Industrial Organization in Canada – new book that includes a chapter on ag clusters in Canada

February 4, 2011

Industrial Organization in Canada: Empirical Evidence and Policy Challenges

Edited by Zhiqi Chen and Marc Duhamel

“An innovative collection that looks at industrial policy in present-day Canada”

This new publication includes a chapter by Gaisford, Kerr, Phillips and Ryan on the economic performance of agricultural based clusters in Canada.

Excerpts from article:

“The central policy question is whether governments should go beyond a minimalist policy that removes obstacles to the formation of clusters and engage in more activist incubation or nurturing of clusters.  Clearly, policy should be designed to ensure that no regulatory, tax or competition policy barriers inhibit the development of clusters.  Beyond this, governments could simply allow market forces to determine the establishment of clusters.  Even the minimalist agenda is easier said than done. For example, our analysis of agricultural biotechnology clustering suggests challenges for the management of intellectual property.  Overly strict or lax management has the potential to sever the connections that can create inventions and innovations.”

“The mere existence of a cluster cannot be taken as evidence of success. A cluster may be well on the way to depleting its financial assets, while those involved may still believe, or at least act, as if the breakthrough that will make the cluster sustainable is near at hand.  The only true measure of success for clusters is evidence of the creation of a number of commercially viable goods or services based on the knowledge arising from the cluster’s activities.”

“Definitions of clusters vary widely depending upon the actors and institutions involved and the strategies that they employ. The national regulatory environment and intellectual property rights regime adds to the complexities of a given cluster. Also, it appears that normative factors such as trust, habits, and conventions may play a supportive role in localised learning and in the flow of codified and tacit knowledge. Thus, clusters are difficult to measure and analyse.”


Paper (0773537899) 9780773537897
Release date: 2011-03-01 
CA $39.95

Pre-order yours today at: 


Bill C-474 – Scientists reject market acceptance as GM approval factor

Bill C474

Scientists say “no” to Bill C474 while some seed and organics growers support it.  What are your thoughts?  

Dr. Peter Phillips’ (University of Saskatchewan) and Dr. Wilf Keller (Genome Prairie) warn MPs against support of such a bill.  Dr. Phillips’ kindly provided his notes from this presentation and they are attached. 

“…this proposed 42-word, well-intentioned and apparently simple and straightforward amendment is a veritable Trojan horse that would destabilize the vitally important Canadian agri-food innovation system. As an alternative, I strongly urge you to broaden the dialogue to consider how we might truly achieve the stated goals of this amendment—an efficient, effective and commercially viable research, development, regulatory commercialization system that delivers world-class agri-food products…” (Phillips)


Download this file

Download this file

Please check out previous ‘Kaleidoscope’ postings on Bill C474.

mapping the Canadian and EU flax supply chain: a systematic analysis to estimate costs associated with AP & Triffid Flax

Centre for Society and Genomic’s “Ten Years After: Mapping the Societal Genomic Landscape” Conference
May 2010

Smyth&Ryan-AP 2010 Extended Abstract.pdf
Download this file

Mr. Lewis… tsk tsk…

What a hit for the Canadian agriculture industry…. and for Africa.  Way to go, Stephen Lewis… have you fogotten that HIV/AIDS ravaged Africa is also starving? There is so much lost knowledge of agricultural production process through generations lost through the HIV/AIDS epidemic.