After six months of working with various industry sector leaders, academia, and other partners, the Bluewater Wood Alliance is representing the value-added wood products sector in the biggest manufacturing supercluster in Canada!
Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced Thursday that the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster was one of the successful bids.
What this means for our wood products manufacturing industry, is that we are at the table with other big industries in Canada like automotive, aerospace, IT, robotics, and other major sectors. Our profile is now raised higher, along with the importance of our wood products manufacturing industry to the economy! The BWA is very excited to be appointed to their board of Directors!
There are three pillars to the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster strategy:
- co-invest in collaborative, industry-led projects in things like vision systems, AI, IoT, data security, robotics, advanced materials, and additive manufacturing
- support the creation of new tools, testbeds, and infrastructure to help create the next generation of manufacturing firms
- build out a robust ecosystem of supports and services that accelerate technology adoption in manufacturing i.e. technology readiness assessments, training and skills development, and go-to-market support
As the first and only Porterian cluster in North America for the wood industry, the already established BWA cluster was an important element of the Supercluster bid. BWA member wood companies can participate in, and benefit from, projects and initiatives created from the collective momentum that the BWA cluster delivers. Governments like to work with clusters because they can help multiple companies all at once. The BWA project within the Supercluster is going to bring funding for investment in game-changing technologies to BWA members. The details are currently being worked out while a contribution agreement with the federal government is negotiated. More concrete details will be confirmed when this is completed.
Joining an industry cluster like the BWA brings you to the table for many opportunities, such as the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster project, that single small and medium-sized companies would not have access to on their own.
See these links for more details on the Next Generation Manufacturing Canada Supercluster:
Stay tuned for more details as the project unfolds!