Ottawa cut from short list for 'supercluster' funding

Ottawa cut from short list for 'supercluster' funding

Mayor Jim Watson said he's disappointed Ottawa has been left out of an innovation-boosting "supercluster" fund that could have sparked more tech jobs in the capital.

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The federal government released its short list of consortiums in the running for a piece of a $950-million fund aimed at bringing together universities, companies and not-for-profits to come up with new new ideas that can be brought to market.

"We thought we had a realistic shot at it," Watson said.

The short list includes two Ontario innovation hubs, including Waterloo. Watson said he's not sure why Ottawa was left out.

"We often get overshadowed by Waterloo," Watson said. "We're four times bigger than Waterloo in terms of our tech sector and number of employees."

He said Ottawa also has the highest number per capita of PhD, engineering and scientists graduating in Canada, and the second-highest in North America after Silicon Valley.

Watson said the government didn't release the reasons it cut Ottawa from the short list.

Ottawa companies could potentially partner with shortlisted consortiums before the winning bids are awarded, which the government said will happen by March.