Ottawa as a Hot Spring of Innovation

Today on Market2world’s blog, Nathan Rudyk calls Ottawa “an example of U.S. President Barack Obama’s vision for urban America” thanks to our Nation’s capital being dubbed an “Innovation Hot Spring” by McKinsey & Co. in partnership with the World Economic Forum.

Innovation Hot Springs are defined as fast-growing hubs on track to becoming world players. Rudyk points out that while Ottawa is densely populated, safe, has a strong middle class, and good public schools – it also boasts more than 1,800 technology companies and a recession-buffering government sector due to its national capital designation.


According to McKinsey & Co. data, Ottawa is on its way to becoming a “Dynamic Ocean” on the world innovation map and I’m sure you can guess who that Elephant-sized ocean is in the top right quadrant – that’s right, Siicon Valley.

While focus is critical for emerging innovation hubs, as they mature, they broaden their portfolios of businesses and sectors. This diversification is vital to the long-term survival of an innovation centre, allowing it to overcome unavoidable downturns that affect specific sectors and providing the impetus for continuous reinvention. New investors typically emerge in adjacent industries, or as hubs attract non-local players that want to capitalize on local infrastructure and available talent.

McKinsey & Co’s interactive chart is worth a toggle to see where your community is mapped.