Despite new federal programs, Canada’s innovation sector hasn’t picked up pace.
The Conference Board of Canada (CBoC) has established a new organization meant to advance innovation in the country.
Named the Canadian Centre for the Innovation Economy (CCIE), the group will gather Canadian innovation hubs, institutions, entrepreneurs, governments, corporate partners, and investors to research critical issues facing the innovation community. It was created in partnership with MaRS Discovery District and the Innovation Economy Council, which is a coalition of leaders in the tech sector created by MaRS and 12 partner organizations.
BetaKit has reached out to the CBoC for more details on the centre’s operations, what its sources of funding will be, and what resources will be dedicated to it.
CCIE will develop insights to help innovators in Canada take their ideas to market.
When it comes to innovation, Canada has lagged behind, the CBoC found. This new centre is meant to address Canada’s “innovation paradox,” as Canada’s workforce and research fails to deliver long-term success.
The CBoC is a not-for-profit think tank dedicated to researching and analyzing economic trends, organizational performance, and public policy issues. In its Innovation Report Card, the CBoC ranked Canada in 11th place out of 16 countries, with a “C” grade in its 2021 report. Further, it reported that Canada had high rankings in ambition but fell behind in the areas of research and development, labour productivity, patents, and venture capital.
Canada has maintained a “C” grade in its Innovation Report Card for some time, receiving the same grade since at least 2015. This reflects the broader challenges that the country’s innovation economy has been facing for decades.
The federal government launched a slew of initiatives over the years in its attempt to spur lasting growth in Canada, relative to other global developing economies. This includes a new innovation agency, the Canada Innovation Corporation, as well as forming its five Global Innovation Clusters. Despite these programs, growth in Canada’s innovation ecosystem hasn’t picked up its pace.
This new centre by CBoC and its partners will work with its members to improve innovation in Canada by assessing “significant pain points,” specifically in intellectual property, research and development, red tape, talent, and the skills gap.
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It says it will bring together Canadian innovation hubs, institutions, entrepreneurs, governments, corporate partners, and investors to research critical issues facing the innovation community and deliver data-driven insights to stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem.
“Canadian entrepreneurs and business leaders are facing an increasing number of challenges,” said Susan Black, president and CEO of the CBoC. She said the new centre will develop insights to help innovators in Canada take their ideas to market.
The CBoC has established a number of research centres since its inception in 1954. In addition to the CCIE, it has opened hubs for Canadian economics, immigration, health, human resources, as well as Indigenous and northern communities.
MaRS CEO Yung Wu said that the innovation economy is “one of Canada’s most important pillars of growth.” He added that the CCIE will “bring together our unique strengths in this space, to chart the pathway for Canada to create a global competitive advantage in our knowledge-based industries.”
Featured image courtesy Conference Board of Canada.
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