across Canada.
“The CanDETECT project allows us to use some very sophisticated genomic tools, AI and cloud-based informatics to bring precision approaches into post management care,” said Dr. David Huntsman, Chief Medical Officer at Imagia Canexia Health
For Dr. Alexandra Greenhill, the CEO of Vancouver-based health-care-focused artificial intelligence firm Careteam Technologies Inc., a little healthy competition is good for everyone, making companies of all sizes better, while also spurring on the next generation of startups. “If we do this right, it could be a very positive thing for the country,” she said in an interview. “But if we don’t do this right, it can be a disaster.” She’s on the board of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, a government-led initiative seeking to fast track Canada’s status as a digital hub. Greenhill says the initiative combines the carrot of government cash to fund tech projects, with the stick that strings come attached to that money.
While the pandemic has posed challenges to cancer patients and their caregivers, a new precision oncology software, project CanDETECT, offers a solution to monitor cancer recovery and recurrence for millions of Canadian cancer survivors.
Canada’s economic history and success are largely based on how we’ve harvested our natural resources. As we evolve into a green economy, the writing is on the wall: Metals, minerals, water, wind and solar energy are crucial in building the tools and technology that will curb the climate crisis and power society’s low-carbon transition. To achieve our climate and green economy goals, Canada’s tech, resource and research leaders must work together to find and develop the products and technology to make that future a reality.
Our world revolves around critical minerals and we’re running out of places to easily find them. And when we do find these key minerals, we do it through traditional, carbon-intensive mining practices that increase our GHG emissions. Fortunately, Ideon Technologies — a Richmond-based sustainable mining company — is solving both of these challenges with their cosmic-ray muon tomography technology. This low-impact approach to mining increases visibility and accuracy, reduces GHG emissions, and saves significant costs.
B.C.’s Ideon Technologies is leading the consortium-based effort, which relies on cosmic-ray muon tomography. The worldwide shift toward renewable energy keeps accelerating, but do you know how much metal and minerals we’ll need to go green?
The process of accessing social support can be confusing involving multiple agencies and different requirements, but with the help of a new platform the process might become a bit smoother. As previously announced by the City, Lethbridge has become one of three alpha sites in the Compass pilot project led by Helpseeker Technologies. Helpseeker Technologies co-founder and co-president Alina Turner said the project is about building a social infrastructure that will take care of the expanding population’s needs. She said it is similar to taking care of the physical infrastructure of a growing city like adding roads for people to be able to navigate it.
Check out this interview with Gary Agnew, CEO of Ideon Technologies as he discusses the Earth X-ray for Low Impact Mining project with Paul James on Radio NL.
As part of the Supercluster’s ‘Intelligent Network for Point-of-Care Ultrasound’ project, Clarius has been working with a British Columbia-based consortium of partners led by Providence Health Care to deliver its portable handheld ultrasound scanners to rural doctors across the province. Initially targeting heart and pregnancy-related conditions, the project quickly pivoted and expanded when the Supercluster launched its $60-million COVID-19 program at the start of the pandemic. Healthcare practitioners in rural and Indigenous communities across B.C. have been using the scanners to detect pneumonia in suspected COVID-19 patients in real time.
After just over four years in operation, the superclusters are delivering impressive solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing our country and our planet. Across the five superclusters there are now more than 400 projects underway, with 332 led by small and medium-sized enterprises. More than 1,200 new products, processes or services have been developed through more than 1,755 collaborative partnerships. Virtually all targets set by the federal government have either been met or exceeded — 11,000 well-paying jobs have also been created, toward a target of more than 50,000 by 2028.
As we enter our third full year of living and working through a global pandemic, it’s clear we are at a critical moment in Canada’s history — one that has shattered the illusion that “the digital economy” is somehow separate or different from “the economy.” It has also laid bare critical gaps and deficiencies in our health care systems. But there is light on the horizon. We can take full advantage of digital tools and the power of data to boost economic recovery and accelerate critical transformation across our health care systems.
