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Local IDEAs

Local IDEAs is an ongoing research database initiative within the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto designed to address economic development issues in the global knowledge-based economy.


It was created from a Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) grant (2011-2013) with matching funds from the Ontario Research Fund and in-kind contributions from The Conference Board of Canada and The Impact Group. It formalizes a series of SSHRC-funded quantitative research activities undertaken by the Innovation Systems Research Network (ISRN) on industrial clusters in Canada (2001-2005) and creativity and innovation in Canadian city-regions (2006-2010). A wide range of public and private datasets have been assembled, standardized, and linked by consistent local geographies, industries, and clusters. The Local IDEAs team has worked with a range of public sector organizations such as Industry Canadathe Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI)Consider Canadathe District of Muskoka, and the Town of Huntsville. The Local IDEAs database, and program student researchers, are supervised by David Wolfe, Co-Director of the Innovation Policy Lab. Since 2016, the program continues to receive support from the SSHRC funded Creating Digital Opportunity Partnership (CDO) project, as well as Delvinia, a CDO research partner and contributor to a funded Mitacs internship program until 2020.