State of the Nation 2008

4. Digest of Key Indicators

The Science, Technology and Innovation Council has selected a number of indicators particularly relevant to examining and explaining Canada's science, technology and innovation performance. Some indicators were chosen because they were internationally comparable, and updated annually, allowing us to compare how we are doing against our global competition. Others allow us to monitor Canadian-specific trends and issues. In considering these rankings, it is important to remember that the size of the Canadian economy ranks 9th and our population ranks 12th in the OECD.

The task of analyzing and understanding the importance of science, technology and innovation and its impact to our economy and our living standards needs good, easily available data, and indicators that can help us track our performance against other countries. Other countries are already well on their way to tackling this challenge. For example, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts in the United Kingdom (U.K.) is developing a new Innovation Index, designed, among other things, to better measure the contribution of innovation to productivity growth, and measure firm-level innovation performance in six priority sectors of the U.K. economy.27 The U.S. is currently piloting its first national innovation survey, which will allow it to measure innovation by geography, industry and size of firm.

27 National Endowment for Science, Technology and The Arts — The six priority sectors are legal services, consultancy services, accountancy services (as part of knowledge intensive business services); software and IT services; architecture and design (as part of creative services); aerospace, automotive (as part of high-value manufacturing); construction; and energy production.