October 23, 2023
Ottawa, Ont — SILICAN has publicly released “First Steps for Canada,” an overview of the path forward for realizing our national ambition in the global semiconductor industry.
SILICAN is an alliance of chip industry and postsecondary associations coming together to ensure that Canada seizes the moment on North American semiconductor re-shoring and sets the industry on a path to sustainable success that builds Canadian prosperity for the long term. Since its founding, members have been working collaboratively to develop a roadmap for Canadian growth in the global semiconductor value chain.
“First Steps for Canada” identifies key policy objectives to reinforce existing Canadian strengths in important niches — compound semiconductors, advanced assembly, packaging and testing and sensor technologies.
Key policy objectives include:
“The chips industry is global, but Canada should focus on ensuring that competitive, successful Canadian companies have the tools to scale-up and compete globally to drive future generations of semiconductor innovation and investment,” said Council of Canadian Innovators President Benjamin Bergen. “Government programs and agencies must understand the industry and streamline existing programs for today’s rapidly evolving market realities.”
On behalf of our members, SILICAN is calling on the government to prioritize people, and take policy steps to ensure that working in the chips industry is an attractive option in every part of the talent spectrum, and governments should work closely with industry to forecast future needs and fund talent development.
“Canada can leverage key innovation-driven sectors like photonics and major facilities like CPFC and C2MI. Strategically building on major prior investments gives us the opportunity to lead in important, emerging industry niches and create jobs and lasting prosperity,” said Madison Rilling, PhD, Executive Director of Optonique.“In light of the American CHIPS Act, doing nothing carries a very high cost. With the right strategy, Canada’s chips industry could become indispensable to next-generation technologies critical to national security and to fields like AI, electric vehicles and quantum in which governments across Canada are actively investing.”
“Future Canadian success in the semiconductor sector will be built on a foundation of highly-qualified talent, with the skills and ideas to power growth. The SILICAN alliance has laid out a vital roadmap for success which is anchored by the talent of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities. We look forward to continuing to work to ensure Canada’s semiconductor industry has access to the talent it needs,” said Dr. Chad Gaffield, CEO of U15 Canada.
“Canada produces some of the world’s best highly qualified personnel (HQP) thanks to our post-secondary institutions and ecosystem of over 300 semiconductor companies. By continuing to grow the ecosystem, Canada can lead in next generation technologies with high value-add potential that will shape the global economy for years to come,” said Gordon Harling, President and CEO of CMC Microsystems.
"As the Canadian semiconductor industry association representing companies developing microelectronics products and services, Canada's Semiconductor Council (CSC) is pleased to see SILICAN alliance adding its voice to help shape our national industrial policy addressing the challenges and opportunities facing our semiconductor industry," said Paul Slaby, Managing Director of Canada's Semiconductor Council.
“Canada's semiconductor industry stands at a pivotal crossroads, and SILICAN's 'First Steps for Canada' paves the way forward,” says Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Colleges and Institutes Canada. "As we embark on this journey, training the next generation of industry leaders and nurturing talent to drive our success becomes critical. Together, we are ready to spearhead advancements in technology, innovation, and talent development, establishing Canada as a global industry leader."
SILICAN works with federal and provincial governments to build on semiconductor industry priorities and co-develop a made-in-Canada action plan for strategic leadership in the global semiconductor value chain.
SILICAN brings together the Council of Canadian Innovators, CMC Microsystems, Deep Tech Canada, Canada’s Semiconductor Council Alliance for Semiconductor Innovation Canada (ASIC), Optonique, U15 Group of Research Universities, Canadian Innovation Network, and SECTR.
Director of Communications, CCI
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