Microsystems as a Core Strategy for Canadian Leadership in the Global Digital Economy
Soumis par CMC Microsystems 2010–07–13 14:55:07 HAE
Thème(s) : L'acquisition des compétences numériques, La croissance de l'industrie des TIC, L'innovation grâce aux technologies numériques
If Canada is to remain a major global innovator, we must be active participants in the Digital Economy. Through it, we will secure stimulating, high–paid employment for our citizens, help solve some of the world's most pressing challenges, retain the prosperous economy and sustain the quality of life for which we are known. This Digital Economy is being built on technologies that provide greater functionality at progressively smaller scales and reduced power consumption, yet with progressively increasing processing capability and usability. This is the world of microsystems, often achieving advantage from nanotechnologies — a world in which Canadian researchers, industry and fourth pillar organizations excel.
In preparing this submission, CMC Microsystems, the MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre (MICC) and NanoQuébec take the view that a national Digital Economy strategy should be built on these sub–strategies:
- Information Dissemination to Increase Domestic Awareness and Encourage Utilization of Microsystems
- Collaboration across Industry — Academia — Government
- Supportive environment for SMEs
- Project involvement of large companies (for example, IBM, RIM)
- Completing or Building New Value Chains for Key Economic Sectors and Others with Significant Economic and Social Potential
- Continued Microsystems Investments.
From consumer products, ICT and heath care to natural resources, energy and transportation sectors, microsystems have the potential to rejuvenate key sectors of Canada's economy, especially advanced manufacturing. No single country — including Canada — yet dominates the global microsystems arena. Past public and private sector investments in microsystems mean that Canada has built much of the platform from which global leadership could be achieved.
Le 9 juillet 2010
Origins of the Digital Economy:
For several decades now, digital technologies have proven to be a major contributor to improved productivity and firm–specific competitive advantage in industrial sectors such as consumer products, finance, communications, and advanced manufacturing. The impact of these technologies is now referred to as the digital economy — reflecting both the direct economic benefit from the emergence of firms developing and producing new devices, and the indirect economic benefit when these devices are incorporated into products for entry into the global marketplace. The global opportunities are huge.
What's at Stake:
As a world leader, the potential reward for Canada by 2015 is estimated to be enormous: $40 billion in revenue growth of the Canadian economy, over 200,000 high paying jobs throughout Canada and an improved quality of life for Canadians. But we have competition: other nations — large and small — are staking their claims in the digital economy and the industries that contribute to it as well as benefit from it. Europe, the United States, Japan, Taiwan, China, India and other smaller countries such as Finland, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates are building their capacity and their economic muscle in this new part of the global economy. At this point, no single country dominates and Canada can continue to be a world leader in Microsystems and Microsystems–enabled products and services… if we choose to do so. The race is on.
The Foundations of the Digital Economy:
These foundations are in cost–effective computing, communications and display technologies, which in turn are rooted in advances in electronics, photonics, software, and manufacturing. These advances make it possible to embed much greater processing capabilities into products and services. The digital economy is being built on the ability to provide greater functionality at smaller and smaller scales, with less and less power consumption, but with greater and greater processing capability and usability, utilizing further technologies such as micromechanics, microfluidics and microphotonics (demonstrating mechanical, fluidic and optical properties).
What Lies Ahead:
To date, the demarcation between the digital economy (the "virtual" world) and the physical economy (the "real world") has been relatively clear. The digital economy is accessed through a keyboard and screen; the physical economy is what you touch, experience and consume when you push away from your desk or set aside a cell phone or PDA. That dividing line is becoming considerably more blurred. Microsystems — enabled by micro and nano–scale technologies — are creating more effective and continuous interfaces between the digital and physical worlds. Specialized, cost–effective sensors and actuators now allow real–time awareness of the world around us (for example, our physical environment) and within us (for example, our personal health). The interaction between work and personal life is blurred (for example, use of commuting time, the definition of "workplace"). The next wave of microsystems will provide pathways for improved productivity, resource utilization, production processes, innovative thinking in existing and new sectors, and greater opportunities for self–directed learning, health status and personal development. The impact of the digital economy will be both pervasive and profound.
Canada's Role in the Digital Economy:
Canada is already a world leader in the digital economy and the microsystems which empower it, with engagement and output at every point in the value chain. Investment in Canadian microsystems research already exceeds half a billion dollars through commitments to MICC, NanoQuébec, NRC, CMC Microsystems and CRC. Canada has education and training in place for microsystems at more than 45 post–secondary education institutions, primarily in universities and growing in colleges and CEGEPs. From 2010 to 2015, more than 5,000 graduate students will use the National Design Network's products and services and then go on to join Canadian industry, contributing more than $6 billion in revenue from their efforts.
Directly, microsystems already account for $20 billion in Canadian economic activity annually and another $60 billion indirectly. Canadian firms are now prominent on the global stage: IBM Bromont assembles game consoles for Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft; DALSA — also in Bromont — operates the world's largest open foundry for manufacturing microsystems, as well as using microsystems in its own world–leading camera systems; Abbott Point of Care makes blood–monitoring biochips in Ottawa; in Burlington, Sound Design Technologies (recently acquired by ON Semi) does advanced 3D device packaging; and Micralyne in Edmonton is a leader in "Lab–on–a Chip" devices for life sciences. And this is just the beginning… if we develop and implement a national strategy through which to pursue opportunity in the next wave of the digital economy now emerging.
Cornerstones of a Canadian Strategy:
The partners contributing to this Strategy Paper believe that the cornerstones of a national strategy will be:
- Organizing Information Dissemination to Increase Domestic Awareness and Encourage Utilization of Microsystems
- Promoting Continued Collaboration across Industry — Academia — Government
- Creating a supportive environment for SMEs
- Encouraging project involvement of large companies (for example, IBM, RIM)
- Completing the Value Chains for Key Economic Sectors
- Building Value Chains for Other Sectors with Significant Economic and Social Potential
- Continuing Microsystems Investments
Why It Matters:
The digital economy represents an important opportunity for Canada to become a strong knowledge based society. Microsystems (micro devices and embedded software), which are already playing a key enabling role, need to be facilitated today so that they can deliver a significant contribution to the Canadian GDP in 5 to 10 years.
Government can play a vital role in growing the microsystems industry itself and — through deployment of microsystems — growing key industrial sectors of the Canadian economy. Two sectors with immediate potential to benefit from microsystems are Health (traditionally conservative in adopting new technologies) and Advanced Manufacturing — particularly the automotive sector, where the digital content in vehicles and traffic systems are as valuable as the vehicles themselves. Yet, Canadian companies have only limited market penetration in these sectors. Through a carefully devised strategy which emphasizes microsystems — an arena in which Canada has already made significant investments and in which the country's institutions and companies already have some strengths — this situation can change.
If Canada is to remain a major global innovator, we must be active participants in the Digital Economy. Through it, we will secure stimulating, high–paid employment for our citizens, help solve some of the world's most pressing challenges, retain the prosperous economy and sustain the quality of life for which we are known. The time to capitalize on this opportunity has never been better.
This submission offers highlights from a strategy position developed by CMC Microsystems, MICC and NanoQuébec. To express interest or for enquiries contact Dan Gale, Gale@CMC.ca.