Grow companies and accelerate clean growth

Build the right management foundation at an early-stage for Cleantech innovators

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 12/02/2016 1480715188
INTRODUCTION The Ultra-Deep Mining Network (UDMN) includes projects focussed on clean technologies like underground electric vehicles, energy efficie .... Read more

INTRODUCTION

The Ultra-Deep Mining Network (UDMN) includes projects focussed on clean technologies like underground electric vehicles, energy efficient hydraulic air compression, liquid air power, wind-powered energy generation, and geothermal energy projects. In this space, we’ve found that many of the key proponents come from smaller companies, often originating in academia, and as such, there are gaps to rapid scale-up that are both funding and skills based.

CHALLENGES

In order to support these potential rapid-growth firms, there must be early seed funding and market-driven technical support from the onset.  Then, as the technology moves closer to commercialization, the intensity of support must expand in scope.  Early stage companies need access to contacts, market intelligence, mentorship, training programs, and commercialization funding.  In a network setting, where innovators have preferred access to mining companies, academia, vendors, partners, and collaborators, it is easier to bridge the gap to commercialization and beyond but still requires significant effort and resources.

SOLUTIONS

There are significant enablers required for rapid growth companies to become large scale organizations.  For instance, they must have a competent workforce base, consistent funding, strong business and technical capability.  An organization’s ability to capitalize on these factors is contingent upon the culture and success that is stemmed from their initial commercialization efforts.  With a modest investment, the government ensures novel clean technologies make it to the commercialization stage. Then, they can support SME entrepreneurs by providing initial funding and develop strong management skills to enable rapidly scaling-up a successful innovation.  These dollars can come through grant funding that can be leveraged with risk capital or through financial vehicles that are tailored to the growth needs of these SME innovators.  However, they must be dependent upon strong technology management capabilities developed at an early stage, which set the foundation for organizational culture and all future decisions.

*Note:  For information about the Ultra-Deep Mining Network, please visit: https://www.miningdeep.ca/ 

Credit: Ultra-Deep Mining Network

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The Next Generation of Sustainable Buildings - Scaling Impact Across the Nation

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 11/25/2016 1480092772
Tags:
As the Honourable Kirsty Duncan noted in a speech on June 14, Canada already has world-renowned researchers in clean technology and is a global leader .... Read more

As the Honourable Kirsty Duncan noted in a speech on June 14, Canada already has world-renowned researchers in clean technology and is a global leader in this field. Accordingly, we would like to share with you a world-class opportunity to help make Canadians more adaptable and resilient and to create good jobs in the clean economy, driving growth and improving lives.

The Centre for Sustainability Excellence (CSE, working name) is being constructed in Waterloo Region’s David Johnson Research + Technology Park, land owned by the University of Waterloo. An environmental non-profit, Sustainable Waterloo Region, is leveraging an unprecedented partnership of public, private, academic and non-profit groups to construct a first-of-its-kind, regenerative-concept, multi-tenant office building.

This 100,000 square foot, leading-edge high-performance commercial office building will include a Clean-Economy innovation hub that leverages multi-sectoral involvement to advance Canada’s position as a world leader in clean economy development. This will actively translate ideas into new products and services to benefit all Canadians.

The CSE aims to be net-positive for energy, water, air, and waste and will help meet regional, provincial and national goals of carbon reduction and resource efficiency. The entire project is designed to be a centre of national and international learning about green technology. A very exciting part of this project is its investigation of the human psychology of behavioural sustainability. This emerging field will be explored through a research institute housed within the building. The institute aspires to have an endowed Canada research chair that will establish the country as a world leader in the psychology of sustainability. 

Research shows that human factors have considerable impact on the operation of high-performance buildings in Canada and around the world. Individual and collective habits and behaviours contribute significantly to the performance gap between what traditional green buildings say they can accomplish and what they actually end up using in energy and producing in carbon. This research institute will help us understand how to make clean technology actually work in the real world.

Additionally, integrating social aspects of sustainability will lead to the development of community and individual well-being, improving occupant wellbeing and productivity, and strengthening the business case for green thinking and investment.

Finally, and most importantly, the shift in thinking about how sustainability truly works for people will prove the business case for sustainability as an economic argument and be a catalyst for the development of the clean economy in Canada. The project will be scalable and replicable, and the development team is committed to sharing the learnings from this project in order to inspire others in the creation of similar projects.

Please see the attached document for a more in-depth introduction to Canada’s Centre for Sustainability Excellence.

Credit: Submitted by Janet Kimantas on behalf of Sustainable Waterloo Region

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Building businesses with a strong local foundation

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 11/08/2016 1478615942
Tags:
  The following is excerpted from Newspapers Canada's full submission, which is attached.   Minister Bains, in the same Toronto Star column, poin .... Read more

 

The following is excerpted from Newspapers Canada's full submission, which is attached.

 

Minister Bains, in the same Toronto Star column, pointed out that innovation “can be in a start-up garage in Vancouver, a mine in Saskatoon, or a fishery in Saint John.” In a recent interview with Canadian Business, he also raised the following issue: “We’re really good at starting up companies. Seventy thousand companies each year we start, approximately, but, how do we grow them?”

Canadian newspapers believe that we can do so through effective community advertising and marketing. There is a snowballing effect at play: as more people find out about a product/organization, even more people will learn about it (through word of mouth, promotions, etc.). For example, a book that is on the best-seller list will get even more sales by the virtue of being on that list, and after a certain point, it becomes so well-known that its status becomes secured. Innovative companies need a similar approach.

Community newspapers have a strong local voice and connections. Consequently, they can help build a brand bottom-up, with strong local support; they can first establish the status of a small innovative business within a community.

