Innovation Superclusters Initiative

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada


Program overview

The Innovation Superclusters Initiative is investing up to $950 million to support business-led innovation superclusters with the greatest potential to energize the economy and become engines of growth. Through a small number of high-value, strategic investments this initiative is co-investing with industry in bold and ambitious proposals to strengthen Canada's most promising clusters and build superclusters at scale.

This initiative is a first of its kind for Canada, fostering stronger connections—from large anchor firms to start-ups, from post-secondary institutions to research and government partners—and opening the door to new forms of industry partnership. It represents a significant commitment to partnering with industry and supporting the success of leading domestic and global companies that choose to innovate in Canada.

Program information

In Budget 2017, the Government of Canada put forward the Innovation and Skills Plan—an agenda to spark growth and help Canada realize its potential as a global leader in innovation. To advance this agenda, we launched a new funding initiative to accelerate innovation through superclusters.

This initiative will incent large-scale industry partnerships, supported by other innovation ecosystem players, and asks them to work together on ambitious market-driven proposals to supercharge their regional innovation ecosystems, enhancing the growth and competitiveness of participating firms and maximizing economic benefits, including good, well-paying jobs and prosperity for Canada.

Innovation superclusters were selected following a two-phase application process. Funding is being delivered to industry-led consortia with strategic plans to:

  • Build a shared competitive advantage for their cluster that attracts cutting-edge research, investment and talent by addressing gaps, aligning strengths, enhancing attributes, and positioning it as a world-leading innovation hotbed;
  • Increase business expenditures on research and development (R&D) and advance a range of business-led innovation and technology leadership activities that will address important industrial challenges, boost productivity, performance and competiveness for Canada's sectors of economic strength;
  • Generate new companies, and commercialize new products, processes and services that position firms to scale, connect to global supply chains, transition to high-value activities and become global market leaders; and
  • Foster a critical mass of growth-oriented firms, and strengthen collaborations between private, academic and public sector organizations pursuing private-sector led innovation and commercial opportunities to enhance the cluster's pool of resources, capabilities and knowledge.

Proposals built on shared private sector commitment—demonstrated through matched industry funding—to leverage strengths, address gaps, and bring innovation ecosystem players together to work more strategically for the collective benefit of their supercluster.

Contact information

Telephone (toll-free in Canada): 1-800-328-6189
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