A group of technology organizations is calling on the federal government to bolster Canada’s semiconductor industry or risk talent and companies moving elsewhere. With the rapid growth of artificial intelligence and advancements in quantum computing, the group known as the Semiconductor Industry Leadership and Innovation Canada Action Network (SILICAN) said Monday that Canada has a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to set up the country for success in the semiconductor field. “This is not something that you can kind of sit out or wait,” said Benjamin Bergen, president of the Council of Canadian Innovators, a group supporting the country’s tech industry through advocacy work. “It’s a train that is leaving the station and either you’re on it or you’re not, and being smart and strategic is really going to matter here.” Bergen’s council, along with CMC Microsystems, Deep Tech Canada, Canada’s Semiconductor Council, Alliance for Semiconductor Innovation Canada and Optonique are SILICAN members. Rounding out SILICAN are the U15 Group of Research Universities, Canadian Innovation Network and the Semiconductor Ecosystem and Centre for Talent and Research. Semiconductors, often called chips for short, are a key component in electronics. Most companies rely on Taiwan, South Korea, China and Japan to produce their semiconductors, however geopolitical tensions and a microchip shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed several nations, including the U.S., to focus more on reshoring semiconductor businesses and talent. Bergen said Canada’s semiconductor industry is concentrated on compound semiconductor chips for high-powered machinery like cars and photonics — technology based around light waves that is frequently used in medical devices. The country also has strength in advanced packaging, which puts chips together and delves into how to connect them and create better systems.