The pace of technology adoption by Canadian manufacturers still lags that of our major competitors. And the potential of Canadian technology companies to grow into globally competitive enterprises has long been assumed as weak, but that perception is changing
This article is Sponsor Content presented by Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen)
Situated at the intersection of the public and private sector, Canada’s Global Innovation Cluster for Advanced Manufacturing is uniquely positioned to both identify and act on the opportunities that lie ahead for Canadian manufacturers and technology providers.
Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) is the industry-led, non-profit organization leading the Cluster.
NGen’s vision is to be the critical enabler of transformation and business success in advanced manufacturing in support of Canada’s transition to becoming a leading green supplier to the world.
Manufacturing accounts for 10 per cent of Canada’s GDP and employs more than nine per cent of Canadian workers in high quality jobs. The past three years have illustrated how important it is to make things in Canada — especially those products and components that are critical to sustaining supply chains, ensuring the health and safety of Canadians, reducing GHG emissions and improving environmental sustainability.
NGen leverages the power of its networks to develop and commercialize cutting-edge technology solutions for manufacturers. It also wants to build an interconnected and collaborative ecosystem that attracts talent and investment from within Canada and around the world.
NGen’s work is more important than ever to boost the competitiveness and realize the growth potential of our manufacturing and technology sectors.
The business of manufacturing is rapidly changing and what companies make is not as important as how they make it.
Manufacturers need to offer their customers a unique value proposition to compete and grow in today’s fast-paced and highly competitive markets. They need to create new and better solutions, ways of adding value through the products and services they offer and new ways of generating revenue. They need the agility and flexibility to respond rapidly to changing customer demands, mitigate market and supply chain risks and pivot into new product lines to take advantage of emerging business opportunities. They need to meet more exacting regulations, industry standards and stakeholder and investor expectations.
Above all, they need to be cost competitive to sustain their business and generate the cash required to invest in innovation and future growth.
In Canada (and around the world) the manufacturing sector is in the midst of three interconnecting transformations that are redefining what it means to do business:
- The digital (Industry 4.0) revolution is driving rapid advances in innovation and technology;
- The greening of the economy based on more stringent demands from customers, governments, investors and other stakeholders; and
- The need for greater supply chain resilience to mitigate disruptions in production, trade flows, logistics and distribution like those we have experienced since 2019.
Advanced digital, materials and production technologies are helping manufacturers respond to and take advantage of these market trends by improving existing production and business processes and scaling up production and commercialization of new products and services.
Canada has deep research capabilities, leading-edge engineering and technical expertise and a wide variety of technology solution providers — both start-ups and established companies — in fields that enable advanced manufacturing capabilities. These include: sensors, Internet connectivity, operational software, virtual design and modeling, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), advanced and quantum computing, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), photonics and lasers, robotics and automation, additive manufacturing, machining, moulding, shaping and other production technologies, nano- and other advanced materials, biotechnologies and cleantech.
Canada’s technology sector accounts for nine per cent of our GDP and employs seven per cent of Canadian workers.
Global market growth projections for advanced manufacturing technologies are much higher than for the world economy as a whole. Real demand for industrial automation systems is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 7.4 per cent by 2030, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) by 23 per cent, AI/ML solutions by 38 per cent, AR/VR by 39 per cent, industrial lasers by 10 per cent, additive manufacturing by 21 per cent, nanotechnology by 35 per cent, biomanufacturing by 12 per cent to 16 per cent, and industrial cleantech solutions by 5 per cent.
Opportunities abound. But Canada has been slow to take advantage. NGen works to bridge the gap.
NGen is the presenting sponsor of the EV Innovation & Technology Conference on February 8, 2023.
NGen is the industry-led, non-profit organization leading Canada’s Global Innovation Cluster for Advanced Manufacturing. One of five national networks supported by Canada’s ambitious Global Innovation Clusters Initiative.