World-leading clusters and partnerships
For clusters to form, there must be the right combination of regional players who complement one another and make the group greater than the sum of its parts. The mining industry is a highly complex field across the mine lifecycle. Without the benefit of a cluster, it is difficult for organizations to holistically respond to these challenges. As such, mining clusters form naturally in Canada, such as in BC’s open-pit copper mines, Saskatchewan Uranium/potash, and Northern Ontario/Quebec’s deep underground metal mines. At the Ultra-Deep Mining Network (UDMN), the focus is on the Ontario/Quebec deep underground metal mines, who require step-change innovations in order to improve safety, and production that can extend the lives of mines/find new mines. The Cluster model is Ontario by the level of expertise in the area, the number of mines, service and supply companies and government and community support. UDMN further strengthens this cluster across Canada by supporting the innovative commercially viable projects.
The cluster starts with closely grouped mining operations that can spawn innovative entrepreneurs and/or be an innovative firms’ first anchor clients. Then, Universities and Colleges supply fundamental and applied research as well as talent. Next, companies must be able to commercialize innovation and scale up their operations. This is supported by government funded organizations and programs like the Business-Led Network Centres of Excellence, UDMN, which addresses the gaps between research and commercialization by funding innovative risk-taking companies and providing training and support through the various stages of innovation.
A major challenge to the development of a sustainable, innovative mining cluster is global fluctuations in commodity pricing. When prices are high, mining companies are focussed on maximizing production, and when prices are low they are focused on cutting costs which often means reducing or cutting research and innovation funds. Neither of these cycles is driven by developing sustainable innovations that enhance Canada’s competitiveness on a global stage.
To maintain and grow strong clusters in Canada’s mining industry, an obstacle is ensuring that mining companies have the proper incentives to contribute to the clusters that fuel their long-term success. With programs like UDMN, leveraged federal funding incentivized Canada’s deepest mines to pledge matching dollars for innovation projects. Then, when the industry entered a downturn, those pledges changed. With incentives like tax breaks for mining companies based upon minimum investment levels into the regional cluster’s innovation ecosystem, Canada can ensure that all players act in a way that benefits their long-term self-interest and leads to the development of sustainable clusters.
*Note: For information about the Ultra-Deep Mining Network, please visit: https://www.miningdeep.ca/
Depuis plusieurs années, les organisations décloisonnent leurs frontières pour innover en collaboration avec des partenaires externes. À ce titre, des initiatives telles les consortia de recherche et d’innovation en aérospatiale (CRIAQ et CARIC) sont de bons exemples d’initiatives de grappes d’innovation au Canada, puisqu’ils mobilisent industriels ET universitaires autour de projets de recherche financés par l’industrie et les organismes publics. Toutefois, de tels consortia concentrent les efforts dans un seul secteur économique. Or, nos recherches ont démontré l’intérêt et l’avantage à favoriser les échanges intersectoriels. Pourtant, la collaboration intersectorielle devient incontournable face à la complexité croissante des projets, des technologies, des produits et des services à concevoir et à livrer. Il faut décloisonner les filières sectorielles de façon proactive. Ainsi, il s’agit plutôt de penser en termes d’écosystèmes collaboratifs, qui dépassent les frontières de la firme et de son réseau. Ces écosystèmes réunissent une multitude d’acteurs appelés à collaborer de façon intersectorielle et multidisciplinaire, ce qui nécessite de réinventer les dispositifs organisationnels, de flexibiliser les règles organisationnelles et de repenser le soutien législatif et financier.
Canada should leverage the fact that it's next door to the United States and try to build more international/cross-border innovation clusters. The Province of BC and State of Washington are already talking about closer coordination. And we're losing UWaterloo grads to the States anyways so at least this way we'd get to half hang on to them.
That sovereign IP fund idea the South Koreans implemented, so that we keep control of Canadian IP in Canada, and make it easier for Canadian companies to develop and work with IP.
The following is excerpted from Newspapers Canada's full submission, which is attached.
In launching the Innovation Agenda, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, expressed her hopes to “strengthen applied research while promoting partnerships with businesses so that the knowledge and discoveries generated in the lab make their way to the market."
Canadian newspapers have been a leader in this regard. As an industry that encourages development as well as application of new technology, it has been collaborating with other businesses and academic institutions in order to further develop and apply novel technologies. The following areas of innovation show newspapers’ demonstrated leadership in combining research with partnerships.
- Digital media (mobile & tablet applications, web): In 2015, La Presse, a Montreal-based daily newspaper with over 130 years of history, made a monumental decision to only publish its weekday issues online. The move made La Presse an example to other publications, as it was among the very first publication in North America to go entirely digital. La Presse became aware of the changing tide early; two years earlier, it had released La Presse+, an application for tablet computers, that became more successful than event its print edition. Currently, the newspaper has over 570,000 weekly tablet readers, 2.1 million website visitors (desktop only), and 435,000 mobile readers. Other Canadian newspapers are now following La Presse’s lead; Toronto Star launched its tablet computer application last fall with the help of La Presse.
- Leading the way on a new revenue model: In 2015, the Winnipeg Free Press became the first North American paper to introduce a “micropayment” model, allowing users to pay by the article. Sometimes referred to as an “iTunes for newspapers”, this Canadian innovation has been drawing attention from newspaper publications worldwide.
- Content Management System for the digital age: The Globe and Mail has been at the forefront of developing new platforms to enhance the digital user experience. For the past year, it has been collaborating with The Washington Post and its Arc Publishing technology, a content management system (CMS) designed specifically for digital storytelling and effective data gathering. The two newspapers had been testing and refining this new platform at Lab 351, The Globe’s innovation centre, until earlier this year, when The Globe officially became the biggest North American media outlet to adopt this innovative technology. The Globe will continue to work with The Post to co-develop new modules and integrations to further develop the system.
