Building Knowledge Regions in North America

Building Knowledge Regions in North America

Emerging Technology Innovation Poles

Leonel Corona, Jérôme Doutriaux and Sarfraz A. Mian

Focusing on emerging technology regions of the US, Canada and Mexico, the authors provide an analysis of firms’ innovative milieus in three contexts: national systems of innovation, knowledge regions and incubation mechanisms. An overview of the evolution of each region over the past quarter century is presented, along with an evaluation of the effectiveness of science parks and technology incubators in various regional and national environments.

Chapter 3: Canada’s Innovation Poles and their Role as Technology Incubation Spaces

Leonel Corona, Jérôme Doutriaux and Sarfraz A. Mian

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, economics and finance, economics of innovation, regional economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, urban and regional studies, regional economics


INTRODUCTION Canada is known for its large size, northern climate and natural resources. Until recently, its economy was dominated by natural resource activities in mining, oil and gas, agriculture, forestry and related support industries. Services now account for over two-thirds of its economic output and manufacturing for a quarter, advanced technology products and services growing at a fast pace. It is a politically and economically decentralized country, with significant power at the provincial level. Its population, small relative to the size of the country, is spread out along the border with the United States in a number of medium size metropolitan centers. Those characteristics have affected the development of the country’s technology innovations poles (TIPs) in ways that may be unique. This chapter starts with an overview of the socio-economic context of the country and an outline of its innovation system at the national, provincial and regional levels. This is followed by a short description of the country’s main TIPs and a more detailed look at four of those poles with special focus on the dynamics of their development and some of the incubation mechanisms that have supported their development. 3.1 CANADA’S NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM Science and technology activities in Canada have, for many years, reflected its natural resource orientation, its size and its small population. Until the turn of the 20th century, agricultural research and geological mapping were the main research activities. The federal government created the National Research Council in 1916, first to encourage university and industrial research,...

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