Silicon Valley North: The Formation of the Ottawa Innovation Cluster

Posted: 4 Nov 2009

Date Written: 2004


The development of Ottawa's Silicon Valley North was alengthy process.Although cluster formation is not clearly understood, theresearch regarding Silicon Valley North highlights five elements essential forcluster success, including access to technology and technical knowledge; accessto extremely qualified people; creating a visionary entrepreneurship; access toventure capital; and availability of networks and linkages. Each of the elements and how they have influenced the development of SiliconValley North is examined.The development of technology and technicalknowledge is outlined, tracing its development from the post-World War II erato the present.Research and development (R&D) is discussed accordingto both public sector and private sector institutions.The competitiveadvantage of Silicon Valley North's access to highly talented, well-educatedindividuals is reviewed, noting how this impacts the American SiliconValley. Silicon Valley North's ability to attract visionary entrepreneurs hasgreatly benefited Ottawa and led to increased technologicaldevelopment.Initially, venture capital was difficult to attain; however,a number of federal and private programs have aided entrepreneurs in Ottawaover the years.Finally, a community culture has developed within Ottawaas a result of technological networking, creating a feeling of kinship amonghigh-tech firms. (AKP)

Keywords: Microsystems International, Success, Bell Northern Research Ltd, Defense Industry Productivity Program (Canada), Communications Research Centre Canada, Microelectronics Systems & Development Program (Canada), National Research Council, Ottawa Centre for Research & Innovation, R&D, Silicon Valley, Social networks, Clusters, High technology industries, Cluster formation, Economic growth, Regional development, Interfirm alliances, Public policies, Access to technology, Growth strategies, Skilled labor, Access to capital, Venture capital, Community cultures

Suggested Citation

Mallett, Jocelyn Ghent, Silicon Valley North: The Formation of the Ottawa Innovation Cluster (2004). Silicon Valley North: A High-Tech Cluster of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Vol. , p. 21-31 2004. Available at SSRN:

Jocelyn Ghent Mallett (Contact Author)

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