Canadian R&D is Feedstock for Other Nations' Growth

Press Release, CATA, Jan 22, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) is calling for a national innovation strategy. The strategy - a Pan-Canadian Innovation Plan - includes a comprehensive and detailed set of recommendations. But they can be boiled down fairly simply:
- easier credit via guarantees to banks and funders
- tax credits, lower taxes, and tax withholding
- conversion of federal services (such as IRAP support) to cash grants.
My first reaction is that this appears to be a continuation of the policies that led to the economic collapse. If we need a national strategy, it should be more than simply creative ways to give corporations more money.

There's more. CATA president John Reid is calling for a plan which:
- fosters the creation, retention and growth of IP
- addresses the dearth of funding available
- regulations that are "not a drag on innovation"
- free trade agreements
Again, this is a call for the sort of policies that were not successful in the early 2000s. They are essentially a mix of low taxes, government funding, and minimal regulation. This is simply a recipe for continuing Canada's role in research as what Terry Matthews calls "Feedstock for Other Nations' Growth".

More from Terry Matthews. And plans to fund startups to make up for the (in my view, absolutely devastating) loss of Nortel.
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