Entrepreneurial Opportunities Enabled through Microsystems


Dave Barnes
Vice-President, Industry Development, ITAC

This month’s 16th annual Executive Forum on Microelectronics certainly lived up to its reputation as one of the premier gatherings of Canada’s microelectronics and microsystems community – and what a better a way to kick it off than with the CMC/ITAC Banquet, “Celebrating Excellence.”

What made this evening so special was the transition from the brightest up-and-comers in the Canadian industry to the true legends that have helped lead the industry to where it is today.  The CMC Awards celebrate the bleeding edge of innovation coming out of our nation’s universities – what an impressive group of innovators this represents.  They also served as a tremendous segue into the ITAC/SMC Outstanding Services Awards, which celebrate the current microelectronics industry leaders and all they’ve done technically and non-technically, to advance the Canadian industry.  Winners of these awards were the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Adel Sedra, and retired professor and esteemed author, Kenneth Carless Smith.

The forum itself began with some insightful presentations that set the context for the day, including an overview and key trends in the microsystems marketplace, as well as a presentation by ITAC President and CEO, Bernard Courtois, on how this sector fits into Canada’s Digital Economy Strategy.

Our afternoon sessions shifted the focus toward discussing and addressing the key challenges companies in this industry face.  Appropriately, the day wrapped-up with a discussion around the opportunity to develop a world-leading Canadian microsystems ecosystem.

Thanks to all the day’s presenters; the conference hit the mark in terms of what participants were expecting.  The forum was described as intelligent, insightful, provocative, interactive, fun and everything in between.  We would also like to thank our organizing committee and sponsors for helping to make this event possible. 

One of the important things we’ll take away from this forum is the participants’ resounding enthusiasm for the idea that the dialogue around how to build a world-leading microelectronics ecosystem in Canada must continue, and ITAC looks forward to playing its role in moving this forward.


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