Ottawa names Atlantic consortium as first of nine shortlisted 'superclusters'

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains has announced the first of nine so-called superclusters that could qualify for a piece of a $950-million federal fund to spur on business development.

Bains said the Ocean Supercluster, the winning applicant from the Atlantic region, is an industry consortium that would expand digital technologies in aquaculture, fisheries, offshore oil and gas, and clean energy.

The Halifax announcement was the first in a cross-country tour that will reveal the nine shortlisted bids, following the submission of more than 50 proposals involving over 1,000 firms and 350 participants.

Up to five will be selected as the tech hubs as part of Ottawa's Innovation Superclusters Initiative, which is aimed at fostering public-private partnerships in industries across the country.

Superclusters are defined as areas of business activity often involving collaborations between companies and universities, colleges or not-for-profit organizations to develop ideas that can be taken to market.