As part of The Canada Project, The Conference Board has explored the concept of clusters. Using a literature review, survey of cluster executives and a review of case studies, the Board has looked at whether clusters contribute to regional economic growth, and the role of government in facilitating cluster development.
The research has found that clusters do contribute to regional economic growth depending on the stage of their life cycle, the economic cycle and the degree of maturity of the technology platform. Furthermore, not every firm in a cluster can expect to benefit.The research also found that clusters contribute to regional knowledge growth.
The report describes how government should focus on contributions that support and nurture the development of clusters and should refrain from trying to build clusters from scratch. Finally, the report describes three major risks faced by clusters: failure to keep knowledge flowing, increased volatility and becoming the modern mining town.