Canadian innovation

Innovation supports investment and growth

Innovation is key to Canada’s success as a global player and investment destination. It keeps Canadian products and services competitive and opens doors to new markets and opportunities.

As a nation, we are stronger together. Canadians from all backgrounds and disciplines nurture Canada’s innovation ecosystem. They are the thinkers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, researchers and policymakers who collaborate, build on their strengths and lead the charge.

Ecosystem nurtures innovation

The Canadian innovation ecosystem includes business incubators that work with entrepreneurs, start-ups and early stage companies to find the expertise, funding and information they need to bring their innovative product or service to market.

Accelerators bring companies together for a specific amount of time to connect with mentors, investors, market intelligence and other resources they need to grow their existing business or expand into new markets. Innovation hubs bring together a city or region’s distinct strengths – for example, in high tech, manufacturing, life sciences, sustainable technologies and more. These hubs stimulate ideas and work collaboratively on strategies that leverage local talents and expertise.

Universitiesand collegesResearchersResearch institutesPrivatebusinessesNot-for-profitsInnovationSuperclustersThe Canadianinnovation ecosystemInnovation hubsInvestorsand lenders$EntrepreneursHighly skilledworkforceBusinessincubatorsAccelerators
Universities and colleges Researchers Research institutes Private businesses Not-for-profits The Canadian innovation ecosystem Accelerators Business incubators Highly skilled workforce Entrepreneurs Innovation Superclusters Innovation hubs Investors and lenders $
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    Graphic that depicts the various players in Canada's innovation ecosystem.

    The Canadian innovation ecosystem

    • Accelerators
    • Business incubators
    • Highly skilled workforce
    • Entrepreneurs
    • Innovation hubs
    • Innovation Superclusters
    • Investors and lenders
    • Not-for-profits
    • Private businesses
    • Research institutes
    • Researchers
    • Universities and colleges

Canada’s Innovation Superclusters

Canada’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative is designed to leverage public-private partnerships with companies, post-secondary institutions and research centres to foster economic growth and create jobs through innovation in advanced manufacturing, digital technology, artificial intelligence, agriculture and ocean sciences.

The Innovation Superclusters Initiative encourages businesses to nurture and lead innovation ecosystems that strategically drive growth, develop technology, attract skilled workers and promote research in specific industries in Canada.

  • 50 000 jobs across Canada
  • $50 billion in economic growth over 10 years
  • $950 million in targeted investments over 5 years

The Government of Canada is investing $950 million over 5 years, with matching funds from private businesses and organizations, to grow Canadian capabilities and strengths. The Innovation Superclusters include:

Advanced manufacturing

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) helps identify trends, challenges and opportunities in the manufacturing sector. This supercluster connects and fosters cooperation among key players and matches companies with government funding. The goal? To help Canada emerge a leader in advanced manufacturing. Areas of focus include additive manufacturing (3D printing), cybersecurity, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT).

NGen supports projects that develop new processes, speed up manufacturing and delivery times, and help manufacturers improve the health, safety and environmental sustainability of their businesses.

Projected impact: $13.5 billion and 13,500 jobs over 10 years
Participants: 130 organizations , including Autodesk, Clearpath Robotics, Communitech, Linamar, Myant and Thelmic Labs

Car driving out of the University of Waterloo’s Autonomous Vehicle Research and Intelligence Lab in Ontario.
Autonomous Vehicle Research and Intelligence Lab at the University of Waterloo, Ontario

Artificial intelligence (AI) is Canada’s artificial intelligence supercluster. Its mandate is to explore and expand on the possibilities of AI in real-world applications in all industries in Canada and for companies of all sizes.

With AI, the possibilities are endless.’s current projects include developing intelligent solutions to help shipyards plan for unexpected events and reducing the time it takes to install and repair telecommunications equipment.

Projected impact: $16.5 billion and 16,000 jobs over 10 years
Participants: 110 participants, including Bombardier, CAE, Intel, RBC Royal Bank, Thales and Thomson Reuters

Digital technology

Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster brings together companies across all industries in Canada to develop collaborative digital technology projects. This supercluster is shining the spotlight on Canadian ideas and our skilled technology workforce, leading the charge to put Canada at the forefront of the global digital innovation industry. The supercluster’s technology focus includes virtual, mixed and augmented reality; data collection and analytics; and quantum computing.

Current projects include developing technology that will collect imaging to track climate change and global water consumption.

Projected impact: $5 billion and 13,500 jobs over 10 years
Participants: 270 organizations, including Cisco, Dell, GE, Hootsuite and Microsoft

Large propeller entering the ocean.

Ocean sciences

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster works with stakeholders in ocean-related industries to develop Canadian capabilities and position Canada as a leader in ocean sciences. The supercluster is improving data sharing and finding solutions to ocean challenges to make Canada a prime destination for ocean companies. Its technology focus areas include automation, autonomous marine vehicles, digital sensors and monitoring, energy generation, marine biotechnology and marine engineering technologies.

The supercluster is nurturing entrepreneurial skills among ocean sciences graduate students so they can put their university-based research innovations into action. It’s also working on innovative solutions to monitor fish health and movement.

Projected impact: $14 billion and 3,000 jobs over 10 years
Participants: 110 participants, including ABB, IBM, Kraken, Microsoft and Siemens

Protein industries

Protein Industries Canada brings together industry players to develop new technologies that improve Canadian agriculture and food production. Its goal is to establish Canada as a world leader in plant-based products and co-products.

The supercluster’s projects include developing crops that meet growing worldwide demand for plant-based products and researching new ingredients to grow the global aquaculture sector.

Projected impact: $4.5 billion and 4,500 jobs over 10 years
Participants: 100 organizations, including Agrocorp, Blockchain Association of Canada, CN, Maple Leaf Foods and Roquette