Canada is the Commonwealth’s largest export partner. Last year, Massachusetts exported approximately $3.5 billion in goods and services to Canada, and the two-way exchange was $11.1 billion in 2012. Through July 2013, the Commonwealth’s exports to Canada have increased by more than 5 percent over the same period last year. The Commonwealth’s top exports to Canada include industrial machinery, medical devices, and aerospace components, in addition to fish & shellfish.
Approximately 20,000 Massachusetts residents work for Canadian-owned companies and over 160,000 jobs in the Commonwealth are dependent on trade with Canada. The Institute of International Education reported that in 2012 over 2200 Canadian students attended Massachusetts colleges and universities – representing the 4th largest contingent of international students in the Commonwealth. Like Massachusetts, Canada has focused heavily on growing sectors of its innovation economy in order to increase its global competitiveness, making the potential for collaboration in industries like clean tech, life sciences and digital gaming strong. In April 2013, the Canadian Trade Commission also opened a Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) in the Cambridge Innovation Center for small to medium-sized Canadian life science, digital technology, and clean tech companies over a three month period.
- Canada also represents an important market for Massachusetts’ digital and information technology sectors. According to the U.S. Commercial Service, the Information and Communication Technology sector in Canada includes nearly 32,000 companies that generate over $155 billion in annual revenues.
- Ontario’s tech sector is the leading force in the country’s tech sector, as it employs 45 percent of all such workers in Canada.
- As a subset of the overall technology sector, digital gaming is a shared strength between Massachusetts and Canada, particularly within the province of Québec, which ranks third in the world for video game development trailing only California and Japan.
Life Sciences Sector
- Life sciences companies account for roughly $82 billion in economic activity – more than 7 percent of Canada’s GDP – and employ more than 400,000 nationally.
- The Canadian federal government recently announced that it will bolster the biotech industry with $385 million to support the creation of a new, large-scale venture capital fund. Additionally, the Industrial Research Program will be doubled to $106 million annually.
- At the BIO2013 Convention in Chicago, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) partnered with the Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery (QCDM) to launch the International Collaborative Industry Program (ICIP). In this inaugural round of ICIP, Massachusetts companies have an opportunity to win grants of $100,000 (minimum) to $500,000 (maximum) which will be award to the best life science projects.
Clean Energy Sector
- In Toronto alone, there are 1,700 clean tech companies with 36,000 employees and an industry capitalization of $50 billion, making that region ripe for expansion and partnership.
- Canada is a global leader of clean energy and clean water technology adoption making them a natural trading partner for Massachusetts’ 5,500 clean energy companies.