- Virtual Reality (VR): Again, newspapers are working collaboratively across sectors in order to bring this novel, up-and-coming technology to the public. Reuters is partnering with Samsung to bring VR and 360 video to all its platforms. Other publications, such as Huffington Post and The New York Times, have acquired VR companies (RYOT and Fake Love, respectively). This year, The Globe and Mail created an innovative 14-minute documentary about solitary confinement using virtual reality, to bring focus on the issue of the overuse of solitary confinement in the Canadian prison systems. The film, Surviving Solitary, premiered at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto.
Newspapers have always exhibited innovative spirit. As digital media is still in its nascent stage, with the proper support from the government, Canadian newspapers are in a strong position to be a global leader in this growing area.
So which ideas have proven most important to innovation-minded Canadians? Bains shared three:
- The need to secure the right people – including women, immigrants, and training for the next generation – who can help us close the gap between the number of IT-related jobs posted and the number of workers available to fill them;
- The need to support companies’ efforts to compete on a global, rather than simply Canadian, stage;
- The need to harness emerging technologies to pursue new avenues of growth – or even achieve historic victories, such as a national reduction in carbon emissions.
Skills gap, women in tech among Canadians’ 3 priorities for innovation minister
November 3, 2016
To successfully support the integration of social innovation into a next-generation innovation agenda, co-create a multi-city Social Impact Network (Vancouver-Ottawa-Toronto-Montreal-etc) that could fast-track development of new place-based collaborative hubs and partnerships for cross-sector community-focused inclusive innovation tackling complex challenges. Enable the partnership to support regional replication across Canada collaborating with other government initiatives repurposing public and civic assets for social impact.
Say you go to Tim Hortons, instead of the Paper and Cardboard Products that hold your items, how would you like to see Reusable Containers?
With Collection Bins/Locations to process and re-distribute the Containers.
Maybe if you choose to use these Reusable Containers, you will receive a Discount on Products.
Sure People may use these Containers for their own Uses, but maybe they can be Tracked, just enough, so that any Hoarding or misuse of these Public Containers could be dealt with properly.
Trust in the Community, Change requires some Work, and might bring hardships which are unknown, but we should try, right?
High Quality, Reusable Containers, used in Markets, instead of Bags, to cut down on Waste. Now fill those with Locally Made Products - the Local Supermarket is about to have a batch of Yogurt created for those who wish to have Yogurt, and maybe they have pre-ordered it, and have dropped off their containers to the Store, to fill them when the Product is Ready.
Cut down on waste of Foods and other things, that people do not want, at that time, instead of having Shelves full of Products that will either get bought or not; have people Order Products, and sure they may have to wait, but there is too much Waste.
Stores put those last items on Sale before they cannot be legally sold anymore, and I bet the business has headaches dealing with this issue, and having to throw away Products, etc.
Instead of having Products available, maybe we have to wait for what we are hoping to get, maybe you would really like to have a Banana, but the Store does not have any at the moment, someone else has one they would give/sell/exchange for you. Changing the way that Stores and Products Work, because the way things are, is how it used to be done, and there are new ways to Explore doing Things, that might actually bring Change, doing the same thing, that has not brought Change, will not bring Change...
How can more Canadian manufacturing industries succeed? First, firms should seek to fit into the value chains of larger global firms - even if that means shifting parts of their production into other countries, to stay close to the production facilities of their customers. That advice may not be popular, but it will be critical for the success of many Canadian manufacturing firms as providers of key inputs in global value chains.
Next, firms need to focus on specializing in high-value manufacturing segments and activities. It is increasingly hard for Canadian manufacturers to compete with lower-wage countries for final assembly, even for highly sophisticated products like motor vehicles.
Ultimately, innovation is the key to success for manufacturing firms. It could take the form of product innovation, such as adding client services or adapting products to new markets. Or it may come through process innovation, which could be anything from production techniques to management processes. Creating an innovation culture within Canadian manufacturing firms, sectors and clusters is likely a critical and required form of process innovation. The Conference Board has done extensive research on how to create an innovation culture within organizations - which requires strategy and tactics, a structured approach, and most importantly, leadership and risk-taking.
Canadian manufacturing has a future, but success will depend on building products differently. Ultimately, innovation will drive the productivity improvements that are required if Canadian manufacturers are to remain competitive and thrive.
Innovation is key to success of Canada's manufacturing sector
Globe and Mail.com
September 28 2016
Glen Hodgson is senior fellow / Michael Burt is director of industrial and economic trends at the Conference Board of Canada.
l'entreprise n'est pas isolée des besoins du marché ,de ce faite il faut penser a de nouveaux ponts entre les différents entreprises et l'enseignement et les recherches en faisant aussi des sondages et des études socio-économiques.aussi ne pas oublier le secteur des médias et de l' information PRINCIPALEMENT LES DOCUMENTAIRES,et voire comment on peut penser a une revue de collaborations entres les innovateurs.enfin encourager le tourisme culturel mondial
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.
Participating in an industry cluster is not attractive to individual businesses unless they see it as providing immediate benefits to their existing business. To become effective at increasing the total volume of economic activities the ‘cluster’ has to become coordinated into a network of companies that share joint costs and receive joint benefits. The costs will cover the support the companies receive to enable technical innovation within the businesses and the marketing of their service offerings – both new and old. Simply investing in technical innovation alone is not sufficient to increase economic activity in an industry where the adoption rate of new technology is very slow.
