Brampton is well-positioned to benefit from new investments and growth in its manufacturing sector with the announcement of an Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, slated for development in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area.

Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, confirmed in February the supercluster would be established with funding support under the federal government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative.

The initiative will bring together small, medium-sized and large companies, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations to generate progressive strategies allowing manufacturers to be globally competitive. The strategies will equip Canadian manufacturers with tools allowing for innovative product development, optimized production processes, access to global markets, supply chains, trends and technologies, as well as a workforce that is both highly skilled and engaged.

The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster will be one of five in Canada. The others are the Ocean Supercluster (based in Atlantic Canada), SCALE.AI Supercluster (based in Quebec), Protein Industries Supercluster (based in the Prairies) and Digital Technology Supercluster (based in British Columbia). Together they represent more than 450 businesses, 60 post-secondary institutions and 180 other participants in sectors covering 78 per cent of Canada’s economy.

The City of Brampton was one of the 140 organizations participating in the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster bid. In partnership with the Brampton Board of Trade, the city submitted a talent development proposal that would grant funding as part of the project.

“I want to thank Todd Letts and the Brampton Board of Trade for spearheading Brampton’s efforts in the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster,” said Mayor Linda Jeffrey. “Their vision of bolstering our city’s strong manufacturing and innovation base is one we share and we appreciate all of their hard advocacy in helping to win this bid. This is a unique opportunity for our city, local business and post-secondary institutions to invest in new technology, research and development, and training new workers.”

Brampton is well-equipped to participate in the Supercluster initiative. The city has a substantial advanced manufacturing sector consisting of approximately 900 companies that employ more than 35,000 people. As well, the Sheridan College Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies and Skilled Trades Centre plus the new presence of Ryerson University, give the city substantial post-secondary innovation support.

“Advanced manufacturing is a key growth sector in the City of Brampton,” said Bob Darling, economic development and culture director. “New funding for the region can only help increase opportunities and investment in an area that provides access to so many high-paying, skilled jobs.”

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGM Canada), will be the lead organization in leveraging more than $800 million in proposed investments by both industry and the federal government. In turn, proposals and projects would be funded to create a broad range of new opportunities for firms, supply chains, communities and the thousands employed in key industry segments.

There are three main components of the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster strategy: co-investing in collaborative projects to develop advanced systems such as artificial intelligence and robotics; supporting the creation of next-generation manufacturing capabilities including tools, test beds and infrastructure; and building a foundation of supports and services that facilitate technology adoption in manufacturing, including training and skills development.

As more details become available about how the funding for the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster initiative will be allocated, City of Brampton officials are looking forward to working with NGM Canada to participate in the endeavour.

Photo: robotics display by Sheridan College Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies students.