Canada’s Innovation Corridor Summit

Canada’s Innovation Corridor Summit was held on June 26th on the border between Hamilton and Burlington at the Royal Botanical Gardens, presented by “Gowlings WLG”.  The Summit continues a tradition of economic development cooperation between Hamilton and Burlington by means of an annual summit and this year it expanded that cooperation to include Brampton, Cambridge, Guelph, Halton Hills, Kitchener-Waterloo, Milton, Mississauga, and Toronto under the theme of “Regional Collaboration, Global Competitiveness”. The corridor is billed as a world-class powerhouse responsible for more than one fifth of Canada’s GDP. The stakeholders include all levels of government, and more than 21,000 businesses with a shared goal to make the corridor a global top 10 economic region by 2025. The agenda focused specifically on the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, goods movement, and workforce development.

Keynote speaker and noted futurist, Jesse Hirsch, delivered compelling clarity defining artificial intelligence and blockchain as merely tools and databases to further human capabilities. He highlighted the local advances and accomplishments in manufacturing, particularly at Mohawk College, and encouraged the audience to use them as a catalyst for collaboration, education, and growth.

A special Corridor Mayors Panel including Hamilton’s Mayor Fred Eisenberger, Burlington’s Mayor Rick Goldring, Brampton’s Mayor Linda Jeffrey, and Kitchener’s Mayor Berry Vrbanovic looked critically at priority initiatives for a prosperous corridor. In the forefront was the development of integrated transportation of goods and people in the form of a strategic multimodal plan to deal with congestion in the corridor.

Woven throughout the summit was a clear message that talent and workforce development will be an essential ingredient for future success and the corridor has many quality of life facets that can contribute. The closing message was that continued collaboration will drive mutual success and is necessary to meet the goal of being a global top 10 economic region.

Blog written by Rob McCann, President and CEO, Clearcable Networks.

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