Policy Research

Canada is not creating enough world-class companies 

The Land of Stranded Pilots

This report examines the shape of the health technology industry in Canada with a focus on three specific questions: Does Canada actually have a problem with health tech commercialization? If so, how extensive is that problem? And what is causing it?

Canada’s Scaleup Potential

There seems to be a shift away from focusing on startups to focus on those companies in Canada that are scaling. This appears to have been predicated on the premise that Canada has become good at starting companies but is challenged at scaling them to world-class size. This Impact Brief has been designed to develop a framework to measure Canada’s startup and scaleup rate in the technology sector.

Physical Tech – Part 2

This report is the result of a forum held in February 2018 on the challenges that companies in the physical technologies face in commercialization. Forum participants had a robust discussion around the challenges outlined in our previous report on Physical Technologies and identified a number of other commercialization hurdles, including weak institutional support, knowledge and information gaps, lack of prototyping facilities and short run manufacturing, among other issues.

 

Physical Technologies

In a prior report on patenting we identified that Canada has a significant problem in that it frequently doesn’t commercialize its own inventions. In this report, we wanted to look at whether part of that problem might be due to a lack of government support particularly in the area of Physical Technologies.

 

Canada’s Patent Puzzle

The prevalent Canadian narrative is that as a country, we struggle to compete in the global innovation economy. One metric that is often cited as proof of this is the number of patents we are granted in comparison with other advanced countries. In this scaleup research, we have looked more closely at Canada’s performance in the numbers of patents granted.

 

Attitudes to Innovation

Our study on attitudes towards innovation found that there are 29% more Americans than Canadians who have a strongly positive attitude towards innovation. Americans outscore us in almost every dimension of attitudes towards innovation, among managers and employees, men and women, and among all age groups.

Losing Count

While many reports bemoan Canada’s lack of spending on Innovation compared with the OECD, we haven’t been using the same definition of R&D and this has caused it to be under-reported. Furthermore, numerous reports on Canada’s innovation economy have pointed out not only that Canada’s BERD expenditures are lower than the OECD average but also that they appear to be declining over time. This white paper looks at why our definition differs and what that difference has meant to Canada’s reporting of R&D expenditures.

 

Thinking Inside the Box

My first study at the Impact Centre has shown that Canadians lag Americans in their attitudes to innovation. The study found that there are 29% more Americans than Canadians who have a strongly positive attitude towards innovation. Americans outscore us in almost every dimension of attitudes towards innovation, among managers and employees, men and women, and among all age groups.