The right “made-in-Canada” business-led model will be to match private sector investments in innovation and marketing with Federal funds that contribute to strengthening the capacity of Canadian businesses to compete globally. These investments should have a financial return to the Federal Government and to Canadian businesses.
The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) has created a business model to support the mining cluster in Northern Ontario, with the potential to expand across Canada.
Canada’s Innovation Agenda
Clean Technology, Innovation and Job Creation through Zero- and Low-Emissions Transit, Transportation & Integrated Mobility in Canada
Collaborative innovation is the best way to design, deliver and integrate clean technology solutions that lower transportation emissions and help Canada meet its climate change goals, while improving mobility options for all Canadians.
The Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) [Consortium de recherche et d'innovation en transport urbain au Canada] is pleased to submit this proposal, which responds directly to the Government of Canada’s request for ideas to contribute to Canada’s Innovation Agenda.
CUTRIC is submitting this brief to the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) via its submission portal dedicated to “Canada: A Nation of Innovators”.
This brief focuses on positioning Canada as a global centre of zero- and low-emissions transit, transportation and integrated mobility technologies. The recommendations provided here emanate from nearly two years of consultations with entrepreneurial and industry stakeholders across Canada’s clusters of transportation innovation (in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia).
CUTRIC has a framework in place that will assist the Government of Canada’s innovation efforts vis-à-vis the research, development, demonstration, and integration (RDD&I) of zero- and low-emissions transportation technologies that are digitally connected and cyber-secure.
This framework promotes an entrepreneurial and creative society that supports the growth of world-leading clusters through industry-academic partnerships across the country. It also supports the growth of small to mid-sized enterprises and it will accelerate clean technology adoption across the nation.
CUTRIC is working to establish Canada as a world leader in zero- and low-emissions transportation technologies inclusive of both heavy-duty vehicles (buses, trains, and trucks) and light-duty vehicles (automobiles), as well as integrated and shared mobility tools and applications in urban centres.
CUTRIC's Vision is to make Canada a global leader in zero- and low-emissions transportation technologies, including advanced bus, train, automotive and integrated mobility technologies.
CUTRIC’s Mission is to bring innovation, design, and manufacturing to Canada’s transportation supply chain by fostering research, development, demonstration and integration (RDD&I) in industry-academic project-based collaborations.
CUTRIC’s Objective is to develop next-generation technologies for Canadian transportation systems by fostering industry-academic collaborations. These advancements will accelerate innovation in transportation across Canada, leading to job growth, economic development and significant GHG reductions.
Through industry-academic partnerships, CUTRIC’s work will realise efficient solutions that decrease fuel consumption, avoid wasted assets, and reduce redundancies in operations, thereby saving taxpayers money while supporting entrepreneurial opportunities.
A new federal role for transportation innovation
CUTRIC encourages the Government of Canada to support the development of zero- and low-emissions, light-weight, and digitally connected/automated transportation technologies through an innovation budget that supports industry-led collaborative research, development, demonstration and integration (RDD&I) projects. These projects will naturally arise within and across four provinces where transportation innovation clusters currently exist – namely, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia. In an important recent development, Alberta has also emerged as a region within which several manufacturers from other provinces have identified a need to test transportation technologies through integration trials leveraged by the CUTRIC network.
Incorporated in August 2014 to support industry-led research, development, demonstration and integration (RDD&I) projects across Canada, CUTRIC works to coordinate growth across five pillars of innovation:
(1) Zero- and low-emissions propulsion technologies and system integration, including battery electric propulsion technologies, hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen combustion propulsion technologies, compressed and renewable natural gas (CNG/RNG) propulsion technologies, and advanced low-emissions engine technologies that provide demonstrable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions.
(2) Light-weight materials and processing technologies for light-weight vehicles, including composite materials, polymers, advanced metals, and multi-material designs.
(3) Autonomous and connected vehicular and infrastructure technologies that support automation, autonomy and connectivity of vehicle systems on roads and rail, including sensors, signaling, and control systems.
(4) “Big Data” and data-driven analytics solutions that support fleet and network optimization for vehicles in mixed traffic, dedicated lanes, or specialized communities.
(5) Cybersecurity technology solutions to support vehicular and infrastructure securitization for electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, natural gas vehicles, and autonomous vehicles given the susceptibility of these vehicle systems and their charging/fueling supplies to new forms of malicious attack.
These themes were identified by private sector transportation and automotive industry stakeholders as well as transit systems and researchers who engaged in a series of structured consultation sessions held across Canada in 2015 – the results of which have been published in a report to the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), entitled Automotive and Transportation Innovation Across Canada & Regional Transportation Needs and Capacities as Targeted Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) Projects (report available at www.cutric-crituc.org).
CUTRIC coordinates projects related to these themes across four provinces where transportation innovation clusters currently exist – namely, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia. As a member-driven consortium, CUTRIC has united technology manufacturers, suppliers and adopters (e.g. transit systems) resulting in more than 50 project proposals involving cutting edge, zero-emissions transportation technologies.
CUTRIC also works to coordinate a fragmented set of provincial and federal funding programs aimed at funding parts of research, development, demonstration and integration (RDD&I) in Canada’s transit, transportation and mobility manufacturing sectors.
Section 1: Entrepreneurial and Creative Society
Transportation technology entrepreneurs in Canada need support connecting with large suppliers (Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Concatenating zero- and low-emissions transportation supply chain companies in this country is a task that is long-overdue. CUTRIC has dedicated itself to achieving this goal in the immediate and near-term future.
