What is a supercluster?
Supercluster or cluster is a reference to research by economists Michael Porter around what makes communities competitive and especially innovative communities. So cluster is a concentration of talent capital commercialization capability that is very good at driving innovation and so Supercluster is effectively a very big very significant cluster bringing together lots of companies, large companies, small companies and universities. And so the term Supercluster is a promise to deliver clusters that deliver super results in terms of wealth creation and job creation.
Are superclusters new?
If you think about it everybody talks about Silicon Valley as being the supercluster to mimic that as best we can. But even Renaissance Florence was effectively a cluster around fabric and fabric technology. Venice in the middle ages was a supercluster based on naval technology and exportation of ships to foreign powers. And so the idea is not new and the processes around being more agile in getting collaborative developing deals done. There are lots of examples particularly in the EU, the states and elsewhere that we can point to and even here in Canada.
What do superclusters actually do?
Ultimately superclusters are going to be a giant facilitator for collaborative development of technology and then taking that technology to market. Lots of studies have shown that open innovation works in the sense that if companies work with outside parties be they academic institution or scale-ups or other large companies better technology will result that has a better fit for the market place at a lower cost. And part of that is because risks are going to be shared through open innovation, you’re exposed to lots of different ideas on for example, what consumers want enterprise customers want, so they’re very different levels of insights and information that will reside in different companies and through collaborative development and open innovation, you can pool all of that knowledge, all of that information. It allows you get more done and more quickly.
Welcome to Motion - Discussing what matters, a video series covering hot topics across the country where our experienced lawyers provide timely legal analysis on issues relevant to Canadians.
This episode focuses on superclusters and features Anthony de Fazekas, our Canadian head of technology and innovation, IP partner and patent agent.