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New centres of excellence share $61M in funding


Ottawa, ON – Five new Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) have been established and are sharing a total of $61.1 million in funding from the federal government over the next five years.

The new centres are the MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre (Bromont, Quebec), the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (Toronto, Ontario), the Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization and Research (London, Ontario), Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North (St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador) and the Wavefront Wireless Commercialization Centre (Vancouver, British Columbia) .

Details about the new centres are as follows:

1. MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre, Bromont, Quebec – $14.1 million: Microelectronics is a strategic industry that generates prosperity and creates well-paying jobs. The impact of this industry on the global economy is significant – in 2009 it represented US$224 billion. The MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre (C2MI) was created through an initial investment of $218 million, supported by its three founding partners, the Université de Sherbrooke, IBM Canada Ltd. and DALSA Semiconductor, and by the governments of Canada and Quebec. With the creation of the centre, an integrated innovation chain will be established. It will result in 250 high-technology jobs and solidify some 3,000 others. It will enhance the training of university researchers, stimulate development, accelerate the international commercialization of our innovations in the area of complex microsystems, and foster the creation of microelectronic businesses in Canada.

2. Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine, Toronto, Ontario – $15 million: The vision of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) is to accelerate the commercialization of regenerative medicine (RM) technologies by bringing together business leadership and innovative stem cell and biomaterial technology development. CCRM will leverage partnerships and substantial resources from the private sector, scientific expertise, intellectual property and major public investment, which together will position Canada as the best place worldwide to invest in RM. The new, sustainable Canadian-based RM pipeline will be capable of attracting long-term partner investment as well as supporting and creating RM-based companies. Their high-value products and next-generation drugs will treat the many devastating diseases that affect our aging population and will change the paradigm of health care in Canada.

3. Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization and Research, London, Ontario – $13.3 million: The Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization and Research (CITCR) will address the barriers that prevent Canadian medical imaging companies from commercializing imaging technology. CITCR will help these small and medium-sized enterprises with the expertise, technical capabilities and infrastructure needed to become internationally competitive. It will also promote training and investment in imaging technology through the cultivation of new partnerships between the private sector and academic centres and will play an active role in managing intellectual property. These activities will attract new investments that lead to jobs and economic growth and will encourage greater interaction between academic centres and the private sector. CITCR provides the Canadian medical imaging sector with the best opportunity to establish and maintain worldwide leadership in innovation and technological development and have the greatest impact on the economy and the health care system.

4. Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador – $7.1 million: The mission of the Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North (LOOKNorth) Centre is to commercialize the emerging technologies that are used to monitor conditions in Canada’s North and are essential to the development of northern natural resources. Through its engagement of resource industries, researchers, service providers, local communities and government organizations, LOOKNorth will define industry needs by sector, develop business cases for new technologies that address those needs, and generate opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to secure a niche market for these monitoring technologies. Supported by a growing research capacity, Canadian industry is well positioned to export the services commercialized through LOOKNorth to an international market. In bringing together expertise from Canada and abroad, LOOKNorth will position Canada as an international leader in monitoring technologies for northern environments.

5. Wavefront Wireless Commercialization Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia – $11.6 million: The Wavefront Wireless Commercialization Centre (WWCC) will drive the growth of Canadian wireless companies by acting as a national resource hub connecting them to multinational wireless companies, the academic community, investors and wireless associations. These partnerships will generate a number of benefits for Canada, including growing and creating companies and jobs; increasing cross-sector innovation, productivity and return on academic investments; fostering the creation of new intellectual property; expanding export opportunities and raising Canada’s international brand; encouraging foreign direct investment in Canada; and promoting Canada’s digital literacy. In partnership with 26 Canadian universities, WWCC will communicate industry’s technical challenges to academic institutions and provide greater opportunities to convert academic research into commercial products and services. As the worldwide market for the wireless industry approaches $1 trillion, WWCC will enable Canadian companies to succeed on a global scale, capitalize on the next wave of wireless innovation and drive Canada’s digital economy strategy.