Government of Canada announces significant investment in the Canadian semiconductor and photonics industries
$240 million will help solidify Canada’s role as a global leader in photonics and will bolster the development and manufacturing of semiconductors
February 28, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario
Semiconductors, often called chips or microchips, are critical to Canada’s national security, economy and technological interests. The Government of Canada recognizes that issues around semiconductor supply have an impact on all sectors of the economy and affect Canadians in their everyday lives. This is why the government is committed to collaborating with Canadian researchers and businesses to strengthen Canada’s position in the industry.
Today, the Honourable François‑Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the Semiconductor Challenge Callout, a fund of $150 million through the Strategic Innovation Fund to make targeted investments to build on Canada’s domestic strengths associated with the development and supply of semiconductors. He also announced $90 million in funding for the National Research Council of Canada’s Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (CPFC).
The Challenge announced today represents Canada’s initial commitment to investing in innovation projects that will reinforce and scale up our innovative semiconductor ecosystem. The government is calling on businesses to identify ambitious, transformative proposals in the priority areas of research, commercialization, and expanded semiconductor manufacturing capacity. This will help the Canadian semiconductor industry enhance its role in the integrated North American information and communications technology supply chain.
The investment in the CPFC will see critical upgrades of equipment, improving the centre’s capacity and capability to address the ever-increasing complexity of leading-edge technology being brought to market by its clients. A key asset to the Canadian photonics sector over the last two decades, the CPFC is the only compound semiconductor foundry in North America that is publicly operated and open to all for use. It has an impressive track record of delivering impactful photonics device fabrication services to the research and private sectors, helping to grow many Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises in such industries as telecommunications, environmental sensing, automotive, defence and aerospace.
“Our government wants Canada to be a strategic global leader in the semiconductor industry. That’s why we’re investing $240 million today to strengthen our semiconductor ecosystem, which will allow us to build a more innovative and resilient economy. By investing in Canada’s semiconductor industry, we are making a firm commitment to businesses looking to invest in Canada. Whether it’s high-value or large-scale manufacturing, we want to see Canada be home to the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers. We are also proud to support the revitalization of the National Research Council’s CPFC, which will enhance Canada’s already impressive photonics sector.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Canada’s semiconductor sector includes over 100 homegrown and multinational companies conducting research and development on microchips. Its manufacturing base includes over 30 applied research laboratories and 5 commercial facilities in areas such as compound semiconductors, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and advanced packaging.
Semiconductors are used to power a broad range of everyday products, including automobiles, computers and other consumer electronics.
Canada is a world leader in photonics, the technology of generating light and harnessing the power of light. This technology is used in our telecommunication networks that Canadians are relying on more than ever for uninterrupted digital services that support remote and virtual ways of working.
The Government of Canada is monitoring signs of strain in critical supply chains and infrastructure as the economy recovers. The government is also working closely with the United States and global partners to enhance supply chain security for key commodities and sectors.
The Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre is a 40,000 square foot facility with 11,000 square feet of class 100/1000 clean room space providing engineering and manufacturing services to academics and large, medium-sized and small photonics businesses in Canada and internationally.
Senior Manager, Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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