The competitiveness of metropolitan areas is increasingly driven by metropolitan clusters which are geographic concentrations of firms and institutions in related industries.
Clusters further the international outreach of a region by attracting foreign investment and highly skilled workers. They stimulate entrepreneurship. They improve the capacity to innovate and productivity by easing the interactions and complementarities that exist between their firms. They foster social capital.
Since 2005, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal has been focusing on growing industrial clusters on its territory. The metropolitan cluster strategy is the backbone of the Metropolitan Plan for Economic Development (PMDE) 2015-2020, achieving great success and an enviable international recognition since its implementation.
Today, Greater Montréal has nine structured clusters.
Each cluster benefits from the support of a secretariat, financed by the private sector, the CMM and the Quebec government. Cluster secretariats include firms, business associations, Emploi-Québec's sectoral workforce committees, the Quebec and Canada governments and research and training institutions. The secretariats bring together key industry players designated by the community.
The nine metropolitan clusters in Greater Montréal are:
Greater Montréal's aerospace sector is one of the region's key industries, generating nearly 60% of the Canadian aerospace industry's total sales. This extensive industry has made the Montréal region one of the largest aerospace centres in the world, along with Seattle and Toulouse. The vitality of the aerospace sector in the Montréal region is reflected in the number of jobs it creates, which has grown by an average of 5.9% every year over the past 20 years.
Of the 6,000 businesses that make up the Québec Aluminium Industrial Cluster (GIAQ), 36% are located in the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal. Many of these Greater Montreal businesses are users of aluminium. The GIAQ coordinates synergies and networking opportunities between these buyers and the aluminium industry ecosystem throughout the province of Quebec.
Greater Montréal's business environment is favourable to innovative companies working in the field of clean technology that seek sustained growth on both the domestic and export markets. Together, the province of Québec and its economic centre Greater Montréal enjoy strong potential in cleantech thanks to the province's natural market, its position as a leader in hydroelectricity, a critical mass of engineering and consulting services and high-quality training available to engineers and technicians.
For many years, the fashion industry has been a source of economic activity and employment in Québec, and especially in Montréal, posting sales of $7.6 billion. While strongly affected by globalization, this industry has nevertheless been able to remake itself according to new business models and can point to an increasing number of world-class players. The transformation of the industry over the last few years has resulted in making the borders between manufacturers, wholesaler-distributors and retailers increasingly tenuous since companies now tend to control all these functions themselves.
The film and television industry is a major economic sector for the metropolitan region, thanks to its concentration, ramifications and size. In addition to the three main components of this dynamic industry--domestic productions, co-productions and foreign productions--is the related industry of multimedia.
Montréal's financial services industry is a robust sector, backed by a pool of skilled employees, supported by a diverse, cutting edge university sector, and located in an international environment.
The information and communications technology sector (ICT) is Greater Montréal's largest high tech cluster, in terms of both sales and number of jobs. The strength of this cluster has meant that ICT jobs in Greater Montréal have grown at an average annual rate of 1.5% over the past five years.
The life sciences and health technology (LSHT) sector is one of the Montréal metropolitan region's key industries. Greater Montréal is home to Canada's largest concentration of major pharmaceutical company headquarters, with approximately 50 national and international biotechnology companies headquartered there. It is also the location of choice for more than 100 private companies in new medical technology development.
A logistics and transportation (L&T) cluster is specialized and reflects the tendency of firms operating in the same, or closely related, industries and using the same technologies to be located in the same geographical area. These firms perform different functions but are linked by the concentration of their production, distribution, transportation and outreach networks.