Advancing Alberta’s manufacturing sector is the goal behind a new initiative launched by Central Alberta Access Prosperity this week.
Officials say partner organizations will collaborate to create a Manufacturing & Export Enhancement Supercluster that is hoped to help the local industry adapt.
“The face of manufacturing in our region is changing rapidly, with greater changes on the horizon,” reads a statement from Pam Steckler, Managing Director at Access Prosperity. “A formal industry network is needed to bring manufacturers together to increase competitiveness, share best practices, solve common challenges, and identify and address market gaps and export opportunities.”
“Through networking and educational events, the Manufacturing & Export Enhancement Supercluster will address concerns such as the slow adoption of new technologies, lack of collaboration between companies and institutions, limited access to equipment, lack of awareness of new technologies, and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she continues. “The cluster will include manufacturers of all sizes, primarily in the petroleum, energy, agriculture, and commercial sectors.”
“Forming this partnership presents a fantastic opportunity for all of Alberta’s manufacturing sector,” adds Joel Gingrich, Dean, School of Trades and Technologies, Red Deer College. “RDC is proud to provide expertise and resources through our Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing, joining forces with Innotech Alberta, the Alberta Additive Manufacturing Network, and Access Prosperity to support both our region and Alberta’s economic well-being.”
Partners for the Manufacturing & Export Enhancement Supercluster include Access Prosperity, Innotech Alberta and Red Deer College’s Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing.
Officials say the supercluster will originate in central Alberta and is expected to expand outwards.
According to officials, the Manufacturing & Export Enhancement Supercluster has already seen significant interest from industry and government funding and the partners continue to explore appropriate funding options and partnerships.
“With the anticipated success of the manufacturing cluster, we foresee similar initiatives with complimentary industry sectors in the future,” concludes Steckler.