Canada’s Public Policy Forum has released Leading Innovation: Insights from Canadian Regions, a report from an initiative which sought to uncover what makes some of Canada’s key regions more innovative, and what lessons can be learned from these leading examples. Seven sessions were convened in regions across the country over the course of six-months featuring participation of entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy makers and researchers. The report is the result of a collaborative venture between the Public Policy Forum, BMO Financial Group, Deloitte, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the Government of Ontario and the Canadian Tourism Commission.
“To succeed globally, we need to innovate better locally, and this report sets out how important ‘community innovation infrastructure’ can be to that success” said Kevin Lynch, Vice-Chair of BMO Financial Group and project co-chair. “One size does not fit all, but common elements that can support more ‘organized serendipity’ in encouraging innovation at the local level were identified at the round tables held across the country.”
The report details the direction Canadians are moving to build an innovation brand, and the actions being taken to help advance this goal. “This is not another policy recommendations report,” noted Public Policy Forum President and CEO David Mitchell. “We are now well beyond diagnosing the problems. Our report highlights the actions which leading innovators can take, or are already taking, to move forward.”
Deloitte contributed insights from their Future of Productivity study to the project. Chief Innovation Officer Terry Stuart noted, “Innovation is essential to improving Canada’s productivity and sustaining our high standard of living for future generations. A Canadian approach to innovation needs to leverage our unique regional strengths.”
BDC led the project focus on venture capital and entrepreneurship. Jean-René Halde, President and Chief Executive Officer, says: “Without savvy, skilled and networked entrepreneurs making decisions to innovate, nothing will happen. The market in which they operate is tough. In the case of venture capital, we judged it appropriate to create a BDC team dedicated to helping improve the ecosystem.”