Community newspapers are able to effectively communicate to local audiences because they represent the neighbourhoods they serve and are able to target these communities. 62% of Canadians cite community newspapers as their medium of choice for local information. Of those who read community newspapers, 95% cite local information as their reason for reading community newspaper, and 67%, as advertising. A business with a strong community foundation will then be spread outward through further newspaper presence (e.g. article featuring the business) and word of mouth.

Indeed, many global businesses started out in such manner, as a strong community business before moving into other communities, states and provinces, and then countries. Take Burt’s Bees, for instance, which started at a small town in Maine. The business first built its reputation at a town craft fair, before establishing its name in Maine, then in New York, and so on.

As mentioned previously, Newspapers Canada strongly encourages the Canadian government to increase its advertisement spending in newspapers, as well as develop measures (e.g. tax credit) to incentivize Canadian businesses to increase their use of newspaper advertisement.

In addition, we propose that the Canada Periodical Fund be expanded for community newspapers. The rules need to be updated to encourage the production of Canadian content, not only to subsidize the distribution costs of paid circulation newspapers. Even though many community papers are reaching broad audiences with free circulation, they do not get support from the fund.

As shown above, community newspapers play a huge role in building a strong support network for businesses, and in order to do so, they need more support from the government and other businesses.

Credit: Newspapers Canada

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Growth through hubs and clusters

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 11/04/2016 1478267394
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Creating Innovation Service Hubs at colleges and institutes would provide cluster partners, local incubators and accelerators with a single point of e .... Read more

Creating Innovation Service Hubs at colleges and institutes would provide cluster partners, local incubators and accelerators with a single point of entry to the resources and facilities available on campus and offer direct support to student and community entrepreneurs. Amplifying the impact of Innovation Service Hubs with stable, scalable funding will ensure that businesses have the tools and talent they need to grow.

 

Read more in CICan’s full submission to the Innovation Agenda here: http://bit.ly/2ebHwvv

Credit: Colleges and Institutes Canada

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Integrated Gas Turbine Energy Solutions

Question:Which market-based approaches encourage adoption of clean technologies?
on 11/03/2016 1478197215
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The energy and environmental challenges involve several important aspects; problems of climate change and air pollution, the need for reliability and .... Read more

The energy and environmental challenges involve several important aspects; problems of climate change and air pollution, the need for reliability and resiliency from extreme weather events, regional energy security, plus system efficiency, diversity and affordability.  Can we put all these objectives together in national strategy for heat, power, efficiency and transportation ? 

Many future energy and innovation opportunities are linked around conservation, renewables and efficient hydrogen-based natural gas systems. They can work together as reliable and complementary partners - all of these systems can help solve most of those objectives at once.   

Gas turbine energy systems (powered by high pressure air) can use a flexible combination of fuels in a diverse range of applications to provide efficient and clean thermal energy and power output in all sectors.  Research, education, training, energy integration and policy clarity can lead to the continued potential for these cleaner and reliable distributed energy systems across Canada.  Comprehensive and innovative energy solutions can form linkages among natural gas, renewable energy production and bio-energy.

Manfred Klein, Ottawa

IAGT Committee  ( www.iagtcommittee.com  )

 

Credit: IAGT Industrial Gas Turbine Committee

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BlendingComposter

Question:Which market-based approaches encourage adoption of clean technologies?
on 10/28/2016 1477630853
A place to bring Compostable Items, which has an Industrial Blender, specifically to wear down the tougher bits (Egg Shells, Banana Stems, Big Seeds, .... Read more

A place to bring Compostable Items, which has an Industrial Blender, specifically to wear down the tougher bits (Egg Shells, Banana Stems, Big Seeds, etc).You can bring Your Items, and even leave with them Processed, for your own Plants.

Bottled up for later and chilled in a cold location, transported there by Electric Transport, fueled by another Facility of my Intention.

Less smell, less work, quicker results, quality?, emissions? - a few unknowns.

Credit: Shirley Blidook

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Establish a multi-sector Solutions Finance Agency

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 10/27/2016 1477603704
Financed by philanthropic, private, and public partners, the agency, possibly housed at BDC, would make available right-sized financing vehicles for e .... Read more

Financed by philanthropic, private, and public partners, the agency, possibly housed at BDC, would make available right-sized financing vehicles for each stage of the social innovation lifecycle from ideation to scale including: catalytic first-loss capital, demonstration funding, social R&D, matching dollars for intermediary platforms financing performance and outcomes vehicles, and scale capital, especially aligned with the 10 grand challenges.

Credit: Social Innovation Generation

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Pay tax or put it towards your new car or solar roof

Question:Which market-based approaches encourage adoption of clean technologies?
on 10/19/2016 1476912121
Tags:
I don't have all the details of how this would work but if there could be a system that helps the average person to be able to afford an electric car .... Read more

I don't have all the details of how this would work but if there could be a system that helps the average person to be able to afford an electric car or solar roof people would witch in no time and companies would innovate to meet demand.

 

My idea: Give people the choice to pay tax on gasoline and other things or put that credit toward an electric car or solar roof.

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Greater Vison Required to Develop New "Greener and Cleaner" Economy

Question:What more can be done to increase business enterprise R&D (BERD) spending?
on 10/19/2016 1476904654
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Larger ideas would make the idea of a greener country and culture more exciting and therefore more possible as we create exciting employment opportuni .... Read more

Larger ideas would make the idea of a greener country and culture more exciting and therefore more possible as we create exciting employment opportunities in many areas of the economy! Let's not only look for Band-Aid solutions to clean up existing technologies or approaches, but instead, create ways to utilize new and budding methodologies to augment those that already exist. For example, what can we do with rainwater that falls on the roofs of office towers and runs off 20+ storeys to augment the amount of electricity it uses? Are we really harnessing the energy that wind has to offer?

Of course a lot of alternatives already exist and some such as tidal energy in the Bay of Fundy is still at the developmental phase, but Canada should take it to the next level by combining existing alternatives while discovering new ones. 

