Urenio Watch Watch: Innovation Clusters

The Role of Local and Regional Clusters in Canada

“Innovation Systems and Economic Development: The Role of Local and Regional Clusters in Canada” is a five-year, $2.5 million study that examines the impact and importance of cluster-driven innovation in Canada. The first of its kind in Canada, this study investigates how local networks of firms and supporting infrastructure of institutions, businesses and people in communities across Canada interact to spark economic growth.

The research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, has been conducted through a collaborative effort of ISRN (Innovations Systems Research Network) researchers drawn from five regional nodes based in Atlantic Canada (ACISN), Quebec (RQSI), Ontario (ONRIS and PROMIS), and western Canada (Innocom). Representatives of ISRN’s diverse network of scholars, government partners, private and not-for-profit sectors and international collaborators, examine the dynamics of key clusters in both urban and non-urban centres.

While previous studies of innovation systems and economic development have been limited to individual regions, this project analyses how the growth of clusters contributes to economic growth and development within a number of regions across Canada. Research focuses on more than 20 clusters across the five regions in newly emerging knowledge-intensive areas (ie: biomedical, photonics/wireless) as well as in more traditional sectors (ie: manufacturing, wood products, food and beverage, automotive and steel). It focuses on large metropolitan settings located near research-intensive universities as well as in rural settings.