Canada's Innovationm Challenge and Opportunities

Elizabeth Cannon,, Nov 30, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

We again revisit the state of innovation in Canada (international readers can just look away). This is the latest report from the Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC), which reports to the federal government. It's not a pretty report. "Canada’s business enterprise expenditures on R&D (BERD) intensity (i.e., BERD as a share of gross domestic product) dropped further between 2006 and 2013, to the point where Canada ranked 26th among international competitors... Canada’s most profound and urgent ST&I challenge lies in increasing the number of firms that embrace and effectively manage innovation as a competitiveness and growth strategy." In a nutshell: Canada's businesses have stopped investing in research and development, and the previous government's strategy of giving established businesses more money has failed. This report has it a bit better: we need to support basic reserach and development, and we need to fund high risk ventures (ie., startups).

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