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Renovation and Retrofit

Question:Which market-based approaches encourage adoption of clean technologies?
on 10/19/2016 1476892474
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In residential construction, there are now more dollars spent each year on renovation than on new construction. When you consider that the 50% of Cana .... Read more

In residential construction, there are now more dollars spent each year on renovation than on new construction. When you consider that the 50% of Canada’s housing stock built before 1985 uses twice as much energy as the homes built since 1985, the most significant opportunity to encourage adoption of clean technologies (and in doing so, also address the Government’s climate change goals) in the residential sector is through renovation.

LEEP, for example, could be extended to renovation. The energy savings potential in renovation is much greater than in new construction, but the smaller enterprise size typical of the renovation sector, and the much greater variety of re‐construction issues and challenges to be faced, makes diffusion of new technology more difficult. LEEP offers an excellent and proven approach to addressing these barriers and accelerating market adoption of renovation innovations.

In a broader context, retrofitting existing buildings, infrastructure, and systems with clean technologies will widen their application and speed their adoption.

Credit: Canadian Home Builders' Association

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Local Energy Efficiency Partnerships Program

Question:Which market-based approaches encourage adoption of clean technologies?
on 10/19/2016 1476892420
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Significant progress has been accomplished through technology and systems innovation, voluntary, market-driven adoption of higher standards of perform .... Read more

Significant progress has been accomplished through technology and systems innovation, voluntary, market-driven adoption of higher standards of performance, and a uniquely Canadian research and development collaboration between the public and private sectors. This is achieved with a balance between fundamental research to support new innovations and the commercialization of ideas.

The government can best facilitate adoption by moving beyond simply support for demonstration projects onto work to address systemic barriers that stifle innovation, including market barriers and the lack of consumer literacy that inhibits wide spread adoption.

One of the toughest challenges in getting new technologies broadly adopted in the marketplace lies in moving the industry and the marketplace beyond that which is technically proven. It requires “de-risking” of innovations (including “working out the real kinks” in broader on-site applications) so that broader diffusion into industry and with consumers can take place.  Moving innovations from niche status to the mainstream is often referred to as “crossing the chasm”.

In residential construction, there is a modest but very successful program by the Government of Canada (in the Department of Natural Resources Canada) that has achieved excellent results in overcoming this challenge – the Local Energy Efficiency Partnerships (LEEP) Program.

LEEP is delivered on a regional basis, engaging a critical mass of builders who are capable of identifying and incorporating product innovations that are best suited for the region. Working together through the LEEP initiative, and supported by Government of Canada experts, builders use LEEP to reduce the time and risk involved in finding and applying innovations that result in better quality, high performance homes.  LEEP makes the innovation cycle faster, less risky and more affordable.  The information generated through LEEP projects is then shared with other builders in the region, accelerating market diffusion of the best proven technologies and innovations.

This approach to “crossing the chasm” has been very successful and has led to accelerated deployment of several important technologies - heating and cooling systems, insulation systems and more. Now is the time to resource LEEP properly and promote demand for clean technology by consumers.

Credit: Canadian Home Builders' Association

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soutien aux pme dans un marché global

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 10/08/2016 1475920024
Tags:
financer des activités agricoles bio au Bénin et créer un partenariat dans le secteur agricole alimentaire canadien.  produits : noix de cajou, n .... Read more

financer des activités agricoles bio au Bénin et créer un partenariat dans le secteur agricole alimentaire canadien. 

produits : noix de cajou, noix de karité, soucheT,  sésame pois d angole. ...

Credit: Priscille Goussanou directrice de Ets la bonne terre spécialisé dans le trading des produits agricol

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soutien aux pme dans un marché global

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 10/08/2016 1475920022
Tags:
financer des activités agricoles bio au Bénin et créer un partenariat dans le secteur agricole alimentaire canadien.  produits : noix de cajou, n .... Read more

financer des activités agricoles bio au Bénin et créer un partenariat dans le secteur agricole alimentaire canadien. 

produits : noix de cajou, noix de karité, soucheT,  sésame pois d angole. ...

Credit: Priscille Goussanou directrice de Ets la bonne terre spécialisé dans le trading des produits agricol

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Support Ideas Tthat Promote Candian Foriegn Image

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 10/07/2016 1475855780
Is there a financial support for Canadian ideas that will help to promote Canadian image and the sometime help to provide  development for community .... Read more

Is there a financial support for Canadian ideas that will help to promote Canadian image and the sometime help to provide  development for community in Africa and Undeveloped countries. 

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Goods Transportation via Shareable, Intelligent, Automated, Electric Semi-Trucks

Question:Which market-based approaches encourage adoption of clean technologies?
on 10/06/2016 1475782216
A network of Transport Vehicles, that can drive themselves, run on Electricity, are available, for anyone, to rent/borrow/use, and can co-ordinate get .... Read more

A network of Transport Vehicles, that can drive themselves, run on Electricity, are available, for anyone, to rent/borrow/use, and can co-ordinate getting Goods from one place to another.With limitations on Batteries at the moment, these Vehicles rely on multiple Stations/Warehouses along their Routes, which can Swap Batteries, Charge the Vehicle, or setup another Vehicle to pick up the Load and continue on with it, towards its destination.Local Truckers can Drop-off or Pick-up Trailers from the Stations, and the Company they work for has Rented the Transport of the Trailers, via this Network, which is owned by Canada, to keep the Air Clean, and our Citizens Safe.

Companies can Plan Transportation of Trailers/Goods easily on the Website, by App, or by Phone, etc. They can Save Money by using this Service, and afford to Pay their Employees more, and contribute to the Income of Canada, which is passed onto Citizens in need, opportunities for Growth and Change, and extra surplus goes towards Healing the World.

