Superclusters in Canada

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada


Canada is in a global innovation race. The nation is competing with countries around the world for the most talented people, the newest technologies, and the fastest-growing companies. As part of the Innovation and Skills Plan—an agenda to spark growth and help Canada realize its potential as a global leader in innovation—we are accelerating business-led innovation superclusters to deliver real results for Canadians.

  • Clusters are dense area of business activity containing a critical mass of large and small companies, post-secondary and other research institutions. They energize the economy and act as engines of growth.
  • Superclusters build on the advantages of a cluster. Comparatively, these innovation hotbeds have stronger connections, a long-term competitive advantage, global brand recognition, and an outsized positive impact on job creation and economic growth.

Canada is home to world-class innovation and industrial clusters, with strong technology leadership. These clusters are engines of innovation that support the development and growth of globally competitive Canadian companies. The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening Canada's most promising clusters so that Canada continues to develop and attract the best ideas, brightest talent and smart capital necessary for success.

Through the Innovation Superclusters Initiative, we are investing up to $950 million over five years to support business-led innovation superclusters with the greatest potential to build world-leading innovation ecosystems, secure Canada's future as an innovation leader, and accelerate economic growth. To build a better Canada, the Innovation Superclusters Initiative is intended to be truly responsive to industry demand. Leaders from across highly innovative industries have been invited to engage in transformational thinking to identify the specific activities, priorities and initiatives with the greatest potential to accelerate a supercluster advantage by building on strengths and addressing gaps in their regional innovation ecosystems.

How superclusters help innovation

Globally, companies are grappling with an unprecedented rate of change. To remain at the forefront of competition, address key challenges and build a shared advantage, firms must partner in new ways. Industry leaders, whether they are start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), or large corporations, look to multi-sector collaboration, open innovation, and partnerships with researchers, post-secondary institutions and other innovators to deliver solutions.

Superclusters make it easier for innovators and potential customers to harness the strengths of their local ecosystems, to work closely together on the research, development and demonstration activities that will lead to major commercial opportunities and boost productivity across industries, and to create jobs and drive economic growth. The development and growth of superclusters will support the health of the Canadian economy by:

  • advancing Canadian technological capabilities and serving as a magnet for cutting-edge research, investment and talent;
  • helping companies succeed in the global marketplace with new products, processes and opportunities to grow; and
  • building long-term advantage and global brand recognition for Canada that will lead to growth, job creation and success for firms across industries.
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