National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC

September 25, 2007 08:56 ET

NRC Hosts Canada's First Working Conference on Technology Clustering

Public-private partnerships boost Canada's competitive advantage

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 25, 2007) - In support of Canada's New Government's S&T strategy - Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, the National Research Canada (NRC) today kicked off a two-day symposium to explore science and technology based approaches to driving Canada's economic growth. NRC Connections 2007 - The Technology Cluster Advantage in Canada, brought 200 stakeholders from the private sector, all levels of government and academia together to discuss themes including: SME survival tips, intellectual property as a competitive advantage, building local and international links and other approaches to fostering Canada's economic growth.

Technology clusters are broadly-based community partnerships between industry, universities and colleges, and all levels of government, focused on building competitive advantage through research and innovation. These S&T partnerships position communities to attract talent, investment and economic activity.

"Canada's New Government is dedicated to building partnerships and linkages between government, universities and industry to create a business environment that encourages the private sector to innovate," said Canada's new Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for NRC, the Honourable Jim Prentice. "NRC Connections 2007 provides an excellent forum for dialogue around how to make these public-private partnerships most effective."

In addition to Jayson Myers, President of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, NRC Connections 2007 featured high profile presenters from Alcan, the National Angel Organization, the University of British Columbia, Medicon Valley Alliance in Denmark, Life Science Alley in Minnesota and others. Smaller breakout sessions focused on topics like using a technology roadmap to build and implement a shared vision, financing startups and SMEs and attracting investment to a cluster region.

"The goal of NRC Connections 2007 is to promote collaborative action by all stakeholders in the nurturing and growth of Canada's technology clusters," said Dr. Pierre Coulombe, President of NRC. "We are hoping that our participants will walk away with new perspectives on building regional and international links and networks, accessing global markets, and developing, protecting and sharing intellectual property that will lead to increased productivity and prosperity."

Since 2000, NRC has brought stakeholders together in regions across Canada via its cluster initiative program, to turn ideas into innovations that provide solutions to the country's environment, health, productivity and other related challenges. This is the first time that the organization has physically brought all stakeholders together from across the country to exchange experiences and best practices in cluster building.

NRC spearheads 11 cluster initiatives across the country: Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies in Vancouver; Nanotechnology in Edmonton; Sustainable Urban Infrastructure in Regina; Plants for Health and Wellness in Saskatoon; Biomedical Technologies in Winnipeg; Photonics in Ottawa; Aluminium Transformation in the Saguenay Region; Information Technology & e-Business in Fredericton/Moncton; Life Sciences in Halifax; Nutrisciences & Health in Charlottetown; and Ocean Technologies in St. John's.

These cluster initiatives underpin NRC's commitment to bring industry, all levels of government and universities together to stimulate the growth of community-based technology clusters across Canada.

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