The Innovation Superclusters Initiative – A Preliminary Analysis


Budget 2017 earmarked $918 million over five years for the Innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI). The federal money will assist with the creation of five “superclusters” across Canada, where the public and private sectors will undertake collaborative research. The Government projects that this initiative will lead to the creation of 50,000 jobs, increase GDP by $50 billion over 10 years, and accelerate innovation.

Federal funding is expected to be matched by contributions from non-federal entities, including the private sector, universities and other levels of government. Non-federal partners have announced $1,087 million over the same five-year period.

Data shared by the Government as of March 6, 2020 indicate that actual spending is lagging the original budget. The Government originally anticipated that it would have spent $104 million (or 11% of its total budget) by that point. In comparison, only $30 million was spent (29% of the original projection).