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Local IDEAs

Local IDEAs is a research group 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 theTown of Huntsville. Local IDEAs is managed by Gregory M. Spencer, M.Sc.Pl., Ph.D..