Supporting Canada's innovation superclusters


In Budget 2017, the Government of Canada put forward the Innovation and Skills Plan—an agenda to spark growth and help Canada realize its potential as a global leader in innovation. To advance this agenda, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada launched an initiative to accelerate innovation through superclusters.

The Innovation Superclusters Initiative is investing up to $950 million to support business-led innovation superclusters that have the greatest potential to energize the economy and become engines of growth.

In 2018, 5 superclusters were selected to accelerate Canada's global advantage in highly innovative industries: advanced manufacturing, digital technologies, protein industries, ocean, and SCALE.AI (Supply Chains and Logistics Excellence Artificial Intelligence).

As Canada's largest research and development organization, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has a century‑long track record of bringing its national network of researchers and scientific facilities to bear on our most pressing immediate challenges and longer-term innovation goals.

The NRC will develop programs that build on our organization's scientific expertise to support the superclusters and foster strong collaboration with innovators in both industry and academia. These collaborations with external research organizations, in particular academic researchers and small- and medium‑sized enterprises, will be supported through grant and contribution funding.

As the programs and projects in support of superclusters are developed, they will be posted here including opportunities for collaboration.

For more information about the NRC's capabilities or to discuss opportunities for collaboration, contact the identified priority leads:

Supercluster support programs

Advanced manufacturing

  • Automation and robotics
  • Machine vision
  • Inspection and sensors
  • Simulations and modelling
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Advanced materials manufacturing

Michael Kilfoil
Program Director
Advanced Manufacturing Program
Telephone: 613-949-4657

David Fraser
Business Advisor
Telephone: 613-991-9972

Digital Health and Geospatial Analytics

Research in collaboration with Digital Technology Supercluster members in the areas of:

  • Artificial intelligence and digital enablement for health - using artificial intelligence and digital technologies to improve healthcare delivery and connect it to real-world, evidence-based clinical research.
  • Geospatial Analytics - using digital geospatial technologies to solve compelling challenges in areas such as agriculture, forestry, environmental monitoring, transportation, and clean energy.

Phil Kaye, PhD
Deputy Director, Quantum Sensing Challenge Program
Lead, Digital Technology Supercluster Support Program
National Research Council Canada


Collaborative research in the areas of:

  • Bio assets
  • Intelligent ocean assets
  • Coastal resilience
  • Pollution remediation

Marie-Chantal Ross
Oceans Program Director
Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering
Telephone: 613-993-8220

Sustainable Protein Production

  • Genetics and genomics
  • Pre‑breeding crop development and plant technologies
  • Microalgal and macroalgal protein
  • Microbial communities
  • Processing and ingredients
  • Food safety, traceability and sustainability

François Couture
Business Advisor (BA)
National Research Council Canada / Government of Canada
Telephone: 418-931-6725

Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Logistics

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Transportation system models
  • Autonomous vehicles and machine vision
  • Cybersecurity for logistics

Margaret McKay
Program Leader, AI for Logistics
Digital Technologies
Telephone: 613-991-6853

Contact us

For general information about the Supercluster Support Programs, contact the National Program Office: