On Tuesday morning, the Parliamentary Budget Officer published a report titled, “The Innovation Superclusters Initiative — A Preliminary Analysis.”
The report looks at how things are going with the federal government’s $918 million Innovation Supercluster Initiative. The report only captures the first year of a five-year program, but the PBO findings indicate that money has been flowing more slowly than expected. Moreover, the data suggest that the Superclusters won’t achieve anything close to the promised benefits that the government has previously suggested.
In response to the report, CCI executive director Benjamin Bergen made the following statement:
“This report affirms concerns that our members have voiced since 2017 that the Supercluster initiative has lacked the clear metrics and commercialization strategies necessary to achieve its bold job creation and economic development goals.
“This program has been ineffective in building national prosperity for all Canadians and has not lived up to the stated expectations of government or the drivers of Canada’s innovation economy, therefore requiring an important pivot in the time of COVID.
“The best way to achieve the original goals of the Supercluster initiative and fuel Canada’s economic recovery at the same time is by quickly injecting the outstanding funding into Canada’s fastest-growing companies who are best positioned to scale-up their operations globally and hire more workers here at home.”
If you’re interested in reading more about CCI’s ideas for how to support Canadian high-growth companies, check out our “Plan for Economic Recovery and Reorientation” published in September.