Smart Manufacturing White Paper

Digital Technology Adoption: The Road to Canada's Economic Recovery

A look at the need to support the adoption of digital technologies within Canadian small and medium-sized SME manufacturers.

SME’s are the engine of are economic and health recovery

There has been a decades-long recognition of the need to support the adoption of digital technologies within Canadian small and medium-sized (SME) manufacturers. Several initiatives to achieve that objective were underway prior to the global pandemic, but massive unexpected disruptions from the global pandemic highlighted the vulnerability of Canadian SMEs who had not adopted digital strategies.

 It has been well documented that SME manufacturers already started or well on their way to evolving their digital adoption journey, were better positioned to pivot their operations and product development to mitigate the devastating impact of the global pandemic. Manufacturers are in the spotlight right now – previous resistance to digital technologies are outweighed by a sense of urgency.

“It is no longer a question of if plants need to digitize, but whether it can be done in time. -  Manufacturing Tomorrow.com, April 2020.

Looking forward to an economic recovery phase, SMEs manufacturers will be the major driver increasing jobs, strengthening and re-mapping domestic supply chain networks and creating new, high-value, export-ready products.

Unlocking Canada's 50,000+ traditional SME manufacturers' full potential and capabilities will lead Canada's recovery with an accelerated and comprehensive program to support the adoption of transformational technologies.

We need to support SMEs through education, funding, and talent so that they can compete on an equal footing to their multinational counter parts. New resources will enable SMEs to mitigate risk, leverage new technology and business opportunities to help them pivot into new sectors, export to new markets, create local resilient supply chains and innovate.

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