12 March 2012

Reindustrialization or, Innovation Made in Canada

Here is a link to an excellent article by Doug Saunders on famed British inventor James Dyson and the movement of reindustrialization. In a nutshell, reindustrialization is the re-making of the industry base in those economies where this has been hollowed out by off-shoring. This applies as much to Canada as anywhere else.

Last year I wrote about the relationship between thinking, making and innovation literacy, and the concept of reindustrialization fits well here.  In the innovation economy thinking and making are inextricably linked to creating new products and services. Britain's "budget for making things" represents a key step in linking what has been decoupled: basic and applied science, and industry capacity to innovate markets.  Polytechnics  Canada, as the missing link in the evolution of Canadian education and applied research, explicitly links talent preparation and applied research: this is learning by doing.

On the eve of 2012 I was on BNN talking with Michael Hainsworth about the need for Canadian industry to be price setters, not just price takers. This means adding value to products and services and innovating on the shop floor. Connecting our world-leading basic research and applied research capacity in colleges and polytechnics, and further enabling industry to access these deep pools of knowledge, expertise and talent will lead to great productivity and innovation realized. That is, we need to ensure the Canadian economy has enough regional resilience in order to capitalize on our basic science and technology strengths and foster industrial excellence around bringing discoveries made in Canada to market, made in Canada.

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