In this episode, the hosts delve into the critical role of the semiconductor industry and Canada's position within it. They are joined by Benjamin Bergen, the president of the Council of Canadian Innovators, who sheds light on the significance of semiconductors in driving technology and supporting our digital economy. Bergen emphasizes the geopolitical shift and the necessity for countries to have access to semiconductors.
The conversation revolves around the establishment of Silicon, an organization advocating for the Canadian semiconductor industry. The hosts and guest explore Canada's historical involvement in this industry, including the decline of companies like Nortel, and stress the need for government coordination and support. Bergen underscores the importance of government investment in domestic companies to foster the generation, retention, and commercialization of intellectual property. He argues that Canada should not rely on other countries for its semiconductor supply, but rather focus on building its own capacity.
The discussion further delves into the various areas within the semiconductor industry where Canada could make a significant impact, such as design and packaging. Bergen suggests that Canada should leverage its strengths and provide support to domestic companies in these specific areas. He also calls for a more coordinated approach from the government, bringing together different departments and stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategy for the semiconductor industry.
The hosts and guest also address the risks and challenges associated with investing in the semiconductor industry, while highlighting the potential benefits for Canada's economy and national security. They touch upon the importance of industrial policies and stress the need for government support in emerging industries.
Overall, this episode underscores the criticality of the semiconductor industry and advocates for a strategic approach from Canada to support domestic companies and bolster its own capacity in this field.