CUTRIC will support the scaling up of start-ups and small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs), which will consequently support the commercialization of their budding and innovative technologies.
CUTRIC’s goal is to ensure that its member stakeholders gain access to domestic and international manufacturers and global supply chains for zero- and low-emissions, light-weight, and digitally connected/automated transportation technologies.
Currently, CUTRIC is linking large Canadian-based manufacturers, such as New Flyer Industries, Nova Bus/Volvo Group, Thales, ABB Group and Siemens, to smaller innovative companies such as D&V Electronics, Pantonium, Transpod, and eCamion. It is also supporting the growth of established SMEs, such as Ballard Power Systems and Hydrogenics, by helping to offset the high-costs associated with their high-risk next generation technologies, such as advanced fuel cell stacks for vehicular applications. This is achieved through collaborative projects that integrate SMEs with large manufacturers and fleet owners, such as transit fleets or delivery fleets.
Linking entrepreneurs – i.e. small and mid-sized companies – to large complementary companies that have North American, European or global reach will support the meaningful and long-term upscaling of Canadian transportation technology entrepreneurs. It will also help prevent the “brain drain” and “entrepreneurial drain” that occurs when these small and mid-sized companies leave Canada for innovative pastures in Silicon Valley, Michigan, Germany, or other innovation hubs outside of this country.
Example of entrepreneurial companies that will benefit from CUTRIC’s activities
D&V Electronics: http://www.dvelectronics.com/company/about-dav-electronics.html
D&V Electronics is a Toronto-based designer and manufacturer of cutting edge tester systems for laboratory, endurance and production. The systems are utilized for EV/HEV motors, EV/HEV inverters, battery packs, integrated and belted start/stop starter/generators, as well as starters, alternators and their components.
Accelerated Systems Inc.
Accelerated Systems Inc. creates and produces eBikes, eMotorcycles, eScooters, eOutdoor Equipment. ASI offers custom solutions ranging from minor product tweaks to new product design. Its team develops electrical and mechanical designs as well as motor and software products.
AddÉnergie Technologies Inc.
AddÉnergie is a Canadian leader in smart charging solutions for electric vehicles. The company develops, manufactures and operates charging solutions for all market segments such as the public sector, employers, multi-residential, fleets, residential, etc. The company is the provider of the charging infrastructure for the Electric Circuit and the FLO network, the two largest charging station networks in Canada, with more than 2,000 charging stations. AddÉnergie provides the products and software necessary to manage these networks.
Adetel Solution addresses customer needs in design, development, integration and industrialization of embedded electronic solutions. Adetel Solution provides integration solutions that combine telecommunication technologies and software applications to manage and maintain complex data exchange patterns between public transport vehicles and wayside information systems.
Ballard Power Systems Inc.
Ballard Power Systems uses fuel cell and systems know-how to profitably deliver innovative clean energy solutions to their customers and provide extraordinary value to their shareholders. They are a world leader in proton exchange membrane (“PEM”) fuel cell development and commercialization. In order to build a clean energy growth company, their business strategy is a two-pronged approach to build shareholder value through the sale and service of power products and the delivery of Technology Solutions.
GaN Systems Inc.
GaN Systems is a semiconductor company that uses gallium nitride in power conversion and control applications. To overcome silicon’s limitations in switching speed, temperature, voltage and current, the company develops the most complete range of gallium nitride power switching transistors for a wide variety of markets. Hybrid and electric vehicles have a substantial power conversion requirement – a typical drivetrain can be switching 100 kilowatts of power. A typical silicon-based converter will be 95% efficient, meaning a 5% loss as heat. GaN converters can achieve 98% to 99% efficiency – a threefold reduction in losses..
Hydrogenics is a world leader in designing, manufacturing, building and installing industrial and commercial Hydrogen Systems around the globe. With over 60 years of experience, they offer a range of applications, including hydrogen generators for industrial processes and fueling stations, and hydrogen fuel cells for electric vehicles, such as urban transit buses, commercial fleets, utility vehicles and electric lift trucks. Hydrogenics is pioneering “Power-to-Gas” technology as an innovative way to store and transport energy.
InMotive specializes in developing mechatronic engineering solutions to meet the growing global demand for sustainable transportation solutions and to intelligently address the inefficiencies that exist in today’s vehicle designs. An early client of the internationally renowned MaRS organization, inMotive has secured several patents for its technology and exclusively owns their associated intellectual property rights.
Adaption through Innovation
CUTRIC encourages the Government of Canada to recognize the following technology realities and opportunities vis-à-vis low- and zero-emissions transportation innovation:
- There are many distinct “green” technologies that support zero- and low-emissions transit, transportation and integrated mobility vehicles and networks, but several of these technologies are not yet optimized as integrated energy systems. They are also not optimized from an infrastructural point of view. Thus, they require RDD&I to scale up so that Canadian manufacturers and innovators can capitalize successfully upon the global growth of the zero-carbon economy.
- Establishing carbon pricing (whether nationally or provincially) will help to spur innovation all along the supply chain from manufacturers through to end-stage users and adopters, by creating the economic conditions that make high-cost technology integration projects worthwhile.
- Innovation investments in zero- and low-emissions transportation technology development must be paired with “smart” infrastructure and fueling systems investments: e.g. high-powered overhead charging systems for e-buses, optimally located hydrogen electrolysis plants with connected piping and fuel storage systems for fuel cell vehicles, and renewable natural gas (RNG) production from bio-digesters with connected piping and fuel storage systems for advanced natural gas vehicles (NGVs). These fueling systems need to be designed, optimized, installed, tested and integrated into communities through “smart” infrastructural spending that connects technology innovation to infrastructure innovation.