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Remove Unlawful Patent Barriers

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 10/06/2016 1475712574
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) should withdraw its patent-unfriendly examination policies, namely PN2013-02, PN2013-03, and PN2015-0 .... Read more

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) should withdraw its patent-unfriendly examination policies, namely PN2013-02, PN2013-03, and PN2015-02. These polices are not only completely contrary to Canadian law, but are stifling to innovation in the high-tech and biotechnology sectors. Companies are actively turning away from the Canadian market, and local innovators cannot commercialize their inventions without the prospect of a proprietary position. It is not realistic to expect innovators to challenge these policies in court time and time again.  CIPO should seriously examine who is setting these incorrect and anti-innovative policies and why.

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New certification and identity for Canadá products, things that you buy once and never again

Question:Which market-based approaches encourage adoption of clean technologies?
on 10/05/2016 1475707688
Canada might be the first country  in regulating and promoting the ended programmed obsolescence.Planned obsolescence is a business strategy in whic .... Read more

Canada might be the first country  in regulating and promoting the ended programmed obsolescence.Planned obsolescence is a business strategy in which the obsolescence (the process of becoming obsolete—that is, unfashionable or no longer usable) of a product is planned and built into it from its conception. This is done so that in future the consumer feels a need to purchase new products and services that the manufacturer brings out as replacements for the old ones. Canada can develop a certification of its products that are done to last the  maximum possible, that they can be repaired and that count with supply, and to last for the whole life. The crisis of climate change and the quantity of garbage need a drastic change that Canada can lead: articles to last, with classic designs, which are repaired and are recycable. Things to take care of the planet, which you buy once and never again.

Credit: pilarvalenzu@gmail.com

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Concept for Fostering Innovation-I Prize

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 10/05/2016 1475684205
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Inspired by the XPrize program, the IPrize (I for innovation) incentivizes rapid development and resolution of challenges through cash awards. .... Read more

Inspired by the XPrize program, the IPrize (I for innovation) incentivizes rapid development and resolution of challenges through cash awards.

Credit: This idea belongs to a constituent, Mr. Dan McLaughlin, Riverview, NB

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Minimize paper tax returns by seniors

Question:Which market-based approaches encourage adoption of clean technologies?
on 10/04/2016 1475608427
Tags:
When working as Order of Attachments clerk, I've noticed a lot of paper returns are being sent by retired people who only send 1 or 2 T forms and m .... Read more

When working as Order of Attachments clerk, I've noticed a lot of paper returns are being sent by retired people who only send 1 or 2 T forms and maybe have some charitable deductions and medical receipts. Why not have some help for them to submit their returns online? There could be a very easy CRA web interface for seniors and there should be a lot more push for paperless returns from CRA. The seniors like to staple, tape or glue their T forms separately and it takes a lot of time to detach all forms and put them in a correct order by the clerks. There are also incorrect instructions on T4A OAS form on attaching a copy to each federal and provincial return. A lot of paper would be saved by making it easier for seniors to do their returns online and a lot of clerk man-hours spent could be eliminated.

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Capitalizing on waste heat - money going up in thin air

Question:Which market-based approaches encourage adoption of clean technologies?
on 10/03/2016 1475530037
Tags:
Due to the lack of policy incentives and regulation drivers clear and easy winners such as CHP and DE often do not manifest. The amount of waste energ .... Read more

Due to the lack of policy incentives and regulation drivers clear and easy winners such as CHP and DE often do not manifest. The amount of waste energy (heating and cooling) that is released to atmosphere from industry, utilities and the buildings sector is significant. These are major efficiency projects.  Often there is no drivers to require people to come to the table and-or the product of waste heat is not monetized. I saw a recent presentation where in Sweden they have new businesses that broker waste heat as a renewable fuel commodity. Some of the other challenges is the lack of provincial-municipal policy integration thus treating sectors sources totally separate with policy frameworks that are not supportive of integration. The business case is there - spin-offs for growth (waste heat brokers, DE and CHP with a domestic fuel analysis and potential, facilitators, construction, equipment ...)

Credit: This idea is not new it is referenced and practiced in Sweden, many european countries, USEPA ...

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Supporting Job Creation through SMEs: Proposal for the Development of a Support and Innovation Network for Small Enterprises (SINSE)

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 10/03/2016 1475506203
Tags: SME  innovation  employment 
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have a demonstrated potential to further job creation in Canada. Between 2005 and 2015, 87.7% of all new job .... Read more

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have a demonstrated potential to further job creation in Canada. Between 2005 and 2015, 87.7% of all new jobs in Canada were created in small businesses while another 7.7% were created by medium sized enterprises.  

Nevertheless, SMEs struggle with several significant challenges:

  • Building a sustainable innovation initiative and having the capacity to execute it fully
  • Competing efficiently in a digital world
  • Competing successfully on a global scale
  • Successfully adopting technologies (including access to HQP talent pools)
  • Gaining access to advanced research and research infrastructure

Although several federal and provincial programs have been put into place to promote the growth of SMEs, many firms fail to take advantage of these incentives either because they are uninformed, they are unaware, or they lack the expertise to negotiate the process.  These hurdles limit SME’s ability to fully engage with, and contribute to, Canada’s entrepreneurial and creative society. We propose to overcome these problems with a targeted initiative.

Over the course of the past few decades, Canada has increasingly become a knowledge-based economy (KBE). Its economic success depends on the ability of individuals and organisations to connect and share their knowledge and experience. Large businesses have historically been successful at creating and maintaining their own networks. However, SMEs are at an informational disadvantage, primarily owing to their size. This proposal suggests the development of a Support and Innovation Network for Small Enterprises (SINSE) to aid SMEs in participating in the KBE.

The SINSE’s  aim is to increase the competitiveness of SMEs with the ultimate goal of promoting economic growth through the creation of gainful and lasting employment for Canadians. Networks of this type do exist, with varying levels of formality and scope, across the country. However, a more formalized structure across the country would better enable the government to monitor success, work with the various network members, and promote innovations in network structure.

