Regional Economic Development

HAL has wide experience in helping municipalities and regions identify and mobilize their local assets to strengthen their knowledge-based sectors and help secure their future prosperity.

  • Cluster ModelIndustry cluster and sector analysis: HAL conducts industry sector and cluster analyses at local and regional levels that support decision-making related to economic development. Our cluster analysis is informed by leading research on Canadian clusters, as well as a proprietary cluster assessment model that has been applied to over two dozen clusters across Canada. HAL uses statistical visualization and mapping software that allows clients to identify key strengths within their respective regions.


  • Cluster-ApproachCluster strategy: HAL’s expert understanding of clusters, together with a proven process for developing practical actions for developing the cluster, lie at the core of our cluster strategy service. We understand the importance of engaging the support of key stakeholders to ensure effective strategy implementation.


  • GovernanceLocal governance: A critical factor in the success of local knowledge economies and cluster strategies is the system of local governance that helps align the required institutional support, resources, and strategic action needed to build knowledge intensive economic activity. Civic leaders, the municipal government, the local university and college, and local research and innovation support organizations are all key players in supporting the collaborative structures of decision-making and resource mobilization that make for competitive communities. HAL has a proven process that can help cities, large and small, strengthen their local governance system so that they can effectively deliver on actions needed to develop their economies.

Past work includes:

  • Calgary Support for the Technology Sector (City of Calgary)
  • Food Processing Clusters Pilot Project (Ontario Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs)
  • GTA Wood Cluster Analysis (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)
  • A Profile of the Defence Sector in Southern Ontario (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)
  • An Action Plan for Innovation in Mississauga (Mississauga Research Innovation Commercialization Centre)
  • Strategic Plan for the Guelph Agri-Innovation Cluster (City of Guelph)
  • PEI Bio Cluster Competitive Analysis (PEI BioAlliance)
  • Ontario’s Creative Cluster Study: Music – Film and TV, Magazines – Books – Interactive Digital Media (Ontario Ministry of Culture)
  • Manufacturing, Machine Shop and Engineering Inventory and Capability Study (Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership)
  • Ontario Agri-Bio Innovation Plan (Ontario Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs)
  • Cluster Studies for NRC Cluster Initiatives – Fuel Cells, Nanotechnology, Bio-Medical, Sustainable Infrastructure, Nutriceuticals, Aluminium Transformation, Nutrisciences, and Photonics (National Research Council)
  • Development of a Biotechnology Cluster Innovation Plan (Mississauga Research Innovation Commercialization Centre)
  • Manufacturing in South Eastern Ontario: Regional action for a global competitive advantage (Northumberland, Quinte and Kawartha Manufacturing Associations)

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