Stratford – The Canada 3.0 forum concluded Tuesday with the declaration that all Canadians should have the opportunity to participate in a fully digital world and reap the economic benefits of commercializing innovation.
“We have the opportunity to lead the world in digital media and create a national advantage by investing in innovation and turning that into commercially viable content and technology,” said Tom Jenkins, newly named Chairman of the Canadian Digital Media Network’s Advisory Board, and Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of Open Text.
To be a leader in digital media all Canadians should be connected to content and able to access that content on an equal level, organizers agreed. Content needs to be respected and copyright and ownership protected, says Ian Wilson, Strategic Advisor for the University of Waterloo Stratford Institute. “We need to connect Canadians to content on a fair and transparent basis,” said Wilson. “And every citizen in Canadian society regardless of geography – whether in an urban area or not – should be able to connect to Canadian content in an increasingly mobile world.”
Further, the forum concluded that to be successful in the digital economy, new business models are needed that encourage national collaboration and cooperation. The Canadian Digital Media Network is a first step toward creating a fabric of collaboration across Canada linking research and education facilities, industry, the government and stakeholders.
“Canada 3.0 started the conversation between the creative people who generate content, technologists who develop the means to share that content, the educators who can provide the workforce to support that effort and the government leaders who can create an environment for success,” said Kevin Tuer, Managing Director of the Canadian Digital Media Network, “That collaborative model needs to be extended on a national level.”
Tuer said the conversation will continue with the Canada 3.0 web site serving as a focal point. The Canada 3.0 forum was a landmark event that attracted some 1500 people to hear an impressive lineup of almost 70 speakers including Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, CRTC Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein, Minister of Industry Tony Clement, and Research in Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis.
The program centered on five key areas including:
* Digital infrastructure
* Mobility and media
* Digital media research and commercialization
* Talent attraction and retention
* Enterprise information management
As well, students and members of the regional community were invited to experience a Community Digital Media Bootcamp showcasing digital innovation.
Canada 3.0 was organized by the University of Waterloo, Communitech, and Open Text. It marked the launch of the UW Stratford Institute and of the Canadian Digital Media Network. Led by companies like Open Text, RIM, Christie Digital, Intel, and Agfa HealthCare, the new Canadian Digital Media Network is designed to create momentum in Canada’s digital economy through business innovation and partnership with research communities – an investment that will lead to more jobs and opportunities in digital media.