30 August 2010

Innovation Receptor Capacity for Canada's Research

University of Toronto president David Naylor and UBC president Stephen Toope today debunk seven myths regarding innovation in Canada. In "Don’t swallow these innovation nostrums," Naylor and Toope make a strong case for complementary research - linking basic and applied research - and the building up of Canada's business receptor capacity to commercialize ideas and innovations. I don't agree with their assertion that governments should not set research priorities. Rather, setting priorities enables us to focus our energies and resources on those areas and issues that will have the most impact on our national economy.

Naylor and Toope articulate the value of science and technology education, but also the importance of producing graduates with social innovation skills gained through non-technical courses of study. Promoting innovation literacy means producing "independent-minded university and college graduates from diverse backgrounds [that] are critical to building creative societies with innovative foundations." This is required reading for prescribing a national innovation system.

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