Happy New Year! NGen is already off to a running start in 2021.
We’re building on the work we accomplished over the past year. Our membership now exceeds 3,000 companies, organizations, and individual experts all contributing to Canada’s advanced manufacturing sector.
I’m happy to report that as of the end of December NGen had approved investments of more than $150 million in 68 industry-led advanced manufacturing projects. Those projects are expected to generate almost $360 million in total innovation spending. They involve 147 project partners from every province across Canada – 132 of which are SMEs. Most important, they are creating economic opportunities for Canadians, improving health care, and having a positive impact on the environment.
We also launched some important initiatives last year. We supported the development of Canada’s Rapid Response Marketplace for PPE. We launched AmpUp – NGen’s open-source education and training platform – as well as our What’s Next? series of webinars on strategic business issues.
There’s much more to come over the year ahead! We are planning to launch a campaign aimed at attracting young people into advanced manufacturing careers. We will be unveiling a new Transformation Leadership Program to help manufacturers manage the successful deployment of advanced technologies. And, we will be introducing a new online collaboration tool to help our members identify innovation partnership opportunities from across Canada and around the world.
We will also be investing the remaining $55 million from our original tranche of Supercluster funding in advanced manufacturing projects. Keep an eye out for the dates when applications are due!
NGen has established a strong track record when it comes to supporting industry-led collaborative projects that really make a difference in advanced manufacturing. We want to continue our efforts. We plan to work on behalf of our members to raise additional funding from both public and private sources to invest in world-leading project opportunities.
As a first step, we have asked the federal government to recapitalize NGen. We truly appreciate the notes of support that members have sent to Ministers Bains and Freeland telling them about how important NGen funding is to get industry innovation projects off the ground! It’s still not too late to get that message to Ottawa. I encourage you now to write to Ministers Champagne and Freeland at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org if you support NGen’s request for additional project funding.
It will be a busy year ahead – a year that I am sure will prove again the importance of Canada’s advanced manufacturing sector. We wish you the best for a safe and prosperous 2021.