Collaboration through the SINSE will ensure that SMEs receive the support they need from universities and government at all levels. By connecting SMEs to various programs, services, mentors, experts, investors, and those actors’ networks, SMEs will be better equipped with the knowledge needed to tackle barriers to growth and increase employment nationwide.

Credit: Concordia University/Office of the Provost/David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise

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Defence spending on research and development should be a big part of our innovation solution

Question:What more can be done to increase business enterprise R&D (BERD) spending?
on 10/03/2016 1475501468
Tags:
There are two central points here for building a successful innovation agenda in Canada. First, defence procurement and defence R&D can be powerful i .... Read more

There are two central points here for building a successful innovation agenda in Canada.

First, defence procurement and defence R&D can be powerful instruments in the innovation policy arsenal. This can lead to commercial applications that have enormous long-term benefits for a country's productivity and competitiveness.

Second, defence companies need to be thought of more broadly as technology firms and innovators. A recent ISED/Statistics Canada report concluded that almost 60 per cent of Canadian defence companies derived less than half their revenue from military sales.

Defence spending on procurement and R&D can and should be a major part of Canada's innovation solution.

http://www.infomedia.gc.ca/ic/articles/unrestricted/2016/09/ic201693422195464_68.htm

Defence spending on research and development should be a big part of our innovation solution

Globe and Mail

September 28 2016

Credit: Christyn Cianfarani, President of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADS

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Supporting Innovation and Deployment in the Canadian Natural Gas transportation Sector

Question:Which market-based approaches encourage adoption of clean technologies?
on 09/30/2016 1475263551
Canada has been a leader in natural gas vehicle technologies for more than three decades.  Today’s medium and heavy duty natural gas engine and .... Read more

Canada has been a leader in natural gas vehicle technologies for more than three decades.  Today’s medium and heavy duty natural gas engine and fuel tank technologies made by Westport, Luxfer and Agility, were developed and designed in Canada, and are sold around the world.  Similarly, Canadian compression and gas polishing equipment made by Clean Energy Compression, Kraus and Xebec support refueling stations here in Canada and abroad.  As an innovative clean technology, Canada’s natural gas vehicle sector is already supporting Canadians, and has the potential to have a much greater positive impact.

Credit: Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance

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Enable transfer of IP from government to business

Question:What more can be done to increase business enterprise R&D (BERD) spending?
on 09/30/2016 1475259163
Tags:
Intellectual property that is developed inside government should be made available to Canadian enterprises - or those that wish to create and keep job .... Read more

Intellectual property that is developed inside government should be made available to Canadian enterprises - or those that wish to create and keep jobs in Canada, without charge. The government should write license agreements that specify very minimal or no royalty payment back to the crown, although a means of ensuring that the accrued economic benefit remain in Canada should be built into the agreements.

 

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How can Canada better support the scale-up of innovative companies into the next generation of billion-dollar global players?

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 09/29/2016 1475167667
Every day, Canada’s CPAs focus their energies on growing business for their employers, clients, or for their own firms. CPAs are well acquainted .... Read more

Every day, Canada’s CPAs focus their energies on growing business for their employers, clients, or for their own firms. CPAs are well acquainted with the challenges and barriers Canadian entrepreneurs face in fully realizing their ambitions. We will focus our response to this question on three themes: government’s role in building demand for Canada’s innovations; ensuring that policies are properly targeted and have the right incentives to encourage innovation and growth; and the role of the tax system in promoting innovation and, more importantly, in creating a positive business environment.

 

Building demand for innovations

 

As mentioned at the top of this paper, much of the discussion around innovation usually involves the supply-side incentives to encourage investment in research and development and the hope that such investments will actually lead to innovation. But entrepreneurs have told us, “I don’t need another government grant, I need a customer.” In this regard, government could be playing a much more constructive role.

 

One of the six recommendations of the expert panel on the Review of Federal Support to Research and Development, more commonly known as the Jenkins Report for the panel’s chair, Tom Jenkins, was to “make business innovation one of the core objectives of (government) procurement.”[1]

 

The panel’s report explained, “The government’s procurement and related programming must be used to create opportunity and demand for leading-edge goods, services and technologies from Canadian suppliers, thereby fostering the development of innovative and globally competitive Canadian companies while also stimulating innovation and greater productivity in the delivery of public sector goods and services.”

 

Businesses respond best to market forces. Where there is a demand, they will invest in order to meet that market opportunity. The federal government spends approximately $16.05 billion each year on a diverse range of goods and services for federal departments and agencies. Yet compared to many other countries, Canada does not effectively use this buying power to stimulate innovation in Canadian firms. Peers and competitors such as the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia and a number of European countries all have programs that channel government procurement contracts to support innovation and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

 

Government procurement decisions are based largely on a bid’s costs and technical merits. Certainly, as professional accountants, CPA Canada strongly encourages such a responsible focus on ensuring tax dollars are spent wisely. But accountants also understand that value can be determined by more than just a bid’s cost. Expanding on the Jenkins recommendation, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, among others, argued that Canada should develop a government procurement strategy with a focus on “best overall value to Canada.” [2] Such a strategy might include domestic innovation as one of the criteria for assessing procurement bids. The Jenkins panel suggests procurement requests should be based on outcomes-oriented specifications rather than detailed technical specifications that constrict innovation.

 

We should acknowledge here that the federal Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) is an initiative that helps to address this need for demand-side assistance. As the program was made permanent in 2012, it would be timely to review its performance and adjust it as necessary. And to be clear, we are not proposing a protectionist Canada-first policy. The overall objective of government procurement must remain choosing the bids that best meet Canada’s needs. Bids from international suppliers help to enhance competition and provide access to best-of-class technologies. Nevertheless, a procurement strategy would recognize added value when a bid supports innovation and the growth of Canadian SMEs.

