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Credit: Canada's Digital Technology Supercluster

The Digital Technology Supercluster’s program encompasses many organizations in the name of providing support to health-care employees

Sue Paish sums up the Canada’s Technology Supercluster quite simply. “We solve big problems, and we do it quickly,” says the CEO of the B.C.-based, federal government–funded outfit, which brings together organizations in different industries across the country in the hope of spurring innovation.

So Paish and her team sprang to action when they heard that frontline health-care workers were experiencing a serious lack of PPE (personal protective equipment).

The Supercluster enlisted Burnaby-based app developer Traction on Demand to build an online platform and brought together the Business Council of British Columbia and the provincial government, among others. 

In just one week, the COVID-19 Supply Hub was born, with the goal of expediting the supplies needed to keep health-care workers safe. Through the Government of B.C. website, the hub will also let individual health authorities throughout the province post their specific needs, allowing for a more localized, timely and effective approach.

“We drove hard to deliver a solution to that problem, from identification of that problem to actioning a solution in seven days,” Paish says. “So that’s what we do—we make these things work.”

The Supercluster's efforts to combat the pandemic don’t end there. Paish says her organization is reviewing 130 COVID-related proposals, one of which aims to provide health-care workers and discharged patients with fresh and safe food. To that end, the Supercluster has been collaborating with Burnaby-based e-grocer Food-X Technologies.

“There are organizations across the country coming to us saying, We know you can help us find partners to collaborate around a solution, we know you move fast, we know you produce outcomes,” Paish explains. “We’ve been very gratified with the outpouring of support from the entire community across Canada.”