By Nathan Rudyk

When international cleantech companies consider business expansion to North America, the usual suspects are New York, Boston, Washington and San Jose. Now they can (and should) think Ottawa.

Richard Florida, Martin Prosperity Institute Director and author of the international best seller Who’s Your City? rates Ottawa as the “Best Overall” city in Canada on a “Creative Class Index” based on the 3Ts of economic development – Technology, Talent and Tolerance – and 22 places higher than New York, 2 places higher than Boston, 4 places higher than Washington and 1 place higher than tech-rich San Jose.

So Ottawa's a great home for any technology company, period. For cleantech companies, there's even more incentive.

A Knowledge-based Industry Survey released last week by the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) shows Ottawa’s fledgling cleantech sector is the strongest of any of the city’s 13 unique technology clusters. The number of cleantech companies is up from 103 companies to 114 as of December 31, 2009, an increase of 10.7 per cent over the previous year, and the number of Ottawa’s cleantech employees is up from 2,050 to 2,567, an increase of 25.2 per cent.

The kicker for cleantech companies (rightly) considering Ottawa as a new home is that, compared to any U.S. city, Canadian business taxes are lower, and set to go far lower still, while the Obama administration has all but promised higher taxes in America for corporations. Take a look at the chart above.

Had a good look? Excellent. Now book a flight to Ottawa and become part of our fantastic cleantech growth story in 2010!

(Nathan Rudyk is President and CEO with market2world communications inc., Ottawa, Canada's technology – and cleantech – public relations and product marketing agency.)