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CEMI, CMIC make pitch for supercluster funding

Douglas Morrison

The Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) and the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) have joined together to propose the creation of a clean resources supercluster called CLEER to take advantage of funding available through the federal government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative.

The two mining research organizations claim the proposed supercluster will transform the mining sector’s productivity, performance, and competitiveness by slashing water use, energy, and environmental footprint 50 per cent by 2027.

CLEER stands for Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated.

The supercluster would engage the mining services and supply sector (MSS) and anchor mining companies, accelerate collaborative innovation and stimulate investments exceeding $5 billion with the objective of growing SMEs, improving industry productivity, initiating export pathways, and creating more than 100,000 jobs.

The federal government has budgeted $950 million over five years, starting in 2017-18, to support a small number of business-led innovation superclusters that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth.

Applicants will be informed at the end of August 2017 if they are invited to proceed to the full application process.

“The CLEER Innovation Supercluster is an important strategic development for the support and expansion of the Canadian mining sector,” said CEMI president & CEO Doug Morrison. “Canada needs to sustain its existing mines and open new mines by improving productivity and ROI. We believe that the CLEER Innovation Supercluster will position the Canadian mining industry as the global leader in accelerating the commercialization and adoption of step-change innovation nationally and internationally.”

The proposed supercluster would be an industry-led, multi-stakeholder consortium comprised of four existing clusters, which, combined, represent an initial eight resource companies, 12 post-secondary institutions, 42 SMEs and 25 other organizations. To date, the CLEER supercluster has attracted a total investment of $376 million of cash and in-kind contributions.

CLEER is seeking to leverage this investment with $185 million in federal government funds.

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