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Canada: investment in innovation clusters

The Canadian government offers a wide range of investment incentives designed to promote broader policy objectives, including the development of innovation clusters.

Some of these incentives were described in a State Department report on Canadian investment.

For one, Export Development Canada offers financial support for inward investment under certain conditions.

Investment

The government maintains a Strategic Innovation Fund that provides funding to companies that advance “Canada‘s innovative ecosystem.”

Canada also offers incentives through the Innovation Superclusters Initiative, which is investing more than $700 million over five years (2017-2022) to accelerate economic and investment growth in Canada.

The five superclusters focus on digital technology, protein industries, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and the ocean.

Even foreign companies can apply for supercluster funding.

A report by the Parliamentary Budget Office of Canada for 2020 concluded that Supercluster Initiative spending was lagging behind budget targets and that the Initiative was unlikely to meet its 10-year goal of increasing GDP by $37 billion.

Mining and tourism

Several provinces offer incentive programs to foreign companies.

The U.S. Department of State reports that these incentives are usually limited to companies established in the province or that agree to establish a facility there.

Quebec is implementing the “Plan Nord” (Northern Plan), a 25-year program to encourage the development of natural resources in its northern and arctic regions.

The program provides funding to facilitate infrastructure, mining, tourism and other investments. Ontario offers financial support for investments in specific sectors (e.g., life sciences) and in provincial areas such as northern Ontario, southwestern Ontario, rural Ontario and eastern Ontario.

In addition, Alberta offers companies a provincial tax credit of up to $220,000 per year for scientific research and experimental development, as well as Alberta Innovation Vouchers worth up to $75,000 to help small, early-stage technology and knowledge-driven companies commercialize their ideas and products more quickly.

 

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