Tech sec­tor of­ten over­looked: Mayor

Ottawa not on short­list of su­per­clus­ter fi­nal­ists

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - Front Page - Ryan tu­milty

Nine cities are now in the run­ning from dozens of ap­pli­ca­tions to be­come a gov­ern­mentspon­sored su­per­clus­ter, but Ottawa is not among them.

Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Navdeep Bains an­nounced nine short-listed projects this week in­clud­ing agri-food, clean en­ergy and ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing clus­ters that are meant to bring uni­ver­si­ties, busi­ness and other groups to­gether to cre­ate new in­dus­tries and jobs.

Bains said the nine fi­nal­ists will be whit­tled down to no more than five pro­pos­als with the $950 mil­lion the gov­ern­ment has al­lo­cated spread among the win­ners.

He said they wanted pro­pos- als that would be ag­gres­sive and cre­ate new jobs.

“We wanted to pro­mote a high-level of am­bi­tion, we pro­moted a com­pet­i­tive process and for us it’s re­ally about the out­comes,” he said.

Bains said the cities that didn’t make the list, could find new op­por­tu­ni­ties as the fi­nal­ists re­fine their fi­nal pitches.

“I’m con­fi­dent there will be fur­ther dis­cus­sions of work­ing with those pro­pos­als that did not make the short­list.”

Mayor Jim Wat­son said he was dis­ap­pointed the city didn’t make the cut.

“I think we put to­gether a re­ally good bid, there was a lot of pri­vate sec­tor dol­lars be­hind the bid. We thought we had a re­al­is­tic shot at it, so ob­vi­ously dis­ap­pointed for the sec­tor.”

Wat­son said the city’s tech sec­tor is too of­ten over­looked.

“There’s very much an eco- sys­tem of in­no­va­tion and en­trepreneur­ship tak­ing place in Ottawa. We of­ten get over­shad­owed by Water­loo. We’re four times big­ger than Water­loo in terms of our tech sec­tor and num­ber of em­ploy­ees.”

Ottawa’s pitch in­volved sev­eral lo­cal firms look­ing at next gen­er­a­tion 5G com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies and the po­ten­tial they of­fer for dig­i­tal com­merce.

In­vest Ottawa head Mike Trem­blay said the city be­ing passed over was a dis­ap­point­ment, but there is po­ten­tial to take what they gained in the ap­pli­ca­tion process.

“It was a very good ex­pe­ri­ence form the per­spec­tive of bringing to­gether all the lo­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” he said. “The su­per­clus­ter process brought us to­gether and gave us some new sce­nar­ios to think about.”

We of­ten get over­shad­owed by Water­loo. We’re four times big­ger than Water­loo in terms of our tech sec­tor and num­ber of em­ploy­ees.

Mayor Jim Wat­son

THE Cana­dian PRESS Ryan REMIORZ/

Fed­eral In­no­va­tion Min­is­ter navdeep Bains greets mem­bers of the aerospace fac­ulty be­fore mak­ing a fund­ing an­nounce­ment at the Ecole Polytech­nique, Tues­day in Mon­treal.

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