Canada as a Competitive Innovation Nation

Various authors, Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, Nov 28, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance has released a white paper on innovation and commercialization in Canada arguing that while Canada has a good track record of innovation, it lags in commercialization. Following a study from BDCS Consulting, it suggests that spending more on R&D won't drive results and that "Innovation is a natural resource to be developed, harvested, used and commercialized for economic and social benefits." Thus it recommends government focus on funding for mid-stage commercialization of research (where Canada is notably weak in private investment capital), including the Jenkins report recommendations to create an Industrial Research and Innovation Council (IRIC) and to dissolve the National Research Council into a series of "large-scale, sectoral, collaborative R&D centres involving business, the university sector and the provinces."

Other reports cited in the paper are the Mowat Report, which stresses the importance of regions and a direct subsidy approach for commercialization, and a CD Howe report, which recommends finding efficiencies in the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program in order to fund commercial development. I've asked the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives for their thoughts and they recommended Jim Stanford, Having your cake and eating it too.
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