Section 2: Foster Companies and Accelerate Clean Growth
CUTRIC supports the growth of small- to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) by linking them to large suppliers and manufacturers in the pursuit of accelerated clean technology research, development, demonstration and integration (RDD&I) opportunities.
In addition, CUTRIC recognizes that Canada currently lacks the funding for large-scale demonstration trials that support the commercialization of clean transportation technologies. This gap constitutes a significant barrier to clean technology companies that are working to increase their global reach. CUTRIC’s consortium-based model, which incorporates fleet owners (such as transit systems) as testbeds for large-scale demonstrations, is the solution to cross this barrier.
On June 28, 2016, CUTRIC partnered with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) in Ottawa to host the first National CUTRIC Research & Innovation Forum dedicated to advancing transit, transportation and integrated mobility solutions and technologies. Dozens of private and public sector innovators delivered “ready to launch” innovation project proposals – including large-scale demonstration trial plans – related to zero- and low-emissions vehicles, lightweight materials, advanced transportation analytics, automated and connected vehicle systems, and cyber security solutions for vehicle communications.
Detailed evaluations are currently underway to earmark funding for those projects that are “ready to launch” in 2016/2017.
These projects require federal government support and co-investment to move forward. Currently, there is no federal funding body or ministry responsible for the coordinated co-funding of high-cost, high-risk RDD&I work across vehicular platforms ranging from heavy-duty bus, train and truck platforms to light-duty automobiles. The federal funding opportunities that could support CUTRIC projects (including CUTRIC stakeholder companies and academic institutions) are fragmented, separated across multiple ministries, and mis-aligned with the five pillar themes identified above.
Every CUTRIC project is designed to integrate private sector funding of between 25% to 50% of total project costs, depending upon the technology readiness level (TRL) of the project. The other 75% to 50% of project costs are borne by a combination of provincial taxpayers (i.e. through Ontario’s $10 million investment in 2016 for CUTRIC projects, and through the proposed $11M investment currently under negotiation in British Columbia), as well as federal taxpayers. As there is no federal fund to support CUTRIC projects at this point in time, CUTRIC has formally requested $185M/four years in Budget 2017 as part of the federal government’s Innovation Agenda, which is meant to redress funding gaps for RDD&I in clean transportation technologies.
Section 3: Excellence in Global Science
Canada has already invested billions of dollars in developing, fostering and modernizing technology research laboratories across this country. Currently, CUTRIC counts more than 20 universities and colleges in its membership base. Each of these universities and/or colleges possess the laboratory equipment, technology and personnel to support research, development, demonstration & integration (RDD&I) projects in the five pillars of innovation cited above.
CUTRIC is working to leverage these laboratories and sites of expertise by building on past investments made by federal and provincial governments in academia.
Laudable federal efforts have been made in the past to achieve similar goals with the Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) grant, which launched several world-leading industry-academic collaborative projects related to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs), and light-weight vehicles from 2009-2015. That program has now ended, and nothing has replaced it at the federal level.
The APC provided $145 million in research funding over five years to support R&D activities to benefit the Canadian automotive industry. The APC identified collaborative, industry-driven research as a priority. It emphasized transformative, integrative projects that provided Canadian industry and academia the resources required to advance automotive research and development ambitions. Additionally, the fund prioritized collaboration across the industry spectrum – including light- and heavy-duty vehicular technologies – to create an overall progressive automotive industry.
Academic institutions that have already benefited from APC transportation technology investments include the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, University of Manitoba, University of Toronto, McMaster University, University of Ontario – Institute of Technology (UOIT), University of Waterloo, McGill University, University of Quebec – Trois Rivieres, among others.
Some examples of key APC projects that have created Canada’s clusters of advanced transportation technology capacity and capability include the following:
- “Capitalizing on the Potential of Vehicle Electrification.” The project was an R&D partnership between the University of Waterloo as well as General Motors of Canada (GM) and Maplesoft Inc. The project focused on innovative design tools to streamline the design-to-commercialization process to reduce the time and cost of EV production in Canada. The Automotive Partnership Canada program (APC) contributed $3.6 million.
- University of Toronto was granted $4.8 million in funding from the APC to develop a new material for car parts, combining two fibres to create a high-strength composite that will be used to manufacture automotive components, thereby reducing the environmental impact of auto-making overall.
- McMaster University is still carrying out a five-year APC-funded research project to develop the next generation of electrified powertrains. The project is working alongside Chrysler and has received $18.1 million in federal funding. This research aims to save Canadian auto owners money by improving Canadian producers’ position in the global marketplace for electrified vehicles.
- Simon Fraser University is completing a multi-million dollar APC project with Ballard Power Systems to develop its next generation fuel cell stack for heavy-duty bus and light-duty automotive applications.
- McGill University received nearly $5M in federal funding from the APC to develop multi-speed electric drivetrains for big vehicles, including SUVs, trucks and buses, which increase efficiency, vehicle speed, and driving range without drawing more battery power. The project partnered with electric motor technology from TM4 Electrodynamic Systems of Boucherville, Quebec, with a multi-speed drive train from Linamar Corp.—a supplier in Guelph, Ontario.
These APC-funded projects demonstrate the steps taken in the past toward developing clusters of innovation capacity in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Manitoba, which are worthy of global attention.
A federal Canadian CUTRIC innovation funding commitment that builds on investments already made by the APC over the past half-decade makes economical sense. It would stimulate the growth of an advanced innovation eco-system across the country.
Several stakeholders that were involved in previous APC research projects have now approached CUTRIC seeking a new generation of leadership in innovation and a new round of long-term, stable and predictable funding for high-cost, high-risk clean transportation technology development.
Problematically, there is still no targeted federal innovation strategy for a combined “Transportation” or “Integrated Mobility” sector in Canada. Such a strategy needs to include the full spectrum of mobility platforms, i.e. heavy-duty bus, train, and truck technologies, as well as light-duty automobile technologies.
Currently, the federal ASIP (Automotive Supplier Innovation Program) attempts to address this issue to some extent, but it is focused on automotive technologies only and the program is designed to support individual companies rather than collaborative consortia or innovation eco-systems. Thus, its parameters are too restrictive to serve as a mechanism for funding CUTRIC projects.
There is an evident and challenging federal strategic gap vis-à-vis advanced, low- and zero-emissions Big “T” Transportation innovation. CUTRIC has been established to address this gap.
Section 4: Compete in a Digital World
CUTRIC’s end goal is to produce an industrial renaissance in Canada in the areas of low- and zero-emissions, light-weight, digitally connected, highly efficient, user-friendly transportation systems across all modes of transit and transportation within the next five years. This work will help make all types of vehicles more efficient and less fossil fuel intensive, thereby supporting Canada’s shift to a low-carbon economy.
Zero- and low-emissions technologies for buses, trains, trucks and automobiles are dependent upon advanced control systems and software to regulate energy usage, provide vehicle-to-grid connectivity, support optimal networking with energy supplies, enable vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, and support optimized low emissions drive cycles and driver behaviour.
Digital solutions for transportation technologies will also support the growth and development of automated and potentially driverless transportation systems, which bring safety benefits in addition to GHG reductions.
In brief, vehicles of the future need to be zero-emissions, digitized and computerized. For this to happen, Canada needs to invest in its digital technologies sector and recognize digital technologies as core components of the advanced transit, transportation and integrated mobility system.
Innovation Support for “Made in Canada” Solutions
CUTRIC encourages the Government of Canada to recognize that Canadian manufacturers and suppliers need support to compete globally in the zero-emissions, lightweight and data-driven transportation sectors. Canadian companies can succeed and compete in these sectors, but they need the federal government to take a stand in promoting a robust, stable and long-term Innovation Vision starting in 2016 – one that provides support for collaborative innovation projects to design and optimize “Made in Canada” transportation solutions starting no later than 2017.
A coordinated federal and provincial co-funding mechanism for high-risk, high-cost, zero-emissions transportation technology development would help to de-risk the costs associated with these projects, thus enabling their success throughout the Canadian supply chain (from SMEs through to manufacturers).
CUTRIC encourages the Government of Canada to become an active investor in RDD&I projects that unite industry and academic collaborators in the production of advanced transportation technologies arising from early-stage research through to late-stage demonstration and integration trials and eventual commercialization.
Section 5: World Leading Clusters and Partnerships
Private sector and academic investments in zero- and low-emissions transit, transportation and integrated mobility technologies are not equally distributed across this country. They are clustered in nodes of expertise located, primarily, in the Greater Vancouver Area, the Greater Winnipeg Area, the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Areas through the Windsor to Kingston corridor, and the Greater Montreal Area through to Quebec City.
These clusters are world-class.
CUTRIC is working to forge partnerships within and across these clusters of innovation capacity and capability to support research, development, demonstration and integration (RDD&I) of technologies that advance zero- and low-emissions, light-weight, digitally connected and cybersecure transportation networks.
These clusters are in a global competition with established and emerging clusters of innovative transportation technologies found in the United States in Michigan and California, and in Germany (through the Fraunhofer Institutes), as well as South Korea and Japan, due to recent federal government policies in those countries that have targeted the growth of innovative battery electric and hydrogen fuel economies. Additionally, despite national economic slow downs in recent years, the Chinese government has targeted investment in the growth and development of battery electric vehicle (bus and automotive) manufacturers as well as energy storage (battery) makers over the past decade, resulting in globally competitive companies such as BYD.
Canadian clusters that can compete with these global nodes do exist, but they require immediate attention and federal strategic leadership based on visionary guidance vis-à-vis zero- and low-emissions vehicular and transportation networks innovation.
To date, CUTRIC has generated dozens of innovation projects across all four clusters identified above through the partnership of companies and academics located in those nodes. CUTRIC is working to bring to fruition and launch more than 50 transit, transportation and integrated mobility projects that support the growth of these Canadian clusters at a global level.
The Government of Ontario has taken a leadership role in supporting these projects. Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI) – now Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MEDG) – committed $10 million to CUTRIC through its Business Growth Initiative in Ontario’s Budget 2016. Ontario will directly invest $10 million over four years into CUTRIC’s collaborative projects in support of zero-emissions technology innovation through advanced transportation RDD&I.
CUTRIC is currently building an innovation eco-system across Canada by concentrating on clusters of already-existent capacity and capability and by encouraging private sector investment in high-risk, globally innovative, job-driving intellectual property (IP) development on Canadian soil.
Federal investment that supports provincial investments in these technology spheres of innovation is much needed, and it is needed immediately.
Section 6: Ease of Doing Business
Historically, manufacturers, suppliers, and adopters (e.g. transit systems) in Canada have not been able to develop cutting edge innovation partnerships due to a lack of flexible and supportive funding at the federal and provincial levels in relation to technology development across the transit, transportation and integrated mobility spectrum.
In addition, manufacturers, suppliers and adopters have often been stymied by regulatory hurdles that limit or delay the launch of projects.
