If the federal government approves the creation of a mining supercluster it could mean good things for Sudbury.
In November, the proposal from the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) and the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) was shortlisted.
The full application to the Government of Canada's Innovation Superclusters Initiative was officially submitted this week.
A supercluster is a group of stakeholders who work together to move a particular industry forward. It is made up of companies, post secondary institutions, not-for-profit organizations and even municipalities.
Up to five proposals will be chosen in May 2018 to get major federal funding to create superclusters in specific industries.
Genesis of idea came from Sudbury
It was just over a year ago that local Members of Parliament told the city and mining stakeholders about the opportunity from the federal government, says Ian Wood, Sudbury's director of economic development.
Initially, the proposal for a mining supercluster began in Sudbury, but due to the scope of the idea, Wood says it turned into a national effort. The community then began to convince other partners to come on board.
"We have a lot to offer both nationally and internationally and we believe this [supercluster] program will allow us to do that and reach our full potential," Wood says.
The mining proposal seeks about $185 million from the federal government to support research in commercialization specific to the mining industry; to make it competitive globally in things like water sustainability, energy sustainability and environmental sustainability. It is meant to continue to advance the mining industry to the next level.
Benefits: jobs, research, economic spinoff
This would benefit mining companies around Sudbury, says Wood. Because of the amount of industry-related work that already goes on in the city, a mining supercluster would translate into jobs and economic spinoffs.
Wood also adds that Sudbury has some of the best research in hard rock, innovation and commercialization. Many of the projects supported by a supercluster would occur here.
"We're very excited as to where we are. We know there's a lot of work and competition out there, but we believe that we really are a truly global cluster here in Sudbury."
Should the mining proposal not be chosen for the supercluster initiative, Wood says there are certain elements of the plan that could be developed either with companies directly or with additional support from various levels of government.
"We're not getting off this train no matter what happens."