Canada’s National Design Network® (CNDN) Prepares Next Generation of Knowledge Economy Leaders 

April 12, 2022: CMC Microsystems, Canada's leading hardware technology facilitator, and manager of Canada’s National Design Network® (CNDN), is pleased to share results from our recent study on CNDN alumni, and the training of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) in Canada.

CNDN, managed by CMC Microsystems, delivers technology services in design (CAD), fabrication (FAB), and research (LAB) to over 10,000 researchers in Canadian universities, colleges, and companies for designing and manufacturing microsystem and nanotechnology prototypes. Our network is focussed on areas of R&D that have high impact on Canadian industry and economic growth, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) & Artificial Intelligence, Quantum, Microelectronics, Photonics, and Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS).  

CNDN researchers graduate as “walking technology transfer,” bringing a holistic skillset into the marketplace. They receive training in Intellectual Property matters, export controls, confidentiality agreements, licensing requirements, and infrastructure-sharing.   

Highlights from our research include: 

  • On average, 700 HQP join industry in Canada annually 
  • Increased employer productivity: Thanks to training received at CNDN facilities, Canadian firms saved training costs averaging $7 million to $10 million annually 
  • Accelerated career progression: Alumni are about twice as likely to be in executive or management positions within 10 years, and about 25% more likely after 20 years.   
  • Greater employee retention and engagement: CNDN alumni remain with their employers longer than peers who did not use CNDN, and this effect is seen for up to 20 years.  
  • Over 70% of CNDN alumni continue to work in Canada for over 20 years in a hypercompetitive, globally integrated marketplace. 

For Gordon Harling, President and CEO of CMC Microsystems, CNDN is crucial for developing Canadian talent and firms. “Through CNDN, Canadian researchers gain access to a complete ecosystem of technological tools and processes that are not available anywhere else. This gives our graduates a competitive advantage. They are trained in highly relevant areas of technology so the transition to industry or creating new companies is much more effective”, he said. 

CNDN graduates have collaborated with and worked for over 1,000 Canadian firms from start-ups and scaleups to industry giants such as Intel, IBM, D-Wave, 1QBIT (ICT); FCA Canada, GM Canada (Auto/Transportation); Morgan Solar, Schlumberger (Environment/Energy); Abbott Laboratories, Eli-Lilly (Healthcare); Honeywell Aerospace, Thales (Defence/Safety/Security); and MDA Corporation, Pratt & Whitney (Aerospace).   

Our research also shows that over70% of the HQP continue to work and live in Canada 20 years following graduation. Retaining these very skilled employees benefits industry and contributes to the economic prosperity of communities across the country. 

“CNDN and CMC have a proven track record in driving research excellence. Our training offerings have a real impact on Canadian firms and universities who are competing in a highly globalized, competitive advanced technology space. All Canadians are seeing the benefits of Highly Qualified Personnel contribute to their communities” concluded Harling.     

About CMC Microsystems 

For more information: 
Kevin Dobie 
CMC Microsystems 

© 2022 and Reg. TM – CMC Microsystems. All rights reserved 

Accelerate your project by adding CMC to your R&D team!

Scroll to Top

We use cookies

CMC uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

Skip to content