03 April 2012

Post-Budget Address By Minister Goodyear outlines Canada's business innovation agenda

Minister of State for Science and Technology and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario Gary Goodyear addressed the Economic Club this morning in a post-budget speech outlining Canada's approach to fostering greater business innovation. Minister Goodyear opened with a reminder that, while Canada is doing well economically, "we are facing competition from emerging, fast-growing economies." The entrepreneur is the driving force behind the economy, and supporting business innovation is a priority emerging from Budget 2012, as I outlined in my last post. While Canada is first in HERD in the G7, Minister Goodyear reminded the audience that "results matter more than rank".  (As an aside, the person I was sitting next to reported hearing on the radio this week that Canada is #2 in HERD; 19th in BERD. If true, this is worse than last year.) This is the well known refrain of how Canada lags in business investment in R&D. The new funding announced in Budget 2012 retains our world leading research spending (HERD), while focusing new money on fostering greater industry-academic partnerships and business investments in R&D and innovation. This is exactly what Canada needs.

James Bradshaw, in a Globe and Mail article last Friday, quoted me (and others) in support of the Budget, which I said was “good for competitiveness and good for productivity. The big message here is that the federal government is focusing its innovation efforts on the private sector, and that’s something that’s sorely needed in this country,” Dr. Luke said. “We need to be a world-leading applied research and commercialization country. That’s where this budget is heading us to.”

Canada's approach to business innovation is in keeping with Bank of Canada Marc Carney's speech on "Exporting in a Post Crisis World." Carney outlines the need for Canada to update our approach to international markets, signalling a shift that will see "Canadian businesses retooling and reorienting to the new global economy." Currently we are "concentrated in slow-growing advanced economies, particularly the United States, rather than fast-growing emerging markets." This was the point Minister Goodyear made this morning, and it relates very well to the concept of a soft landing in international markets, which I outlined just over a year ago. That is, educational institutions like George Brown College are working with our international education partners to provide our entrepreneurs and industry partners with connections to global markets. Our international partners can connect industry to their markets, working with us to adapt and adopt (adoptation) technologies to the realities of place within each locality. Not only can we work together to internationalize education, but we can work toward engaging our industry directly in providing entrance to new, emerging markets. And that's good for Canadian competitiveness and productivity.

No comments: