Canadian Manufacturing

Technology companies launch Canada’s semiconductor council

The first industry-led coalition of its kind aims to transform Canada into a global hub for semiconductor research, design and manufacturing.

May 5, 2021  by CM Staff

MARKHAM — On May 5, a select group of Canadian business leaders, chip manufacturers, and investors announce Canada’s Semiconductor Council. With a mandate to build and lead Canada’s national semiconductor strategy and action plan, the coalition will work towards advancing Canadian competitiveness, strengthening trade partnerships, bolstering supply chain resilience, and propelling Canada to the forefront of the US$7 trillion global semiconductor industry.

Semiconductors underpin all emerging technologies, including electric vehicles, vaccine production, medical devices, consumer electronics, and the robotics used in precision agriculture. 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.

“Canada’s Semiconductor Council will play an important role in boosting exports and increasing Canada’s competitiveness in both traditional and innovative sectors,” explains the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, and Member of Parliament for Markham-Thornhill. “While we work towards a strong economic recovery, we also want to ensure Canada’s long-term competitiveness and growth. To do this, we recognize the importance of investing in our domestic semiconductor industry, which is key to so many technologies at the heart of our future economy — from artificial intelligence to quantum computing to green energy and everything in between.”

The Founding Members of Canada’s Semiconductor Council

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Salim Teja, Partner, Radical Ventures
Salim Teja is a Partner with Radical Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs applying artificial intelligence to transform massive industries. Salim brings experience in the technology sector as an entrepreneur, venture investor, corporate innovator and innovation ecosystem builder.

Pamela Pelletier, Country Manager, Dell
With over 20 years experience driving sales growth and career development in the technology industry, Pamela Pelletier is responsible for strategic direction, growth, and performance of the Dell Technologies Canadian organization.

Kevin O’Neil, Managing Director, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
With more than 20 years in the practice of law, Kevin O’Neil is the Managing Director of AMD Canada, which has more than 2,300 employees in Canada designing and developing leading-edge semiconductors in Canada. Kevin is responsible for AMD’s global intellectual property and AMD Canada’s government and university relationships.

Sarah Prevette, Angel Investor, CEO Future Design School, Founder of BetaKit
Named by Inc Magazine as one of the top entrepreneurs in North America, active technology investor and renowned thought leader in human centred design; Sarah Prevette founded Future Design School which works with academic institutions around the world to cultivate critical competencies that align with growing industries.

Melissa Chee, President & CEO, ventureLAB
Melissa Chee has over 20 years in tech as a past executive at a Canadian semiconductor scale-up and global multinationals. She is currently the President and CEO of ventureLAB, a leading tech hub which launched the Hardware Catalyst Initiative, Canada’s first and only state-of-the-art lab and incubator exclusively for Canadian founders developing transformational semiconductor and related hardware technologies and products.

Canada’s Semiconductor Council plans to focus on short-term and long-term actions across key pillars to transform Canada into a global hub for semiconductor research, design, and manufacturing. To unite and integrate our national ecosystem of organizations, the Council will focus in the following core areas: (1) Activating a critical mass of IP-rich anchor companies designing and manufacturing semiconductor and related products who choose to start, scale and invest in Canada to meet demand for the domestic and global market; (2) Attract, retain and galvanize Canadian skills and talent; (3) Scale Canadian pools of investment capital; (4) Expand strategic investment opportunities to Canada.