Supporting the growth and commercialization of advanced transportation technologies – such as electric or autonomous/driverless bus, train, and automotive vehicles – requires bold experimental and regulatory frameworks. In Ontario, there has been leadership in breaking through regulatory barriers in this regard. For example, Ontario's Automated Vehicle Regulatory Framework allows vehicles to be driverless on Ontario roads for technology demonstrations and innovative purposes. This is an excellent start. However, it is only the start.
Regulations and legislation that shape this framework need to be modernized for the 21st century. Otherwise, the digital era cannot flourish.
CUTRIC is an transit, transportation and integrated mobility innovation consortium, and it is prepared to provide insights to the Government of Canada in an ongoing and dynamic fashion, as technology projects proposed through the consortium raise new questions about the experimental conditions available to manufacturers, suppliers and transit agencies in the future.
Federal Funding Request: $185M/four years to Support Industry-led Transit, Transportation & Integrated Mobility Innovation in Canada
CUTRIC requests an investment by the federal government of $185M/four years starting with Budget 2017 to ensure Canadian companies can compete effectively and robustly in the domain of advanced zero- and low-emissions transit, transportation and integrated mobility technologies.
A $185 million investment will support the co-funding and de-risking of high-cost, high-risk technology projects which most start ups, SMEs, and suppliers (as well as several OEMs) cannot pursue on their own. These technology projects are collaborative by nature; they generate intellectual property (IP) that can be shared and distributed in unique ways to generate job growth and new commercial product development over the long-term. They also integrate the brain power of Canadian students – Masters students, PhD candidates, and post-doctoral research fellows, as well as diploma and trade technicians at colleges – who will be able to train while working on specific technology projects so they exit their academic careers with real-world skills in hand that make them employable and desirable to companies domestically and internationally.
CUTRIC is an industry-led innovation consortium dedicated to fostering research, development, demonstration and integration (RDD&I) projects focused on zero- and low-emissions, lightweight and autonomous/connected vehicular systems, as well as Big Data solutions for transit and transportation optimization. CUTRIC develops projects in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia. www.cutric-crituc.org
As one of the biggest clusters for video game development in the world (employing over 20,000 workers and contributing $3 billion to our nation’s GDP), Canada’s video game industry applauds this initiative and welcomes the renewed focus on innovation and creativity.
With well over 40 years under its belt, the global video game industry is not a new player in the innovation game. Some of the most talented people in the world, both working in technical and creative fields and have been pushing the boundaries of interactive digital entertainment over the last 4 decades. With each new generation of games, the innovations in computational and technological power, the complexity of level design, the rendering of 3D graphics, and the immersion of the game play experience have continually improved player experiences and made video games a cultural touchstone in line with other popular entertainment mediums like film and music.
Motion games, pioneered on a grand scale by the introduction of the Nintendo Wii in 2006, proved that games weren’t going to be confined to joysticks and controllers forever. Now, the video game industry is leading the development of virtual reality technology as an entertainment medium, but also demonstrating its utility in other sectors as the technology makes major breakthroughs in the consumer electronics market.
In nearly all aspects of digital interface, virtual reality technologies are proving their potential to change the way we solve problems and how humans generally see the world in which they live.
As this immersive medium evolves, we will likely see improved employee training on virtual construction sites to help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. House hunters will be able to peruse real estate without the need to attend every open house. And, we are already seeing virtual reality play a role in assisting remote surgeries and for visualization for surgical planning and education. The technology’s immersive nature is also showing promise in treating and managing pain during medical procedures, and in treating a variety of sensory input disorders.
Clusters of leadership and innovation are not always obvious in their early days. Certainly, 40 years ago it was not clear that the video game industry was necessarily anything more than “boys in basements” playing games. Overtime, skilled and talented individuals became more attracted to roles in the industry and we saw collaboration between creative innovators began to grow as possibilities became more apparent. The number of people involved grew, the level of collaboration intensified, the iterative advancements toward what we know today as some of the most innovative technological advancements in history made it clear that a successful innovation cluster had formed. The growth was also accelerated due to the pressures video game companies in Canada had to address as a result of the highly competitive global environment which demanded nothing more than the best, new innovation to capture the hearts of players. Video game companies in Canada rose to the challenge and the Canadian video game industry became a global leader. But, this did not happen overnight, nor did it happen in an isolated manner.
The growth of the industry happened organically and can be attributed to the fact that Canada had a supportive business climate and rich talent pool. It is hard to pick winners before they have their status is affirmed. For this reason we encourage Government solutions that create a supportive business climate to attract investment and innovators, develop skilled talent, and bring the best and brightest to Canada so companies ready to innovate have the people they need with skills to support their growth from a business, computing/development, and creative capacity.
Canada’s defence and security industries are vital and innovative sectors of the Canadian economy that have much to offer in the development of the Government of Canada’s Inclusive Innovation Agenda. This submission sets out some concrete suggestions to generate innovation-led growth in a fiscally neutral manner. The road to enhanced innovation-led growth is through the development, in collaboration with Canadian industry, of a Made in Canada Defence Industrial Policy that is designed to address Canada’s unique security challenges and economic opportunities.
The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) is the national industry voice of more than 800 Canadian defence and security companies that produce world-class goods, services and technologies made across Canada and sought the world over. The industries contributes to the employment of more than 63,000 Canadians and generate $10 billion in annual revenues, roughly 60 per cent of which come from exports. To learn more, visit www.madeacrosscanada.ca and follow us on Twitter at @CadsiCanada.
