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UNBC to be part of digital technology supercluster

The University of Northern British Columbia is playing a leading role in the B.C.-led Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster Initiative.
The B.C.-based digital supercluster consortium will share a portion of $950 million in federal innovation funding.

Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster Initiative includes founding partners Telus, Microsoft, Teck, Canfor, Shoppers Drug Mart, Providence Health Care and Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia members including UNBC, 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. Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster has over $500 million in committed private-sector innovation funding for the initiative.

It is meant to spur new regional, national and global economic opportunities that address the productivity, health and sustainability challenges facing Canada and the world.

UNBC is among six B.C. post-secondary institutions that will collaborate with national corporate and high-tech industry leaders who share a vision to position Canada as a global digital technology leader.

“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, in a press release. “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.”

The supercluster intends to maximize B.C.’s world-class talent and geographic advantage as both the gateway to Asia and partner in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor with Washington State.

“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 winning B.C.-based digital consortium was one of five different supercluster submissions to Canada’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative, involving B.C.-based companies and organizations.

Over a 10-year period, the supercluster is projected to fund more than 100 collaborative projects involving over 1,000 organizations to create thousands of new jobs that provide skilled and long-term employment opportunities for people throughout B.C. and Canada.

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