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Government of Canada launches 1.26-billion dollars Strategic Innovation Fund

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, launched the Strategic Innovation Fund, a 1.26-billion dollars investment that is fully aligned with the strong, coordinated government action Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has long advocated for to reinvigorate the Canadian manufacturing sector and help it compete globally.

To be competitive on a global scale, Canadian manufacturers must adopt the newest advanced manufacturing techniques and commercialize new or improved goods to develop new business lines, attract investment and new production mandates and, expand the range of goods produced in Canada. CME has assessed that, without decisive action from the government to facilitate the transition to innovative technologies, Canada is at risk of falling behind other countries with whom we compete and trade. The Government of Canada Strategic Innovation Fund is a step in the right direction to encourage high-quality investments in new technologies and help close the gap with our major international competitors.

This fund is open to all industries and will support four streams of innovation activities:

  • Stream 1: Encourage R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products, processes and services;
  • Stream 2: Facilitate the growth and expansion of firms in Canada;
  • Stream 3: Attract and retain large-scale investments to Canada; and
  • Stream 4: Advance industrial research, development and technology demonstration through collaboration between academia, non-profit organizations and the private sector.

For-profit corporations are eligible for all four streams (some restrictions applying to Stream 4) and can apply for more than one stream. Applicants are invited to submit a “Statement of Interest” prior to moving forward with their full application. Successful applicants to the Streams 1,2 and 3 could be granted up to 50 per cent of the cost of a project while 100% of costs could be covered under Stream 4. More details about the Strategic Innovation Fund, including application processes, guidelines, and project eligibility, can be found here.

Through its Industrie 2030 initiative, CME identified fostering innovation, commercialization and new product development, as a key priority for the manufacturing sector. Industrie 2030 is the result of consultations with more than 1,250 leading industry executives and detailed research to define specific recommendations to overcome challenges and create a roadmap for the future of manufacturing, to strengthen its footprint across the country, and to drive growth, innovation, wealth creation and jobs. Last year, we called on the government to create a manufacturing commercialization investment fund to provide risk-sharing supports as part of the of pre-budget recommendations. CME has also made fostering innovation part of its key NAFTA asks.

Thank you for your ongoing support of CME’s efforts to make your company, manufacturing and exporting in Canada innovative, growing and, globally competitive. If you have any questions on this program or other activities that CME is pursuing on your behalf, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time at president@cme-mec.ca.

Dennis A. Darby, P.Eng., ICD.D
President & CEO, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters

Manufacturers Must Accelerate the Adoption of Advanced Technologies

Canadian Manufactures & Exporters (CME) along with its strategic partners, released Accelerating Adoption of Advanced Manufacturing, the second of five reports that provide detailed analysis and recommendations stemming from CME’s Industrie 2030 initiative aimed at doubling manufacturing output by 2030.

Manufacturing Matters:

  • Directly employs 1.7 million Canadians – 10 per cent of entire workforce
  • Directly and indirectly accounts 30 per cent of economic output and 27 per cent of all employment
  • Directly responsible for more than two-thirds of all exports

“For manufacturers to compete globally they must invest in new advanced technologies both in their products and their processes,” stated Mathew Wilson, Senior Vice President at CME. “For the Canadian economy, and the manufacturing sector to prosper, companies must invest in new machinery and equipment, and incorporate new digital technologies and advanced manufacturing capabilities into their operations. However, over the past several years investment has decreased as the sector has struggled with static output and exports.”

Based on research and consultation through the CME led Industrie 2030 initiative, Canadian manufacturers are not investing in advanced technologies. More than 60 per cent all respondents to CME’s survey stated they do not presently use advanced manufacturing technologies in their operations. And this is reflected directly in the statistics – manufacturing investment in machinery and equipment in Canada has fallen by nearly five per cent between 2009 and 2014, hitting a 30-year low in that year. In the US investment has risen by 58 per cent over the same time period. In fact, few industrialized countries have a worse record than Canada.

To accelerate the adoption of advanced manufacturing in Canada, we must:

  • Enhance depreciation rates and provide tax credits to encourage investment in advanced;
  • Establish manufacturing hubs and technology demonstration centres to showcase and test new advanced manufacturing technologies;
  • Expand all regional manufacturing technology investment support programs across the country; and,
  • Reinvest federal and provincial carbon-pricing revenues back into offsetting the cost of purchasing new technologies and machinery and equipment.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is rapidly changing the products that manufacturers are creating and how they are being created while reducing operating costs and improving environmental performance,” added Wilson. “Other countries have created national strategies around technology adoption, and it is critical that Canadian governments work closely with industry to help facilitate the adoption of these technologies and to grow our manufacturing sector. Without strong, coordinated actions, our manufacturing sector will continue to be left behind.”

To read the report, visit: http://www.cme-mec.ca/download.php?file=59ry6m9pl.pdf

About Industrie 2030
Through its Industrie 2030 initiative, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) – Canada’s leading trade and industry association and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada -consulted more than 1,250 leading industry executives and conducted detailed research to define specific recommendations to overcome challenges and create a roadmap for the future of manufacturing, to strengthen its footprint across the country, and to drive growth, innovation, wealth creation and jobs. Core recommendations include:

  • Building a strong labour pool and skilled workforce;
  • Accelerating adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies;
  • Fostering innovation, commercialization and new product development;
  • Creating a competitive business environment in Canada; and
  • Increasing access to domestic ‎and foreign markets.

This report is the second detailed report of the five core recommendations. Earlier reports, including the summary analysis and recommendations are available at www.industrie2030.ca.
For more information, contact:
Marie Morden
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Tel: (613) 355-8819