Welcome to Deep Takes! In the first episode of this series, we try to understand what Canada’s innovation agenda needs to do to level the playing field. In 2018, Canada ranked 12th out of 16 in all OECD nations on the Innovation Scorecard. In this first series, we focus on innovation policy. Featuring: Sue Paish (CEO of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster) Navdeep Bains (Vice-Chair of Global Investment and the former minister of Innovation, Science Economic Development) Sarah Doyle (Chief of Staff to Mariana Mazzucato) John Knubley (former deputy minister of Innovation, Science Economic Development) Sean Speer (PPF Scotiabank Fellow in Strategic Competitiveness at the Public Policy Forum) Robert Asselin (Senior Vice-President, Policy at the Business Council of Canada)
The digital revolution is coming to a farm near you. Lethbridge, Alta.–based Verge Ag has launched a software platform to help agricultural producers predict growing conditions and increase crop yields. It’s the result of a partnership with agtech software company Terramera, cleantech software venture i-Open Group, Simon Fraser University and QuantoTech, a venture that specializes in custom LED light, hydroponic and control systems, along with financing from the Digital Technology Supercluster.
Indigenous-led project preparing for high-speed broadband to B.C.’s Coastal First Nations communities throughout the Great Bear Rainforest.
John Steen, director of Bradshaw Research Initiative in Minerals and Mining at UBC, joins BNN Bloomberg to talk about how his research on bacteria that eats selenium could revolutionize the mining industry. He notes the industry hasn’t changed in centuries and it is becoming unsustainable because the world needs 30 per cent more energy to mine now than a few decades ago.
Initially supported by $1 million in funding from Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, Abbotsford-based Wisebox Solutions launched http://DirectFood.store last year as a fast-tracked response to pandemic-induced food shortages, supply chain disruptions, grocery store crowding, and COVID outbreaks at B.C. food processing plants. The first farm-to-table online marketplace of its kind doesn’t have any warehouses, with all orders picked up directly from local farms and vendors in the morning and delivered to customers later in the day.
While Canada needs bold initiatives like the Superclusters, it also needs a mechanism to bring all policy and business instruments together, and create new international business partnerships.
Based in Vancouver, Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster has launched the Mining Microbiome Analysis Platform (MMAP), the largest investment in natural resource genomic sequencing in the history of the sector. With MMAP as the catalyst, Canada can lead the way in replacing energy and chemical-intense resource extraction and mine site remediation methods.
If there is a better, more natural way to process ore and treat mine waste, mining giants like Teck and Rio Tinto want to know about it. So both are investing in a $16 million science experiment led by Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster to identify microbes that can do the job of chemicals.
Just as Canadian content needs a supportive ecosystem, so does Canadian innovation. Our most promising tech companies will sink deeper roots when we build ecosystems to help them grow and flourish.
The Lutselk’e Dene First Nation in the N.W.T. is working on a project to expand renewable energy generation in the community, bringing training and jobs for residents — and enough solar and wind power to offset most of the community’s diesel needs.
“Without diesel, many northern communities would have no alternative for their power needs,” says Haroon Bhatti, innovations manager at Denesoline Corp., the business development arm of the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation. The Indigenous-owned company secures work for its joint ventures, taking part in negotiations and passing on the benefits to the community.
Twelve members of the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation will spend three months learning how to operate and maintain a clean power plant. The virtual program uses tools from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Haroon Bhatti, the Denesoline Corporation’s innovations manager, said Łutsël K’é residents “can take their energy needs into their own hands.” Moving away from diesel to other sources of power is an ambition for many NWT communities. Some, like Łutsël K’é, already have solar grids.
A Vancouver-based company, with support from the government, says it is ready to commercialize a technology that harnesses invisible cosmic rays to stare deep into the earth and identify where the richest mineral and metal deposits are located.
Thousands are still without power in British Columbia following a powerful “atmospheric river” last week that dumped huge amounts of rain, causing widespread flooding, mudslides and rock slides. But for many residents in remote areas in B.C. and elsewhere, access to essential connectivity has always been a major issue.
Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster has launched the world’s first Earth X-ray for low-impact mineral exploration. The discovery platform will help precisely target mineralization below surface for discovery. Led by muon tomography pioneer Ideon Technologies and in partnership with Simon Fraser University (SFU), Dias Geophysical, Microsoft, Fireweed Zinc (TSXV: FWZ; OTC: FWEDF), and Mitacs, the Earth X-ray for low-impact mining project will enable exploration companies to identify density and magnetic anomalies with greater resolution and certainty up to 1 km beneath the Earth’s surface, much like X-rays and MRIs give us visibility inside the human body. The project also benefits from the direct involvement and support of BHP Group (NYSE: BHP), the largest mining company in the world.
Business in Vancouver has announced five recipients for this year’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Year awards. The winners were nominated for their corporate leadership of British Columbia companies and institutions, along with their particular impacts during the pandemic. Congratulations to our CEO, Sue Paish, for her recognition in the Publicly Accountable category
In today’s digital era, broadband connections are indispensable. Broadband facilitates many of our most basic needs like access to healthcare, education and employment opportunities. Connectivity is a service that is as critical as a phone or electricity. Improved access to quality, high-speed internet will remove barriers for many rural and remote First Nations communities allowing for further Indigenous economic development. Current reality is uneven distribution of broadband access remains a significant barrier to many rural and remote First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities.
A unique collaboration between TrustFlight, Boeing, RaceRocks and The University of British Columbia (UBC) has plans to transform the aviation industry, creating a new digital maintenance platform aimed at significantly improving efficiency and potentially saving the sector up to $3.5 billion a year.
Most Canadians have long associated ultrasound with pregnancy; those precious first images of fingers and toes on a fetus captured with a cart-based system. Today, a growing number of patients share an appreciation for the power of hand-held ultrasound carried in the pocket of their physicians because it has improved their care, and for some, helped save their lives.
Tech companies used to boast about their modern offices with gyms, fully-stocked kitchens and even bowling alleys. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, sharing a meal or treadmill with a colleague became a lot less attractive to workers, who could suddenly work from anywhere and thus, for anyone. The shift toward remote work means competition for talent has never been fiercer in the tech sector, and Canadian companies and startups say they’re going to great lengths to find new staff and keep their star workers from leaving.
Microsoft, Lululemon, Queen’s University, Mitacs and the Richmond Hill-based start-up Wysdom.AI have embarked on a Digital Supercluster project to develop a health and wellness chatbot platform. By the end of the project in 2022, the platform will be integrated into Lululemon’s health products. The athleisure company expanded into health technology last year with its purchase of Mirror, an at-home fitness start-up, for US$500 million.
A federally funded project is trying to peer into the future through a unique computer algorithm that suggests York Region could see an expansion of its homeless ranks over the next year at 75 times the national average.
A recent report from CBRE Group Inc. revealed Vancouver’s tech sector is composed of 27% women vs. 73% men — a far cry from B.C.’s general workforce, which is composed of 48% women vs. 52% men. But a B.C. consortium consisting of a mix of academic and industry players has designs on making the province’s tech sector better reflect the province itself.
A coalition of researchers and healthcare providers in Canada and beyond are building what they believe to be the first global, federated network for sharing genomics and clinical data to support advances in research and patient care for autism.
What if you could hold up an iPad to an aircraft and see the locations of all the previous repairs in an interactive 3D display? The technology foundation for that type of application might be here sooner than we thought, thanks to a recent Supercluster project led by Boeing’s Vancouver lab.
We have another example of government and industry coming together: Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster. Launched in 2018 with $153 million in funding from the federal government and $200 million committed from industry members.
When companies of all sizes, academic institutions and not-for-profits come together, they generate bold new ideas that wouldn’t have otherwise come to light. Investment in Canada’s five Superclusters helps build first-rate innovation ecosystems with a competitive edge… and opens up a world of possibilities.
Canada’s five Superclusters have strengthened the innovation ecosystem but it is too soon to judge their long-term performance, says a former federal senior official responsible for the creation of the Superclusters initiative.
What elements are needed to create demand driven innovation ecosystem to build world class companies? On this episode of Market Hunt, we speak with Co-Founder and COO of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, Bill Tam.
