In the last few weeks, Canada has been in the global spotlight with its focus on science, technology and innovation (STI). Canada hosted the G7 leaders summit this year where two of the five themes were related to STI.
A large number of policy statements and reports on innovation have been published by the federal government over the last 20 years. These studies all reached the same conclusion – Canadians are exceptional at generating new ideas but very poor at converting these ideas into economically beneficial activities.
Canadian science and technology and industrial R&D are faced with a growing risk of becoming branch plants of research, innovation and competitiveness for other countries. While not new, this conclusion reached by an expert panel tasked to examine the issue that says the severity and urgency of the situation are increasing due to rapidly evolving global trends, the “start and sell” mentality of many tech entrepreneurs and the ecosystem damage inflicted between 2006 and 2015.