The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Canada's capital has discovered that having a chronic skills shortage can produce some innovative and long lasting spin-off benefits. Rather than look to government to provide a unilateral solution, industry, academe and government have pooled their experience and vision to create the National Capital Institute of Telecommunications.A collaboration of the National Research Council (NRC), the Communications Research Centre (CRC), the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, the Institute secured funding by bringing in major high-tech players like Nortel Networks, Newbridge Networks, Bell Nexxia, QNX Software and CrossKeys Systems. These companies not only bring cash, but also research infrastructure and expertise to strengthen the telecommunications research cluster in Ottawa. The Canada Foundation for Innovation is providing 40% of the Institute's $36-million budget.  Launched last week, the new consortium will focus on research related to wireless communications, high volume data transfer, multimedia and the Internet. Telecom re-search has been fueling the Ottawa economy for several decades, earning it the enviable reputation as "Silicon Valley North". The region now employs more people in high technology than in the public sector, and is also home to Canada's largest R&D spender - Nortel. Ottawa has a rich history of collaboration between industry and government labs. Last week's announcement promises to capitalize on that progress by bringing these players together under one roof at the CRC's headquarters. The CRC, in turn, will have a fibre optic link to the other three research nodes - located at the NRC and the two universities. If the model works, Ottawa will become a magnet for some of North America's hottest high tech talent. The next milestone is for Ottawa to win its $5-million bid to become the "Smart Community" for Ontario. Watch for news on that front within the next few weeks.