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UNBC one of six universities to take part in new innovation supercluster

The University of Northern British Columbia is set to play a major role in Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster Initiative.

This initiative will spur new regional, national and global economic opportunities to address productivity, health and sustainability challenges that Canada is currently facing.

UNBC is among six B.C. post-secondary institutions that will collaborate with national corporate leaders who share a similar vision for Canada’s future.

Other universities will include Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria, and the University of British Columbia, along with Emily Carr University and the B.C. Institute of Technology.

“UNBC has a terrific research community, fueled by the inquisitive nature and technical expertise of our faculty and students,” said Interim Vice President Research and Graduate Programs Geoff Payne.

“Working together, and as part of a larger consortium, will improve our research and development, improve our talent development, and help create an environment that empowers economic development and diversification for the North.”

The B.C. government plans to invest $950 million under the Innovation Superclusters Initiative.

<who>Photo credit: Government of Canada</who>

Five superclusters will be part of this initiative:

  • The Ocean Supercluster will use innovation to improve competitiveness in Canada’s ocean-based industries, including fisheries, oil and gas, and clean energy
  • The SCALE.AI Supercluster will make Canada a world leading exporter by building intelligent supply chains through artificial intelligence and robotics
  • The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster will connect Canada’s technology strengths to our manufacturing industry to make us a world manufacturing leader in the economy of tomorrow
  • The Protein Industries Supercluster will make Canada a leading source for plant proteins and help feed the world
  • The Digital Technology Supercluster will use big data and digital technologies to unlock new potential in important sectors like healthcare, forestry, and manufacturing.

The investment is expected to create over 50,000 middle-class jobs and grow Canada’s economy by $50 billion over a 10 year period.

“UNBC continues to participate in and create opportunities that will not only enhance our research culture but transform lives in Northern B.C. and around the world,” said UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks.

“We are leaders in building partnerships that enhance the success of communities we work with, and the opportunity to participate in the creation of pathways to the North that will lead to new forms of industry partnership is exciting.”

Click here for more information on the partnership.

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