 

A well-constructed government procurement strategy would assist domestic small businesses to scale up by providing that all-important first sale, help introduce more innovation into the delivery of government programs and services, and help to ensure a return on the government’s investments (through grants and tax credits) in the product’s initial research and development. It would also incent international bidders to seek Canadian partners, suppliers and sub-contractors, and facilitate the transfer of technology.

 

However, developing a procurement strategy that supports innovation would not be an easy exercise for government. The strategy would have to be developed with great care to ensure that the procurement process remains clear and transparent, that it complies with international trade obligations, that it is not subject to political interference, and that the prudent allocation of tax dollars remains a top priority.

 

Targeting policies for growth

 

Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) comprise more than 99 per cent of the number of businesses in Canada and contribute almost 40 per cent to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP).[3] Small businesses alone, which are defined as having between one and 99 employees, account for almost 98 per cent of all businesses in the country, over 70 per cent of private-sector employees and roughly 30 per cent of GDP. Based on those data, it is understandable that government would design programs and tax preferences that favour small businesses in an effort to encourage them to grow.

 

However, the size of the firm may not always be the best basis for policies if growth is the intended result. In fact, programs and policies that favour small firms may inadvertently become a disincentive for those firms to grow beyond a certain threshold. We are often told that small businesses are the job creators in our economy, but the reality is that it is young firms and fast-growing firms that create the most employment, regardless of their size.[4]

 

 

This is borne out by OECD data that compares job growth in start-ups at three, five and seven year intervals. The data shows positive job growth in the first two or three years after formation of start-ups, a trend that is consistent across the surveyed countries. However, “little or no additional net job creation” is recorded beyond the third year for Canadian start-ups. The numbers are even more striking when Canada is compared to the other OECD countries surveyed as almost all show continued job growth after seven years.[5]

 

The latest OECD Economic Survey of Canada highlights “lackluster small business dynamism” as a concern, noting “there seems to be a comparatively large share of small old firms, which contribute less to productivity and employment growth.”[6] The reality is that not all small businesses have the potential or desire to grow, but government policies that target the SME sector as a whole, treat all SMEs as if they have the same potential. If growth is the desired outcome, government policies should be more narrowly focused on those firms that, in the words of Red Wilson’s Competition Policy Review Panel, “demonstrate the desire and capacity to grow to become large enterprises.”[7]  

 

Depending on the intended outcome, a better approach to metrics would be to target new firms, mid-sized firms, or firms that have achieved a consistently high rate of growth for several consecutive years. (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada have accepted a good definition of high-growth firms: firms growing by 20 per cent or more annually for three years.) The government has already taken a positive step in this direction by announcing in Budget 2016 its intent to launch a new initiative to help high-impact firms scale up and further their global competitiveness.

 

Tax measures

 

Canada has relied heavily on the tax system to encourage business investment in research and development, particularly through the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit program. Still, there is more the government could be doing to stimulate other factors of innovation.

 

Even though Canada invests much more heavily in indirect support of research and development (through the SR&ED program) than most other OECD countries, the results have been rather disappointing. The Jenkins report addressed this imbalance between indirect and direct support and the government responded with a number of changes to SR&ED in the 2012 federal budget. SR&ED is an important program for Canadian businesses, but it is flawed and would benefit from further refinement. We draw attention here to two significant weaknesses in the SR&ED program.

 

The first problem is a bias – as discussed in the section above – toward small businesses. Certainly, small businesses face particular challenges such as fewer internal resources and difficulties accessing capital. The SR&ED program is particularly helpful for many small businesses in addressing those issues, especially in their early stages.

 

But large businesses face their own challenges. A Canadian division of a multinational enterprise must compete for research mandates with other international divisions. One component of SR&ED is an investment tax credit which, for SMEs, is fully refundable. That is not the case for large firms. This creates particular challenges for the Canadian divisions of U.S.-based multinationals because the interplay between the Canadian and U.S. tax regimes makes a non-refundable credit less relevant, if at all.

 

While an argument can be made that young firms which have little, if any, revenue require full refundability on unused credits, we recommend removing the size bias by making the credit partially refundable for businesses of all sizes.

 

SR&ED suffers from a second bias: the one against capital expenditures. As a result of the 2012 reforms, capital expenditures were removed from the eligible expenses. This may cause businesses to favour one type of research activity over another. As noted in our pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, we recommend that capital expenditures be reinstated for eligibility under SR&ED.[8]

 

Despite the generosity of Canada’s SR&ED program, R&D investment by Canadian firms lags many other OECD countries. But the real concern is Canada’s record of commercializing the product of its R&D. As PricewaterhouseCoopers senior economist Mark Parsons has pointed out, a competitive tax environment across the entire innovation value chain is needed.[9] In other words, the “push” incentive of R&D tax credits needs to be balanced by a favourable tax rate for commercialization of innovations, or a “pull” factor.

 

The 2008 final report of the Advisory Panel on Canada’s System of International Taxation expressed concern that businesses often choose to move intellectual property out of Canada rather than locating IP-related activity here where it would contribute to Canada’s tax base. The panel (which included former CPA Canada President and CEO Kevin Dancey) recommended that the government consider taxing income derived from intellectual property at a preferential rate.[10]  Since that time, a number of countries – and most recently, the province of Quebec – have done exactly that by adopting a tax measure known as a “patent box”.

 

 

 

Economist Finn Poschmann (also a member of the Advisor Panel on Canada’s System of International Taxation) has pointed out that the patent box helps compensate for the above-mentioned weaknesses in SR&ED and, more importantly, focuses on outcomes rather than inputs. “For the SR&ED, it is the spending that counts, and it doesn’t have to be connected to any useful outcomes.” [11]

 

As Poschmann points out, while a patent box would improve Canada’s international tax competitiveness, the real benefit is “co-location” – that is, businesses choosing to locate both their R&D activities and their manufacturing in the same jurisdiction leading to improvements in productivity, jobs and economic growth. Many of Canada’s peers and competitors have already introduced patent boxes so it is also a matter of remaining competitive.

