For several years now, the concept of clusters has become very popular with policymakers and local and regional development agencies.
The Institut de la statistique du Québec has drawn its inspiration from the definition of Roelandt, Hertog, Sinderen and Hove according to whom “clusters can be characterised as economic networks of strongly interdependent firms linked in a value-adding production chain. In some cases, clusters encompass strategic alliances with agents in the knowledge infrastructure, such as research institutes, universities, engineering companies and firms of consultants”.
In 2004, the ISQ identified and mapped the clusters (clusters encompassing firms only) in Québec using input-output tables. Twenty-one were identified. This report pushes the investigation further with a view to qualifying and comparing these clusters according to various dimensions. This is, undoubtedly, a step toward a better understanding of clusters, making it possible to highlight particular characteristics of Québec’s industrial structure. Seven dimensions were chosen: the nature and diversity of actors, geographic concentration, the degree of specialization, innovation, relations between actors, critical mass, and stage of development.