This artical originally appeared on yorkregion.com

York Region’s technology sector is waiting to exhale.

The industry has been holding its breath since July, looking forward to an imminent announcement from the federal government.

Mulling over more than 50 bids, Ottawa is looking to provide $950 million in seed money to five “supercluster” groups developing bold technologies that will elevate Canada’s profile and supercharge their regional economies.

In York Region, the bid is being led by Markham-based regional innovation centre ventureLAB.

ventureLAB has pulled together more than 50 public and private organizations, which contributed more than $300 million, to submit their advanced microelectronics bid.

Microelectronics is the design, manufacture and use of microchips in “all kinds of cool devices,” ventureLAB chief operating officer Melissa Chee said.

“So, for the farmer that’s sitting in Stouffville, it means that his farming equipment gets to be cooler and faster,” she said.

The future development of driverless vehicles, artificial intelligence, medical devices and more are all microchip-dependent and York Region is a central player in the Canadian sector, Chee said.

“We have lots of these big, multinational technology leaders here in York Region, which makes us very unique in terms of the ecosystem across Ontario and across Canada, because we have all of these big players that spend an enormous amount of R and D (research and development) dollars in this region and it percolates across the country,” she said.

The “secret sauce” is getting traditional competitors to come together to work on this project, Chee said.

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