While Atlantic Canada’s nautical types are pushing ahead with the oceans supercluster proposal, there’s another major initiative in the region that has captured less attention but still offers great potential.
Centred in New Brunswick, the Smart Grid Initiative is developing a range of products that utilities can use in their grids to accommodate the coming revolution in electricity production. The work has been going on for about five years, and recently received a push from its application for federal supercluster funding.
The initiative didn’t make the shortlist of proposals that will divide $950-million in federal supercluster funding (the oceans proposal was the only Atlantic Canadian finalist), but the Fredericton team is continuing with the hopes of tapping other federal programs for funds.
Senior members of the smart grid team say that just applying for the supercluster program helped to sharpen their focus.
“Originally, this was a bit more university-driven, and then the supercluster came out and there was the demand for it to be industry-led,” said Pierre Mullin, vice-president of Digital Grid Software Solutions, at Siemens in Fredericton.
“One message that industry is giving the federal government is that we’re really good at doing research here in Canada but we’re not very good at commercializing that research.”
Read more about this story in Entrevestor.