 

The Jenkins report noted Canada’s weak venture capital market and the challenges innovation-focused businesses face accessing the capital to grow. The federal government responded with a significant investment in venture capital to be managed through the Business Development Bank of Canada. But gaps in risk-capital financing still remain. British Columbia, through its Venture Capital Corporation (VCC) program, has developed a tax measure that has proved successful in filling some of that gap. Under VCC, an “angel” investment tax credit program encourages early-stage investment by providing a refundable tax credit of 30 per cent to investors in eligible small businesses.

 

The value of such a tax credit is that it reduces the level of risk for what is obviously a high-risk investment – an approach that has been very successful for countries such as Israel. The B.C. program, which received additional funding in the 2016 provincial budget, has proved to be successful even during challenging economic circumstances.[12] It is a program that should be considered nationally.

 

CPA Canada has called for many years for reform and simplification of Canada’s tax system, including the myriad of existing tax credits. We applaud the work that Finance Canada is doing to review tax expenditures and hope that will result in a more rigorous framework for assessing future tax credits. We acknowledge that our recommendations regarding a patent box and angel investor tax credit would further complicate an already complex Income Tax Act. Ideally, we would prefer to see the work of the tax expenditure review completed before the government considers new tax credits, even those we support.

 

This brings us to our final comment about tax measures – the system itself. As mentioned, we have called on the government for some time now to conduct a thorough review of Canada’s income tax system with the objective of simplifying it and improving its fairness, efficiency and international competitiveness. We fully understand the magnitude of the task, but no single government initiative could have more impact on improving the business environment, spurring innovation, improving the delivery of government services, and promoting the well-being of Canadians, than modernizing Canada’s income tax system.

 

Recommendations:

 

  • Develop a strategy to more effectively use government procurement to stimulate demand for innovation, business growth and investment.
  • Ensure government programs and policies are more effectively targeted to encourage growth and innovation.
  • Enhance the SR&ED tax credit program by making it partially refundable for all businesses, regardless of size, and by repealing the exclusion of capital expenditures as eligible expenses.
  • Implement a patent box to incent R&D in Canada and encourage Canadian businesses to develop, commercialize and retain patents in Canada.
  • After the conclusion of the tax expenditure review, explore the efficacy of an angel investment tax credit similar to the program offered in British Columbia.
  • Conduct a comprehensive review of Canada’s income tax system with the goal of modernizing and simplifying it to make it more internationally competitive and ease the burden on Canadian business.

 

[1] Innovation Canada: A Call to Action, Review of Federal Support to Research and Development – Expert Panel Report, October 2011.

[2] Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Strategic Government Procurement: Driving business investment and innovation through strategic government procurement, September 2012.

[3] Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, SME Research and Statistics, downloaded at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/061.nsf/eng/home.

[4] Business Development Bank of Canada, High-Impact Firms: Accelerating Canadian Competitiveness, 2015.

[5] Calvino, F., C. Criscuolo, and C. Menon (2016), “No Country for Young Firms?: Start-up Dynamics and National Policies”, OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers, No. 29, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5jm22p40c8mw-en

[6] OECD Economic Surveys: Canada, OECD 2016.

[7] Industry Canada, Compete to Win, Final Report of the Competition Policy Review Panel, June 2008.

[8] CPA Canada, 2016 Pre-Budget Consultation, https://www.cpacanada.ca/en/the-cpa-profession/about-cpa-canada/cpa-canadas-key-activities/government-relations/federal-budget/federal-2016-pre-budget-submission-summer

[9] Parsons, Mark, Rewarding Innovation: Improving Federal Tax Support for Business R&D in Canada, C.D. Howe Institute, September, 2011.

[10] Advisory Panel on Canada’s System of International Taxation, Enhancing Canada’s International Tax Advantage, December 2008.

[11] Poschmann, Finn, Quebec thinks inside the box – Ottawa should follow suit, Globe and Mail, p.B3, March 21, 2016.

[12] Philp, Tanner, The State of Venture Capital Investing in BC, ICABC: Beyond Numbers, April 2009, available from CPA British Columbia at http://www.bccpa.ca/legacy/profiles-publications/publications/icabc-beyond-numbers/additional-archives/2009/beyond-numbers-april-2009/on-the-cover-the-state-of-venture-capital-investi/.

Credit: Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada

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Strategie de devellopement d'entreprise dans le secteur de matières première, recyclage et transformation.

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 09/29/2016 1475140390
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Au Canada nous cherchons toujours des façons de devenir plus vert. Pourquoi ne pas mélanger virage au vert avec création d'entreprise rentables. M .... Read more

Au Canada nous cherchons toujours des façons de devenir plus vert. Pourquoi ne pas mélanger virage au vert avec création d'entreprise rentables.

Mon idée va comme ceci. Nous avons deja au Canada plusieurs entrepreneur qui on pris en main e travail de recuperer les contenant de jus et de boisson vide. Ils sont partout au Canada et se sont repartit en suivant les bassins de populations. Ils peuvent survivre grace au dépôts que les consommateurs paye a l'epicerie et a la comission de liqueur. 10 sous ou 20 sous dependament du contenant.la moitier est debourser pour financer les centre de recyclage et l'autre moitier pour recompenser les co sommateurs de recycler leur contenants. 