The case for Superclusters is all about finding new solutions to Canada’s continuously deteriorating innovation problems. This cannot be emphasized enough and explains why Superclusters were a signature initiative of a new Innovation and Skills Plan in 2015. Specifically, it was recognized that the long-standing way of promoting innovation in Canada—by using R&D tax incentives, maintaining a strong macroeconomic framework, and relying on supply-side supports for science and universities—was not working.
The Province is providing more than 5,000 youth and young adults across British Columbia with access to skills training and well-paid jobs through the almost $45-million StrongerBC Future Leaders Program.
While digital health such as telemedicine doesn’t replace the value of face-to-face contact, disruptive technologies such as real-time, embedded monitoring tools will help health-care specialists track and monitor patients without needing to see them. Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster has entire program streams dedicated to data and precision health.
When the DirectFood.store team saw that some of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in the Fraser Valley were at food processing plants, coupled with the uncertainty of supply chains during the early days of the first wave, they realized there had to be a more resilient way to get food to market.
Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster has made an investment in the Workplace Brain Health Platform to make a difference. This new platform aims to understand how sleep, meditation and other positive lifestyle factors contribute to our overall brain health and well-being.
COVID-19 has created a crisis for Canadian cancer patients, who have faced extraordinary uncertainty —beginning with surgery delays last March that impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cancelled up to 38 per cent of all cancer surgeries.
Athena Pathways has set a goal of helping 500 B.C. women enter the digital workforce or advance in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science. Launched last March, the program has already supported 250 women through education, employment and mentorship.
A new program involving Canadian company MDA, the Defence Department and DFO will use satellites to track so-called “dark vessels” engaged in illegal fishing.
In a matter of months, the COVID-19 crisis has transformed the way companies of all types and sizes do business. With digital at the heart of business transformation and economic renewal, success will be driven by technology and connectivity, innovative collaborations, and most importantly, strong leadership for diversity and inclusion. Canada’s strategy must include an Indigenous economic game plan.
Last month, BetaKit reported that NGen had committed almost two-thirds of its $230 million budget. NGen is one of three Superclusters lobbying the federal government for additional funding to support its efforts beyond the program’s initial five-year timeline. The other Superclusters part of these lobbying efforts include the Digital Technology Supercluster and the Prairies-based Proteins Supercluster.
Cloud DX was recently awarded co-investment from the Digital Technology Supercluster to pilot the Stronger Together project, alongside Vancouver-based Curatio Inc. Stronger Together is delivering peer support, coaching and remote monitoring to patients undergoing surgeries, as well as people suffering from chronic illnesses, including COVID-19.
A consortium of leading Canadian organizations has come together to launch Telewound Care Canada, a virtual care initiative designed to help patients connect with their care teams while reducing unnecessary travel and in-person care. Telewound Care Canada aims to implement virtually enabled models of wound care that will impact over one thousand wound patients in Ontario and Quebec by Summer 2021.
The Digital Technology Supercluster is investing $2.5 million into a new $3.1 million initiative aimed to help wound patients access care virtually. The project, called Telewound Care Canada, will use an artificial intelligence-powered mobile app created by Toronto-based healthtech startup Swift Medical to capture and share high-precision wound images from home.
The health authority had previously been offering a substance-use management platform known as the Alavida Trail to 5,500 health care workers at three sites. The platform, developed by Vancouver-based Alavida Health Ltd., is now being made available to all 32,000 health workers employed at Fraser Health.
The Ontario government announced that it will use integrated data and deep analytics to drive decision-making and inform planning related to pandemic response, leveraging DNAstack’s COVID Cloud platform. DNAstack is a Toronto-based software company that developed COVID Cloud, a cloud-based genomic database of SARS-CoV-2 genomes and bioinformatics tool.
When the first lockdowns were announced, many Canadians and frontline workers struggled to access a safe and secure food supply. In response, Vancouver’s Food-X Technologies, collaborating with partners through the Digital Technology Supercluster, developed an e-grocery software system that ensured fresh, high-quality groceries could be delivered to essential workers, hospital patients, and other Canadians with health conditions in quarantine.
