In a recent report for the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, Sheldon Levy, special advisor to the federal minister of small business and export promotion, argued that government should identify and support select firms with high potential to become global competitors. “There are many countries that have to pick their laneway and can’t be the best at everything all the time,” Levy told Research Money.
Topic: intellectual property
To recognize the annual United Nations World Oceans Day (June 8) and its theme “One Ocean, One Climate, One Future – Together,” Research Money spoke with Kendra MacDonald, CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, about the opportunities and challenges in growing the country’s ocean economy and the Ocean Supercluster’s activities.
Nearly $3.4 billion in federal spending through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) during the last three years has failed to improve Canada’s “disastrous” innovation performance and productivity, say some innovation and policy experts. An analysis by Research Money of SIF data shows that Ontario, Quebec and foreign-based firms have received the lion’s share of SIF funding.
China’s investments in and with Canadian universities and companies pose a serious risk to Canada’s security, personal data, research and technology, says Margaret McCuaig-Johnston, a senior fellow at the Institute for Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa, and former executive vice-president of NSERC.
VC investment in Canada hit its second highest level last year, Canada’s annual Gairdner awards announced, Quebec SMEs benefit from a $9 million e-commerce boost, Ontario invests in autonomous vehicles, and more.
A pan-Canadian oil and natural gas innovation network has yet to spend the bulk of $100 million of federal funding on commercializing new, cleaner technologies, two years after Ottawa announced the funding and seven months after a contribution agreement was signed. The Clean Resource Innovation Network, which aims to produce the world’s cleanest hydrocarbons, plans to announce details of its planned three technology competitions by end of March 2021.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council collaborates with the Canadian arm of Huawei Technologies, Canadian and international teams receive funding to accelerate ALS research, SDTC supports SMEs across Canada in their adoption of clean technology, an unexpected donation spurs Northern Ontario School of Medicine to address health inequities in marginalized populations, and more.
Innovation experts and business groups are stepping up calls for the federal government to fix a “weak and out of balance” innovation ecosystem. Canada continues to lag other countries in innovation performance and productivity, according to international indexes.
Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada, in a detailed response to growing criticisms, defends the federal government’s innovation performance, policies and programs.
For close observers, the sale of Element AI to California-based ServiceNow was a disappointment but not a surprise.