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.
Federal Budget 2021 included the government’s largest-ever investments in intellectual property and IP services, underscoring the importance of protecting and leveraging IP for Canada’s economic growth, according to IP experts and heads of innovation groups.
The Toronto-based MaRS Discovery District innovation hub has hit the “pause button” on expanding to Calgary after more than a year of discussions with the University of Calgary and other players in Calgary’s innovation ecosystem. However, MaRS says it will continue working with and supporting Alberta companies during the scale-up stage from its Toronto base.
Canadians needs to “embrace the entrepreneur” and invest in the innovation ecosystem to make Canada a leader in the digital economy, says Perry Kinkaide, a former public servant, corporate executive and manager of Kinkaide Enterprises Inc., in an opinion piece.
A consortium of some of Canada’s biggest corporations launch a pilot project offering workers rapid COVID-19 testing; Conestoga College prepares to launch a national institute dedicated to senior care; Lakeland College offers Canada’s first two-year Agricultural Technology program this fall, and more.
The federal government needs to support an inclusive engineering biology ecosystem that leverages Canadian-grown capacities across industry, academia and government, Bettina Hamelin, president and CEO of Ontario Genomics, says in an editorial. Canada needs a comprehensive and aligned roadmap for a public-private partnership and investment strategy to benefit from the increasing opportunities in this emerging sector, she says.
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.
Toronto-based digital accelerator Bay Street Diary and India Network have teamed up to establish a US$100-million venture capital fund for entrepreneurs and startups in Canada and India.
The University of Calgary has created Canada’s first pre-seed and seed-stage investment fund for spinoffs focused on child health. The new “UCeed” investment program also includes one of the country’s few private equity funds managed by students.