TCI 2018 is the leading global clusters event for government, business, and academic leaders, to make unexpected connections for economic growth and shared prosperity. It will be held over 3 days (October 16-18, 2018) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 


Why Attend TCI 2018

  • Access to and learning from global experts on cluster development focused on the theme of "Collaborating to Compete: Clusters in Action.
  • Cluster immersion experiences that focus on the business opportunities within the active clusters in the Toronto Region, designed specifically for TCI 2018. 
  • Opportunity to develop and foster new business relationships through Global Matchmaking on Day 3. TCI 2018 is designed to foster interactions and past conferences have resulted in business partnerships. 
  • Meet those who are at the forefront of cluster and economic development from around the world. Previous conferences had delegates from 40 to 90 countries. 
  • Attendance to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: The TCI Network Global Conference was last in North America in 2007 (Portland) and in Canada in 2004 (Ottawa). This conference moves continents annually and never returns to the same city twice. 
  • A different experience every day that prioritizes interactions between delegates within smaller groups  (through cluster immersion experiences and interactive breakout sessions) and larger group plenary sessions during networking breaks.

Who attends?

  • We expect 400 delegates to attend TCI 2018.
  • A global audience: More than 50% of delegates are expected be from outside of Canada.
  • Government leaders: politicians and policy makers, economic development and international trade ministries across every level of government.
  • Business leaders: executives who see themselves as leaders in the development of a particular cluster, because at the heart of clusters are firms! 
  • Consultancies who will provide advice to clients on how to grow a cluster/sector. 
  • Cluster practitioners, managers, and industry associations
  • Academics who study networks, clusters, economic development, geography, and political science. 

See below for locations and stats of past conferences.

Why Visit the Toronto Region, Canada

TCI 2018 will be held in Toronto—Canada’s most populous city and home of numerous clusters including financial services, food and beverage, culture and content and health. Just one hour away is Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, home to a thriving emerging tech cluster, among others. Other easily accessible regions with clusters you could travel to for networking purposes before or after attending TCI2018 include Barrie, Hamilton, Kingston, St. Catharines-Niagara and Ottawa-Gatineau —Canada’s national capital region and the seat of the federal government.

Canada’s federal government is keenly interested in clusters and recently announced it would invest up to CAD 950 million to support business-led innovation superclusters. Superclusters build on the advantages of a single cluster and have the greatest potential to energize the economy and become engines of growth. Five superclusters across the country have been awarded funding including an AI-Powered Supply Chain Supercluster in the Quebec-Windsor corridor which will bring together retail, manufacturing, transportation, infrastructure and IT sectors to build intelligent supply chains. Some of the participants in this supercluster include Air Canada (Canada’s largest airline), CN (a major Canadian freight rail line which bills itself as a “complete transportation and logistics solution”), and the University of Waterloo (known for its world-class engineering program).  An Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster in Ontario has also received federal funding and features the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs, as a participant.

In October 2017, the Government of Ontario released a new global trade strategy aimed at growing and diversifying the province’s international presence and positioning Ontario as a leader in global trade. The province is committed to leveraging Ontario’s international trade and investment assets by strengthening international relationships and building a trade ecosystem that is more inclusive. Additionally, in September 2017 the Government of Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), demonstrating their commitment to upholding and promoting fair trade with the European Union. Canada also has dozens of trade deals encompassing most countries around the world.

Keep an eye on this page to see if they add any events in October before registration closes.


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Past Conferences

To see the conference materials from the past global conferences, please visit the TCI Network website. Below you will find the locations of the past conferences, as well as some data points on who attends the conference.

Attendance by Type (Avg %, 2009-2016)

Note: Government can include all 3 levels (federal, provincial/state, municipal/local and government-funded organizations including cluster organizations. Businesses include consultancies. 

Attendance by Geography (Avg %, 2006-2016)