Possibilities grounded in research: independent reports


Access research to learn more about the concept of clusters, how they are performing in other global economies, and the kinds of benefits that come from developing these ecosystems.

Taking Stock of Canada's Superclusters

This report from the Brookfield Institute is authored by former Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), John Knubley.

Having led ISED from 2012 to 2019, John Knubley steered the design, launch and implementation of the Global Innovation Clusters, formerly known as the Innovation Superclusters Initiative.

The article positions Canada as a leader for early, collaborative investments across these industries through the Government of Canada-supported Global Innovation clusters.

— John Knubley. (April 2021). Brookfield Institute.

Read the Brookfield Institute article on Canada's Innovation clusters

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Restart, recover, and reimagine prosperity for all Canadians

The study was undertaken by Canada's Industry Strategy Council at ISED's request in 2020 to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on Canada's economy and identify the scope and depth of its impact on industry. This paper also focuses on potential solutions to important challenges in order to boost recovery and build a framework to impact economic outcomes with the right strategic investments and policy changes. It suggests the global pandemic may be an opportunity for transformative change to make Canada a front runner in some of the world's most promising sectors and enhance the wealth and prosperity of all Canadians.

— Murad Al-Katib , John Baker, Rhonda Barnet, Paviter Binning, Ben Cowan-Dewar, Karimah Es Sabar, Karen Hamberg, Mark Little, Sylvie Vachon. (October 2020). Industry Strategy Council of Canada.

Read the Industry Strategy Council study on the road to economic recovery in Canada

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The Superclusters Initiative: An Opportunity to Reinforce Innovation Ecosystems

The study from the Institute for Research on Public Policy examines the Government's key performance indicators for the clusters program and argues for the development of new indicators that can measure the impact and potential of these ecosystems.

— Catherine Beaudry and Laurence Solar-Pelletier. (October 2020). Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP).

Read the report from the Institute for Research on Public Policy


Transforming our approach to supply chains for sustainable economic growth

This article highlights how foundational next-generational technologies including 5G networks, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and cybersecurity will power the growth of new industries and supply chains in Canada including Advanced Manufacturing, Ocean Technologies, Digital Platforms and Renewable Energy. The article positions Canada as a leader for early, collaborative investments across these industries through the Government of Canada-supported Innovation clusters initiative.

— Harry Sharma. (June 2020). The Conference Board of Canada.

Read the Conference Board of Canada article


L'écosystème d'innovation de la région Grand Est

The report from Le Conseil économique social et environnemental régional du Grand Est (CESER) focuses on the innovation ecosystem in the district of Grand Est. In the face of low rates of innovation in the region, the report proposes new ways to develop and facilitate it to drive economic growth, and breaks down the different components and actors.

Virginie Willaime, Luc Duponcel, Sylvain-Loup Jacquot. (October 2019). Les Avis et Rapports du CESER.

Read the CESER report on the innovation ecosystem in Grand Est (in French only)

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Understanding Innovation Ecosystems: A Framework for Joint Analysis and Action

This paper from the Cambridge MIT D-Lab offers a framework for practitioners to promote a better understanding of local innovation ecosystems. It is intended to be used as a tool during conversations with ecosystem actors on the state of a particular ecosystem and how to further develop.

— Elizabeth Hoffecker, Elizabeth. (2019).Cambridge: MIT D-Lab.

Read the Cambridge MIT D-Lab's report on understanding innovation ecosystems


Rethinking Cluster Initiatives

This Brookings Institution paper is intended to help regional leaders make informed decisions about cluster initiatives. It takes evidence from a literature review, expert interviews, and five case studies to explore why clusters matter, interventions to support clusters, the organizational structures of clusters, and common traits in successful clusters.

— Ryan Donahue, Joseph Parilla, and Brad McDearman. (July 2018). Brookings Institute.

Read the Brookings Institution report on rethinking cluster initiatives


Clusters and Innovation Districts: Lessons from the United States Experience

This Brookings Institution paper examines the benefits of clusters as well as common success factors needed for cluster development. By examining the role of government interventions in each cluster, this paper offers key lessons for policymakers and other local actors such as universities, community leaders, and businesses.

— Martin Neil Baily and Nicholas Montalbano. (May 2018). Brookings Institution.

Read the Brookings Institution report on clusters and innovation districts


Écosystèmes et modèles d'affaires : Introduction

This study shows that the joint mobilization of the concepts of business models and business ecosystems facilitates the analysis of new innovation processes, such as the understanding of how an economic system is organized, managed or evolves.

— Amel Attour, Thierry Burger-Helmchen (2014). Écosystèmes et modèles d'affaires : introduction. Management Science, INFORMS

Read the report on ecosystems and business models (in French only)


Ernst & Young’s Economic Analysis of Canada’s Superclusters - Executive Summary

ISED engaged Ernst & Young LLP (EY) to conduct a three-year study of the Global Innovation Clusters (formerly Innovation Superclusters Initiative) economic impacts. Highlights of the EY report include significant progress by the Clusters toward creating or sustaining approximately 23,900 FTE jobs from FY 2018-19 to FY 2022-23 (on track to meet or exceed the 10-year target of 50,000 jobs) and other economic impacts, such as knowledge transfer, positive environmental impacts, and access to new global markets. This is the first in a series of reports, with future releases planned for 2023 and 2024.

Read the executive summary