Microsoft’s Brad Smith spoke to The Globe and Mail last week during a virtual ’tour’ of Canada, during which the Company announced that it would invest $1.4-million toward a new $8.7-million Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator Program to train 2,500 underrepresented youth for digital-focused jobs in conjunction with B.C.’s Digital Technology Supercluster. They will also be adding Inuktitut to its translation software.
Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster unveiled the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator, which supports the Nation’s recovery from the pandemic by providing tech skills to youth from communities underrepresented in the digital economy.
What stands out with so many of the recent technology projects in health care is the collaboration involved with each. In fact, COVID-19 has underscored the critical need for collaboration to resolve problems and move forward. The Digital Technology Supercluster is all about collaboration.
The Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator project is a total investment of $8.7 million, with $7.3 million invested by industry and other partners and $1.4 million of co-investment by the Government of Canada’s Innovation, Science and Industry through the Digital Supercluster.
Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, a cross-industry collaboration of some of Canada’s biggest names in technology, communications, healthcare and more, announced an investment in the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator project to provide in-demand technology skills to young Canadians.
Today Microsoft President Brad Smith, alongside The Honourable Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Ministry of Innovation, Science and Industry announced that through the Digital Technology Supercluster, they are co-investing $1.4 million each in NPower Canada’s Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator.
NPower Canada is collaborating with Microsoft Canada and Blueprint to launch the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator: a 15-week online skills training and job placement program that will equip 2,500 underrepresented youth (18 to 29 years old) for in-demand digital careers across Canada.
The DTS announced Thursday (January 28) it’s contributing $1.4 million to the initiative that aims to re-skill women, Black, Indigenous, LBGTQ and people with disabilities amid the major economic shakeup brought on by the pandemic.
Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster is proud to announce its largest investment to date in developing in-demand digital talent through its Capacity Building Program. The Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator project is a total investment of $8.7 million, with $7.3 million invested by industry and other partners and $1.4 million of co-investment by the Government of Canada through the Digital Supercluster.
The British Columbia-based Digital Technology Supercluster has invested in a new $8.7 million program focused on fostering tech talent in Canada.
The project was made possible by a total investment of $8.7 million. A Jan. 28 news release says $1.4 million of that total comes from the government’s Innovation, Science and Industry’s Digital Supercluster. Industry partners forked over $7.3 million.
The SFU researchers are one component of a larger collaboration with researchers, businesses, and health organizations, called Project ABC, whose goal is the “authorization, booking, and coordination of widespread serological testing and immunization.” It is funded by Digital Technological Supercluster, an initiative by the Government of Canada.
Through the B.C.-based Canada’s Digital Supercluster, Terramera collaborated with UBC researchers to learn how the virus that causes COVID-19 is mutating, Manhas says. Their efforts yielded insights into applying treatments and vaccines “not only to the virus as it is now but to how it’s going to go, so we don’t have to go through this again.”
Canexia Health today announced critical progress milestones as well as new partnerships for Project ACTT. With a strategic investment from Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, Project ACTT is speeding up cancer testing for targeted treatment selection during the pandemic through a minimally invasive circulating tumor (ctDNA) DNA test.
When federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains announced the first projects to be funded under the B.C.-based Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster initiative last year, he chose as his venue not a blue-chip participant like Telus Corp., Providence Health Care or the BC Cancer Agency. Instead, he spoke from the Vancouver office of a small startup, MetaOptima Technology.
The Digital Supercluster has engaged 1,000 Canadian organizations, launching 65 active projects. These projects bring together consortiums of companies, academic institutions and research organizations to work on specific challenges across five focus areas – COVID-19 response, precision health, data commons, digital twins, and capacity building.
The Stronger Together project harnesses Curatio’s social networking health app to connect patients with expert resources, online counselling, daily health trackers and opportunities to build social connections with Canadians experiencing similar health circumstances.
Bill Tam, Co-Founder of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster based in Vancouver BC, joined Cascadia Report to share his wealth of experience in the tech sector in Canada, and provide insights and advice for those leading businesses in 2020 and beyond.
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Announcing a targeted investment call for projects in our Technology Leadership Program (Cycle 5), opening October 12, 2021.