Information and Communication Technology Clusters, Local Firm Performance, and Employment Generation

As countries steadily increase the share and value of knowledge, information, and services in their economies, governments have been crafting policies to attract foreign investment and establish large multinationals in key emerging sectors. Yet, little is known of the impact that large global high tech companies have had in creating or eliminating local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the jobs they generate. This project aims to answer these questions in Latin American countries where governments have attracted investments to the high tech sector. In some countries, such as Costa Rica and Argentina, they have created hubs or science parks with large global companies. Others, such as Uruguay, have managed to support the rise of a strong high tech sector with a mix of foreign and local companies.

This project aims to create a better understanding of how information and communication technology (ICT) clusters in Latin America help create businesses and employment. The project will:

  • explore the degree to which ICT multinationals help or hinder the survival and growth of existing local companies;
  • determine the degree to which these global companies help or hinder the formation of new local ICT start-ups; and,
  • study the degree to which the creation, survival, and growth of local ICT companies helps create more and better jobs for their employees.

The findings will allow researchers to make policy recommendations that will help create businesses and jobs in the ICT sectors and clusters more effectively.

Costa Rica's High Technology Advisory Committee Foundation (CAATEC) will lead the project and work with a team of local researchers in Argentina and Uruguay. Microsoft Community Affairs will co-fund the project through their contribution to the former project.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, March 15, 2013

End Date

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


24 months

IDRC Officer

Petrazzini, Ben

Total funding

CA$ 399,900


Argentina, South America, Costa Rica, North and Central America, Uruguay, West Indies


Employment and Growth

Project Leader

Ricardo Monge


Fundación Comisión Asesora en Alta Technología

Institution Country

Costa Rica

Institution Website