Pouquoi ne serais t'il pas possible de faire la même chose avec les pneus, les contenant de plastique, les contenant de verre, boites de conserve, contenant d'aluminium alimentaire, emmballage de carton, sac de plastique, ect... Tous ses produits se termine dans la nature ou aux ordures car ils n'on aucune valeur aux yeux des consommateur. Mais si des dépôts serais instaurée pour chacun des ses contenant, emballage et produits. Il se renderais au moins point de collecte que les contenant de jus et de boisson vide. L'infrastructure de transport et d'entreposage est déjà presente et les centre de recyclage sont deja bien repartit. Il ne faudrais plus qu'a aggrendir et ameliorer ses centre et cree des entreprise qui utiliserais ses matiere premiere a nouveau. Une entreprise pour chaque categorie de materiaux (exemple carton demballage) et ensuite cree des entreprise aui font la transformation de ses materiaux (exemple transformation de carton d'emballage en papier de toilette ou boite de carton).

Les depots pour chacun des emballage devrais etre bas sois 2 sous. 1 sous pour les consommateur et 1sous pour le centre de recyclege. Pour d'autre produit telle les pneus plus élevée encourageant ainsi leur recyclage d'avantage. La concentration des ses materiaux renderais ca possible. Car le plus grand obstacle a la creation de se genre d'entreprise est l'obtention de la matière première.

Le montant du depot pourrais etre apposser aur les.emballage juste a cote du signe recyclable.

Cette initiative aurais de grande repercussion sur la creation dentreprise' d'emplois manufacturier, la reduction des déchets domestique et la recuperation de matieres première. 

Plusieur autre programme pourrais etre mit en place telle.que le recyclge d'huile de cuisson, metaux et appareils electroniques. Qui pourrais egalement etre fait a partir de depots ou acheter selon leur valeur marchande. Mais les gens le ferais parce quil irais deja vendre leur matiere recyclable d'avance. Des magasin de revente 2 iem main pourrais egalement etre mit sur pied pour encourager la reutilisation des vetement apparejl electronique ettout autre bien au lieu de les jeter aux vidange. Les gens utiliserais ses service pour recuperer un peu d'argent et dautre pour profiter des aubaines et des produits peu dispendieux.

Voila mon idee a vous de décider si elle est applicable et rentable sois pour les entreprise la popultion et le Canada en entier.

Merci de votre initiative c'est incroyable que les canadien ayent enfin un endroit ou partager leurs idées.

Jean-Simon Doiron

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Leverage public and private sector investment in ocean research and infrastructure by supporting ocean innovation and entrepreneurship in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 09/28/2016 1475080959
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Since 2010, over $800 million has been invested in research and infrastructure related to cold ocean and Arctic science, technology, and social scienc .... Read more

Since 2010, over $800 million has been invested in research and infrastructure related to cold ocean and Arctic science, technology, and social sciences and humanities at Memorial. This, on top of 60-plus years of ever-growing capacity in this area, has firmly established Memorial as a world-leader (as evidenced by its recently being awarded a share of nearly $100 million as part of the Canada First Research Excellence Program, along with Dalhousie University and the University of Prince Edward Island), and a core part of an Atlantic Canada Ocean Innovation Cluster that has given rise to many scientific and engineering breakthroughs, and many very successful companies that do business all over the world. But this great success is only just the beginning. There is a great deal more innovative work that can be done.

Federal investment in innovation supports and infrastructure, such as the Marine Institute’s Holyrood Marine Base and the Oil Spill Response Centre of Excellence (Sedna Centre), along with support for increased incubation and acceleration of ocean innovation firms, will further cultivate and strengthen connections between the university and the private sector in Newfoundland and Labrador and across the North, and have significant positive benefits for the entire country.

Credit: Memorial University of Newfoundland

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Farmer Minimum Wage Program

Question:How can Canada support the scale-up of innovative companies?
on 09/26/2016 1474911212
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See attached image on how to implement Farmer Minimum Wage Program.

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Creation and development of an energy educational program

Question:Which market-based approaches encourage adoption of clean technologies?
on 09/23/2016 1474671240
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The creation and development of an energy educational program is vital for the well-being of new generations and energy professionals. Canada is curr .... Read more

The creation and development of an energy educational program is vital for the well-being of new generations and energy professionals. Canada is currently going through an economic revitalisation and transitioning to an innovative, productive, and low-carbon energy secure economy.

We have created and developed the DMF Energy Security and Climate Change Leadership Program to enhance and support the professionalism, skill and the leadership capacity of trades, consulting aspiring construction and energy sector professionals. Our program prepares participants to be domestic and international business leaders in emerging clean technology fields. Our course offering prepare learners with immediate in-demand technical and soft skills training focused on clean technology commercialization and business leadership development. 

Program Learning Outcomes for Participants:

  • To learn about domestic and international energy security, climate change, business development, and leadership. 
  • To learn how to produce properly formatted business documents, gain a deeper understanding of domestic and international markets, sales strategies and develop skills to be leaders of those working in the field and office.

Program Final Exit Point: Canadian Energy Security & Climate Change Leadership Certificate of Achievement.  

Credit: DMF Energy Inc., Canada

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Create equal access to all industry sectors to the BCIP and create Federal Innovation Vouchers

Question:What more can be done to increase business enterprise R&D (BERD) spending?
on 09/23/2016 1474660942
Create equal access to all industry sectors to the BCIP and create Federal Innovation Vouchers Expand the Build in Canada InnovationProgram (BCIP) .... Read more

Create equal access to all industry sectors to the BCIP and create Federal Innovation Vouchers

  1. Expand the Build in Canada InnovationProgram (BCIP) program to allow for demonstration projects in mining operations. The Federal Government does not own any underground hard rock mines, therefore unable to enroll mining innovations via the BCIP.
  2. Create a Federal innovation voucher program that allows companies to redeem the vouchers at qualified organizations that would directly contribute some “value add” to aid in their research and development projects. Qualified organizations could then recover their expenditures to create a win-win-win situation.
Credit: Centre for Excellence In Mining Innovation, CEMI

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