Canada's Regional Innovation System

Canada's Regional Innovation System: The Science-based Industries

Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 184
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  • Book Info
    Canada's Regional Innovation System
    Book Description:

    While aerospace and aircraft form two poles in Montreal and Toronto, Ottawa is Canada's centre for semiconductor and telecommunication innovation. Niosi explores how these regional configurations are shaped by national and provincial public policy incentives.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7243-0
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Tables, Figures and Sidebars
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-2)
    Jorge Niosi
  5. 1 Introduction: Regional Production Systems and Regional Systems of Innovation
    (pp. 3-20)

    Debates about regional agglomeration of production started with Alfred Marshall at the beginning of the twentieth century and continued with François Perroux and others in the 1960s on industrial poles. More recently, Krugman (1991) has coined the term “economic geography.” These writings, however, analyse regionalproductionsystems, i.e. local agglomeration of productive firms based on the availability of some natural resource, pools of labour force, or major markets (Ragni, 1997). The new emerging literature since the 1990s has been about regionalinnovationsystems, the agglomeration of firms and other institutions devoted to the creation of new and improved technology. These...

  6. 2 Methods: Patent Analysis and Related Techniques
    (pp. 21-28)

    This book relies on a variety of methods to identify innovative firms and innovative regions. The two most frequently used are patent analysis and licenses to patents. We have also identified – whenever possible – major R&D laboratories, both private and public (including their personnel and research expenditure), as well as research universities and other major agents in the innovative process, such as venture capital firms and venture capital financing by region. Finally, again whenever possible we also studied spin-offs and new firm foundation as indicators of the dynamic character of regions. Such an array of indicators allows us to...

  7. 3 Biotechnology
    (pp. 29-60)

    Biotechnology is a set of technologies developed in the postwar period, particularly since the 1970s. Most prominent are genetic engineering, recombinant DNA, genetic therapies, monoclonal antibodies, bioremediation, and biofiltration. They apply to human health diagnostics and therapies, agriculture, environment, food, mining, and pulp and paper industries (see tables 3.1 and 3.2). In short, these technologies allow the development of new drugs and diagnostics kits with substantial cost reductions, as well as the genetic modification of plants, animals, and bacteria for higher agricultural yields, new food products, and environmental purposes.

    Promotion of new biotechnology has been a priority for the Canadian...

  8. 4 Aircraft systems of Innovation
    (pp. 61-86)

    Montreal is one of the world’s largest and most diversified aerospace clusters and innovation systems. This high-technology activity has developed continuously since the 1920s, and by the beginning of the twenty-first century Canada had become the third largest producer of civil airliners in the world, after the United States and France. Canadian production clusters and regional innovation systems have been strongly concentrated in Montreal and Toronto. This chapter starts with the analysis of some specific characteristics of aerospace systems of innovation and clusters. It goes on to review industrial policies that nurtured the development of this activity in Canada, as...

  9. 5 Regional Systems of Innovation in Telecommunications
    (pp. 87-109)

    During the last quarter century, Canada has become a major player in the global telecommunications equipment industry. Canada has produced the first entirely digital communications system, launched by Northern Telecom (today Nortel Networks) in the 1970s, as well as a long list of major innovations in wired and wireless communications equipment. Also, telecommunications equipment has been the first area of industrial research in Canada for the last twenty-five years (table 5.1). Ontario is and always has been the key province for telecommunications research, hosting Canada’s two major centres in Ottawa and Toronto (table 5.2).

    This chapter examines some of the...

  10. 6 Semiconductor Innovation in Regions
    (pp. 110-124)

    The microchip industry was born in the United States in the late 1940s. The at&t Bell Laboratories in New Jersey were its cradle (Langlois et al., 1988; Queisser, 1988). The new technology spread through the Western industrial world, particularly to Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden. In North America, it became the basis of the computer and the telecommunications equipment industries. In the Asia Pacific region, particularly in Japan, China, and Korea, microchips became the cornerstone of consumer electronics industries (Chandler, 2001).

    Today, this industry is a complex and differentiated one, classified under the general umbrella of electronic components. It...

  11. 7 Regional Computer Software Innovation
    (pp. 125-143)

    In the twenty years between 1980 and 2000, Canada has witnessed the development of thousands of software producing firms located in many regions across the country, but most conspicuously in the three largest metropolitan areas, and in Ottawa. At first sight, patents do not seem to be the most appropriate indicator of this r&d-intensive activity. However, we found that more Canadian software firms are asking for and obtaining U.S. patents to protect their novelties and that the propensity to patent increases across the board.

    This chapter starts with a characterization of the international software industry, then turns to the Canadian...

  12. 8 Conclusion
    (pp. 144-158)

    In the early 2000s, the abundant bibliography on clusters, regional innovation systems, learning regions, and the like has been subject to criticism. Martin and Sunley (2003), for instance, argue that there are too many definitions of clusters, almost all are vague, the geographic boundaries of clusters are not clear, the institutions that are an essential part of them vary from one author to the other, and, while factors explaining agglomerations are many, none seem well documented. Thus, the public policy lessons that authors draw from their cluster studies may not be well founded. Breschi and Lissoni (2001) have also gone...

  13. References
    (pp. 159-168)
  14. Index
    (pp. 169-171)