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Clusters Overview

In Working Paper 1, A view of Ontario: Ontario’s clusters of innovation, we reviewed the importance of clusters of traded industries to an economy’s productivity, innovation, and standard of living. Professor Michael Porter of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, Harvard Business School has identified the contribution of clusters of traded industries to regional and national economies.

Traded industries are those that are typically concentrated in specific geographic areas and sell to markets beyond their local region. Porter identifies two other types of industries: local industries, which are typically present in most geographic areas and primarily serve the local market; and natural resource industries, which are located primarily on the basis of resource endowments.

In Working Paper 5, Strengthening structures: Upgrading specialized support and competitive pressure, we examined the effectiveness of Ontario’s clusters of traded industries versus peer states.

The Institute has collaborated with the Harvard-based Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness to measure clusters in Canada, the ten provinces and Census Metropolitan Areas in a manner consistent with their measurement of US clusters.  For further information on the US clusters of traded industries, visit the Cluster Mapping Project at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness.

Previously the cluster data available on the Institute’s website was based on Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) to be consistent with US data calculated by the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness. The data has now been updated to North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) since the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness is now using NAICS-based data.

To find out more about Canada’s clusters of traded industries,click here.

To review analysis of specific clusters in Ontario and around the world click here.