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Canadian Innovation Centre

Submission — Canadian Innovation Centre

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Submitter(s): Graham, Josie

Summary: Productivity improvements come from the deployment of innovation, not from the creation of a technology. While R&D may lead to innovation, it is not a pre-requisite. Government programs should encourage adoption of the innovations in addition to research and development. To gain the most from the investments already made in R&D, government ought to be funding more activities related to commercializing the R&D. There not adequate supply of risk capital for Canadian firms at each stage of their growth. Best for Canadian firms to perform their own R&D as they understand the market space best and so can move rapidly, allowing them to create novel solutions that best meet customer needs. This creates wealth and bolsters the economy in and for Canada. Universities are not designed to deal with business. Fundamentally, they have different motivations, timescales and approaches to risk. Exceptions are Universities that encourage contract research, encourage the exchange of faculty and students with industry (i.e. co-op programs) and colleges where industry interactions are fundamentally embedded into the institution. Government can play a key role in becoming a "first customer" but it will have to radically change its approach to industry to achieve this. Canada has an abundance of graduates but insufficient numbers with the right skills to drive business innovation and productivity. Emphasis on research and development ignores the importance of the market in deciding on the potential for a new product or service. Research and development funding should be, in part, dependent on the provision of evidence of a market opportunity. Administration can be streamlined by standardizing and a better outreach program developed that is simpler and clearer.

Full submission: PDF Version