“Understanding Canada’s push for superclusters”: by Emergence Partner, Grant Thornton

May 25, 2017

This is “Part Two” of a three part series entitled “Innovation and the Canadian economy” from Emergence financial Partner, Grant Thornton, designed to help our clients “decode” some of the implications of Budget 2017. Click to read Part One and Part Three!

screen-shot-2017-01-23-at-1-21-28-pmThe Canadian economy

Innovation has become one of the most important features of the new Canadian economy, with the goal of promoting corporate growth and job creation.

The Canadian government is working to define a new vision for the economy and to build Canada as a centre of global innovation.

Emerging from Silicon Valley, superclusters, accelerators and research centres now stretch from Boston to New York City, and have begun springing up outside the United States in countries such as Canada, China and the United Kingdom. These centres act as a springboard to foster originality and experimentation, drive economic growth and spur job creation.

To nurture innovation in a region and develop a supercluster, the following resources are required: 

  • Highly skilled talent.
  • Companies of all sizes .
  • Post-secondary institutions.
  •  Specialized infrastructure to support business and quality of life.
  •  Access to growth capital.

Canada’s innovation investment

To make Canada a vibrant part of the innovation landscape, the Canadian government plans to invest $950 million over the next five years to support business-led superclusters that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth.

This is all part of Canada’s commitment to become a centre of global innovation, as recently confirmed in the 2017 federal budget.

Provision for this investment was made in 2016, when the government committed to draw $800 million from the 2016 budget provision for innovation networks and clusters, and $150 million from the public transit and green infrastructure funding provisioned in the 2016 Fall Economic Statement.

The focus will be on superclusters that support highly innovative industries, such as advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital technology, bio-sciences and clean resources, as well as infrastructure and transportation.

Innovation in these areas will drive business specialization and help attract foreign direct investment into Canada.

As an added benefit, this and other superclusters can help promote innovation in Canada as they encourage:

  • Risk diversification—superclusters provide a platform to develop disruptive technologies.
  • Connections—superclusters foster strong connections between businesses of various sizes and research institutions that support private sector-led research and development that is linked to commercial outcomes with application in the real economy.
  • Collaboration—along with encouraging knowledge sharing, superclusters provide entrepreneurial companies with access to diverse and skilled talent pools, enhanced by mentoring.

To learn more about superclusters and how Grant Thornton is moving the Canadian innovation economy forward, please contact: Martha Oner, National Leader, R&D and Government Incentives T +1 519-744-2333. E-mail: Martha.Oner@ca.gt.com

About Grant Thornton in Canada

Grant Thornton LLP is a leading Canadian accounting and advisory firm providing audit, tax and advisory services to private and public organizations. We help dynamic organizations unlock their potential for growth by providing meaningful, actionable advice through a broad range of services. Together with the Quebec firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP, Grant Thornton in Canada has approximately 4,000 people in offices across Canada. Grant Thornton LLP is a Canadian member of Grant Thornton International Ltd, whose member and correspondent firms operate in over 100 countries worldwide.