BC’s CORE Cleantech Cluster: Shortening Innovation Cycles
The BC CORE Cleantech Cluster strategy outlines a framework for the entire province to start living and breathing innovation as it moves into action around climate change, energizes its cleantech sector and stakes its claim as a serious competitor in the global cleantech market (estimated at $2.5 trillion USD by 2022).
Let’s take a look at the top 3 ways cluster organizations shorten innovation cycles:
- Industrial Challenges – From the Grand Energy Storage Challenge issued by the US Dept of Energy to find energy storage solutions, to the Sustainable Industry Challenge in the Netherlands, and Foresight’s recently launched Recyclable Wind Turbine Challenge, countries and organizations around the world are developing challenge programs that bring scale-ups and large businesses together to make deals and solve industry challenges. A cluster organization is able to mobilize its strategic networks in support of these targeted industrial challenges that are designed to fast-track the adoption, scaleup, investments and exports for companies.
Facilitating industrial challenges and tying them into strategic funding opportunities has been a remarkably successful approach to driving innovation in a region. Foresight’s recently completed ARCTIC challenge series has helped reduce over a million tonnes of GHG emissions per year while generating nearly $700 million in economic activity.
- Strengthening Relationships & Partnerships with Academia: A cluster organization supports activities and programs that encourage partnerships between academia, SMEs and industry on targeted R&D that is aligned with the overall strategic framework. Connecting academia into cluster programming also fosters talent development, improves workforce planning, and embeds a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation at the academic level.
- Expanding Global & Pan-Canadian Opportunities – Innovation, especially large scale innovation, requires partnerships and export development. Cluster organizations use targeted programs and engagement initiatives to close regional, national, and international communications and networking gaps that exist among economic development agencies and organizations.
The future economy in action is an innovation economy.
Canadian climate goals are ambitious, large in scale, and looming on the horizon – cluster organizations like BC’s CORE Cleantech Cluster bring together the whole ecosystem – scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs, industry, educators and policy decision-makers – to foster green, smart economic development and shorten innovation cycles.
“Research demonstrates that regional economies with strong clusters have higher levels of innovation, more patents, more entrepreneurship, more successful start-ups, higher export and economy, higher wages and better productivity. Regions with strong clusters are particularly successful in attracting new investment and attracting talent”
Accelerating British Columbia’s Clean Economy: A Cleantech Cluster Strategy for the Province of British Columbia