25 October 2010

Innovation key to improving productivity, standard of living

An interview today with Kevin Lynch offers continuing insights into why it is important to foster innovation and productivity as we seek to improve and enhance our standard of living. I've posted a couple of links to some of Lynch's works in the recent past - his insights are sound regarding the need for fostering improved business R&D investment vis-a-vis our investment in R&D through higher education institutions. Realigning the HERD|BERD imbalance is one key step in fostering improved productivity thus our standard of living.

Elsewhere in today's Globe is a piece on the sale of Nortel's Ottawa campus to the federal government. This is a sad indictment of Canada's failure to support private sector R&D. As I noted in my post on the Economy n+1, Nortel was responsible for a large portion of our reported BERD. Economy n+1 is the next stage of growth, past 2.0 and 3.0, anticipating a future state where social and economic productivity growth is part of the fabric of Canadian life. This requires us to be less risk averse. As Canada will rely on immigration for all net new labour force growth starting next year, we have an opportunity to capitalize on those who take the risk to leave their countries to settle in Canada. I think this bodes well for future change. As agents of change we have difficult times to get through to be sure, but change we must as a society to fix our ailing productivity.

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