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Policy Briefing: Innovation

PM, Finance and Industry to make innovation a top policy priority in 2012 

Feds focused on bolstering Canada’s innovation record, but insiders say the country needs non-partisan collaboration for results.

It is time to consider a new knowledge portal, an Innovate for Canada Agency, that can bring together our disparate organizations in the business of advising with the public, and providing meaningful services and programs to advance discovery and innovation.
Perhaps the most progressive way to achieve this is to link such new curricular development to new technology and distance learning. A new course in nano science and water could, for example, be taught by a team of professors from a dozen universities across Canada (and eventually the world) to students on every campus.
High-growth enterprises—so-called ‘gazelles’—are young companies that transform markets with radically innovative products, services and processes.
One of the ongoing challenges for Canadian research and development policy is finding the best way to stimulate and leverage Canada’s corporate R&D investments.
Canada needs to invest in a three-way national strategy, linking the Pacific Coast ports, the Atlantic Coast ports and the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes corridor.
All of the stakeholders in our innovation system need to take stock and do their part to ensure that Canada’s capacity for world-leading research and innovation is a national priority.
Canada needs more globally competitive medium-sized firms. And that takes globally ambitious, innovative entrepreneurs who succeed.
There is nearly universal agreement among economists that Canada needs much more of it to ensure the long-term prosperity of its citizens, the sustainability of its public finances and the competitiveness of its exporters.
Canada has invested well in discovery research and produces a stream of innovation, but these innovations often fail to be incorporated into commercial products and services.
But the NDP hopes the government will use the forthcoming budget to address five major areas of policy concern in Canada’s science and technology landscape.
The Senate Agriculture Committee is currently undertaking a study on innovation efforts in the agricultural sector and more specifically, ‘understanding the significance of new entrants in the agriculture and agri-food innovation system.’
Despite the federal government spending $3.5-billion in 2011 through the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit, Canada currently ranks 18th among 31 member nations in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development for its investments in R&D and has been behind for years.
The Jenkins Panel submitted its final report in October and we are diligently studying its wide-ranging recommendations, recognizing the time is right to improve our support for business innovation.
Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance’s white paper urges fed to overhaul SR&ED and streamline commercialization.
Canadian companies with global reach are few and far between, but B.C. company could hold game changer for IT industry.

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