Coalition for Semiconductor Tech, $200M Fund to Catalyze Photonics Innovation in Canada

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MONTREAL, May 6, 2021 — Separate initiatives revealed May 5 will support photonics R&D in Canada. The Semiconductor Council, a coalition that will build and lead Canada’s semiconductor strategy and action plan, and a 200 million CAD venture capital fund to invest in early-stage deep tech to accelerate technologies in fields that include quantum, photonics, and foundational AI, have been announced.

In a press release to announce its formation and five founding members, the Semiconductor Council outlined its goal to advance Canadian competitiveness, strengthen trade partnerships, bolster supply chain resilience, and propel the country to the forefront of the global semiconductor industry. “As the global chip shortage continues to threaten major industries in Canada and around the world, there’s an urgent need for Canada to establish itself as a developer and manufacturer of semiconductor products — both for domestic use and global export,” the press release said.

“One of the biggest hurdles facing Canada’s domestic hardware and semiconductor companies is the lack of access to venture capital,” said Salim Teja, a founding Semiconductor Council member and a partner with Radical Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. “The launch of Canada’s Semiconductor Council is a significant step toward closing the gap to capital for Canadian technology companies, and a necessary measure to attract the billions of dollars in global investment that come with a thriving semiconductor sector.”

In a separate announcement, BDC Capital, the investment arm of Business Development Bank of Canada, launched a 200 million CAD deep tech venture fund. Through seed and Series A investments, the fund will help commercialize and scale Canadian-led research in sectors such as quantum technology and photonics.

Published: May 2021
The term quantum refers to the fundamental unit or discrete amount of a physical quantity involved in interactions at the atomic and subatomic scales. It originates from quantum theory, a branch of physics that emerged in the early 20th century to explain phenomena observed on very small scales, where classical physics fails to provide accurate explanations. In the context of quantum theory, several key concepts are associated with the term quantum: Quantum mechanics: This is the branch of...
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