Feds announce $240 million investment in semiconductor and photonics industries
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The government said the moves are aimed at helping address the global chip shortage.
The Canadian federal government has announced plans to invest a total of $240 million to strengthen the country’s semiconductor and photonics design and production capabilities.
The funding includes $150 million towards the newly created Semiconductor Challenge Callout (SCC) fund, provided through the Strategic Innovation Fund, for targeted investments in semiconductor development and manufacturing. Another $90 million investment is being made towards the Ottawa-based Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (CPFC). 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.
In a Feb. 28 statement, the government said the moves are aimed at helping address the global chip shortage by building on Canada’s existing semiconductor strengths, and help establish a “more resilient and integrated” Canadian supply chain.
The government said in the statement that it’s 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,” it said. The CPFC is said to be the only compound semiconductor foundry in North America that is publicly operated and open to all for use.
According to some estimates, the Canadian auto industry has cut 643,100 vehicles from production in 2022 because of the chip shortage.