8 March 2022
Canada invests CDN$240m in semiconductor and photonics industries
Canada’s government has announced the Semiconductor Challenge Callout, providing CDN$150m through its 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 CDN$90m in funding for the National Research Council of Canada’s Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (CPFC).
The Challenge represents Canada’s initial commitment to investing in innovation projects that aim to reinforce and scale up the country’s 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 aims to help the Canadian semiconductor industry enhance its role in the integrated North American information and communications technology supply chain.
Canada’s government says that it is monitoring signs of strain in critical supply chains and infrastructure as the economy recovers. The government is also working closely with the USA and global partners to enhance supply chain security for key commodities and sectors.
Canada’s semiconductor sector includes over 100 homegrown and multi-national companies conducting R&D. Its manufacturing base includes over 30 applied research laboratories and five commercial facilities in areas such as compound semiconductors, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and advanced packaging.
The Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre is a 40,000ft2 facility with 11,000ft2 of class-100/1000 cleanroom space providing engineering and manufacturing services to academics and large-, medium-sized and small photonics businesses in Canada and internationally.
The investment in the CPFC will see critical upgrades of equipment, improving its capacity and capability to address the increasing complexity of leading-edge technology being brought to market by its clients. As 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 a track record of delivering photonics device fabrication services to the research and private sectors, helping to grow many Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises in such industries as telecoms, 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 CDN$240m today to strengthen our semiconductor ecosystem, which will allow us to build a more innovative and resilient economy,” says the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “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,” he adds. “We are also proud to support the revitalization of the National Research Council’s CPFC, which will enhance Canada’s already impressive photonics sector.”