Canada and the EU are engaged in a strong historical partnership - willing to be reinforced by the recent Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), signed by both parts on October 30th, 2016.

Canada has developed a large and promising cluster & supercluster community, supported by ambitious governmental policies in favour of research and innovation. Key sectors: advanced manufacturing, clean technologies and energies, digital economy, agri-food, health and bio-sciences. The Canadian government has decided to concentrate its action by supporting the five superclusters thanks to a $950 million CAD investment for 5 years, as of 2018.

Economic and political context and framework

Canada is considered as one of the most attractive countries in terms of business environment, with an easy access to business investments, in a particularly stable political context. The current government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is looking towards strong policies to support research and innovation, in high value-added sectors such as advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technologies and digital industries.

Cluster community in the country

Essentially based in the provinces of Ontario and Québec, some of the largest Canadian clusters could be considered as “superclusters”, such as Toronto Waterloo Corridor, Ontario Aerospace Council or Toronto region’s Human Health & Sciences cluster. In Québec, the Montréal’s Metropolitan clusters is a huge cluster network strongly advanced in the field of cluster policy and firmly international-looking.

In addition, there are five superclusters, funded at the federal level on strategic domains, as the result of the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The five superclusters are the following: the Digital Supercluster, the Protein Supercluster, the Artificial Intelligence Supply Chain Supercluster, the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster and the Ocean Supercluster. A cluster data base is available on the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity’s website, and the related mapping currently under construction. The Institute has listed a total of 67 clusters around the country.

Cluster policies encouraging the development and internationalisation of clusters

Mainly driven by the ambitious Innovation & Skills Pan, a governmental program launched in March 2017, and the new Global Markets Action Plan, cluster policies are also supported by Innovation Canada, with a $50 million CAD contribution to research and innovation. Read more...

For the period 2017-2022, the Innovation Superclusters Initiative will be at the heart of cluster policies. This competition providing a $950 million investment budget will help giving an accurate typology of Canadian clusters and superclusters by rewarding few of the best initiatives across the country. Read less.

Cluster to cluster cooperation opportunities and potential interest from European clusters and SMEs

Cluster cooperation between the EU and Canada is not led by a specific bilateral convention, however the enforcement of cooperation policies and an increasing number of bottom-up initiatives contribute to a global collaboration process. International partnerships involving businesses are already supported by local initiatives, such as the Enterprise Canada Network, or European ones, like the Enterprise Europe Network.


Also, the International Cleantech Network should be mentioned, as one of the main cluster networks specialised in clean technologies. Canada is also targeted by a number of European Strategic Cluster Partnerships – Going International (ESCPs-4i) within their internationalization strategy, in sectors like agri-food, health and bio-sciences, clean technologies and transportation.

. In these sectors, some success stories deserve to be mentioned, such as the Skywin and Aero Montréal collaboration (aerospace) or the Alsace BioValley and MEDTEQ partnership (healthcare). Read less.

Key Facts

Capital: Ottawa

Population: 36,155,487 (2016)

Total area: 9,984,670 km2

GDP per capita: $46,199 (2016)

Gross domestic product: $1.672 trillion (2016)

Currency: Canadian dollar (CAD)



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Check out what has been achieved so far in cooperation with this strategic cluster partner

In October 2018, a delegation of 13 members from Vitagora and Wagralim took part in a partnership mission to Canada, on the occasion of BENEFIQ, the healthy food event in Québec city, and thanks to the support of Natural Products Canada, the NFIF local partner.

Over four months, Atelier du Fruit (FR) had been actively engaged in the mission preparation. As a first step, a diagnosis had been completed for the company’s internationalisation to understand the needs and the relevant support to be implemented to access the market. Next, the profile of targeted partners was identified, which...

ESCP-4is targetting this country

Acronym Name Technology Fields Sectoral Industries Targeted third countries No. of SME involved No. of Partners
EACP ABROAD Activities and Businesses from Real Opportunities for Aerospace Developments (EACP network) Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, United States 1355 11
ADMANTEX2i Advanced Manufacturing and Advanced Textile Materials going international to strengthen resilience and to empower industrial recovery
D\: Textiles; paper:Natural or artificial threads or fibres; spinning
Manufacturing:C13 Manufacture of textiles
Manufacturing:C28 Manufacture of machinery and equipment n.e.c.
United States, Canada, Japan 720 6
CircInWater Boosting the triple transitions through innovative water-smart solutions
Manufacturing:C10 Manufacture of food products
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities:E36 Water collection, treatment and supply
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities:E38 Waste collection, treatment and disposal activities; materials recovery
Canada, United States
BRIDGE Building Relations to go International for Data-Driven Growing Enterprises (start-ups and SMEs)
G\: Physics:Information and communication technology [ICT] specially adapted for specific application fields
Information and communication:J61 Telecommunications
Information and communication:J62 Computer programming, consultancy and related activities
United Arab Emirates, United States, Israel, China, Canada 200 4
C2Future Clusters for Cities of the Future
E\: Fixed constructions:Building
Y\: General tagging of new technological developments:Technologies or applications for mitigation or adaptation against climate change
Y\: General tagging of new technological developments:Y04 - Information or communication technologies having an impact on other technology areas
Other service activities:S94 Activities of membership organisations
Algeria, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, United States 400 6