Les industries canadiennes de défense et de sécurité sont des secteurs essentiels et innovateurs de l’économie canadienne qui ont beaucoup à offrir dans la mise en œuvre du Programme d’innovation inclusif du gouvernement du Canada. La présente recommande des suggestions réalistes visant à générer une croissance stimulée par l’innovation, d’une manière neutre du point de vue fiscal. Le chemin vers une meilleure croissance stimulée par l’innovation passe par le développement, en collaboration avec l’industrie canadienne, d’une politique industrielle de défense fabriquée au Canada, conçue pour relever les défis et saisir les occasions économiques uniques du Canada.
À propos de l’Association des industries canadiennes de défense et de sécurité (AICDS)L’AICDS est la voix à l’échelle nationale de plus de 800 industries canadiennes de défense et de sécurité qui produisent des biens, des services et des technologies de classe mondiale, fabriqués partout au Canada et recherchés dans le monde entier. Ces industries contribuent à l’emploi de plus de 63 000 Canadiens et génèrent des recettes annuelles de 10 milliards de dollars, dont 60 % proviennent des ventes à l’exportation. Pour en savoir plus, visitez www.faitespartoutaucanada.ca et suivez-nous sur Twitter à @CadsiCanada.
In working in partnership with universities across the country and around the world, Canada’s universities harness faculty creativity and research strengths to bridge gaps in expertise, advance the frontier of knowledge and drive innovation. By capitalizing on and connecting existing research strengths across the country, Canada can be a hotbed of innovation.
Canada’s universities are also dedicated to being vital partners in innovation clusters and to exploring new means to drive growth and collaboration within their respective regional economies. Each region has its own place-based assets and strengths and there is no single approach to developing a healthy cluster ecosystem. Supports for clusters must be sufficiently supple to target the unique challenges and opportunities that exist within any given cluster, while accommodating regional variations in economic structure, industry maturity, inter-sectoral relationships, and the historical context.
As locally engaged institutions, many of Canada’s universities have developed strategic ways to participate in and support their local innovation clusters, through research partnerships, incubator supports, or in targeted professional development programs. These activities further universities’ roles as dynamic anchor institutions in sustainable and high-performing clusters across the country.
- Given the fundamental role that universities play in clusters, a national cluster strategy should require all relevant actors – businesses, universities, and governments – be a part of competitive applications to identify appropriate supports.
- Criteria used to identify clusters for support must also be open and inclusive (not geographically or institutionally pre-determined) and may need to consider specialized criteria to ensure emerging clusters with potential to be globally competitive are considered, particularly those in smaller regional agglomerations.
En travaillant en partenariat avec leurs homologues au pays et à l’étranger, les universités canadiennes tirent parti de la créativité de leurs professeurs et de leurs capacités en recherche pour combler les lacunes en matière d’expertise, repousser les frontières du savoir et stimuler l’innovation. En misant sur ses forces en recherche et en tissant des liens entre ses grandes compétences, le Canada peut devenir un haut lieu de l’innovation.
Les universités mettent également tout en œuvre pour faire office de partenaires essentiels dans les grappes d’innovation, ainsi que pour trouver de nouveaux moyens de contribuer à la croissance et de collaborer avec les acteurs économiques de leurs régions respectives. Chaque région possède des atouts et des forces qui lui sont propres, et il n’existe pas de démarche unique pour mettre en place un écosystème de grappes viable. Le soutien offert aux grappes doit être suffisamment souple pour permettre de relever les défis et de saisir les occasions qui se présentent à une grappe, tout en s’adaptant aux variations régionales concernant la structure économique, la maturité des secteurs d’activité, les relations intersectorielles et le contexte historique.
En tant qu’établissements mobilisés au profit de leurs collectivités, un grand nombre d’universités canadiennes se sont dotées de stratégies pour prendre part aux grappes d’innovation locales et les soutenir au moyen de partenariats de recherche, de mesures de soutien aux incubateurs ou de programmes de formation professionnelle ciblés. Ces partenariats et programmes renforcent le statut des universités en tant qu’établissements d’ancrage de grappes d’innovation durables et hautement performantes dans l’ensemble du pays.
- Étant donné le rôle fondamental que jouent les universités dans les grappes, l’élaboration d’une stratégie nationale axée sur les grappes devrait exiger que tous les intervenants touchés – entreprises, universités, gouvernements – participent au processus de demandes concurrentielles pour déterminer les soutiens appropriés.
- Les critères utilisés pour décider quelles grappes soutenir doivent également être ouverts et inclusifs (et non prédéterminés en fonction des régions et des établissements) et pourraient s’accompagner de critères spécialisés pour ne pas négliger des grappes émergentes qui ont le potentiel d’être concurrentielles sur la scène mondiale, en particulier celles situées dans de petites agglomérations en région.
As Canada tries to reach its innovation potential and improve the country's overall competitiveness on the world stage, it would do well to tap into the business acumen of the men and women solving problems in labs across the country.
Dr. Paul Smith, vice president and Centre manager of the Mississauga-based Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC)
Scientists can help corporate Canada foster tech innovation, Toronto Sun, September 14 2016
Business-led innovation clusters must be driven by market opportunities.
Canada’s approach to such clusters has been one dimensional: fund basic and discovery research, then fund accelerators, incubators, technology parks, etc. to help push these discoveries into the marketplace. This process is commonly known as technology push innovation. An area that has lacked attention, and therefore represents a promising opportunity, is market pull innovation.
Business-led clusters should be approached with a market pull strategy. Market-pull clusters will be driven by sales and marketing opportunities as well as regulatory and trade policies that may generate sales opportunities.
This approach requires support for business to pursue these opportunities. It should include:
- Funding for business-led research. To be specific, this goes beyond business being invited as a commercialization partner. This would be funding for opportunities originated from business. It would involve teams and collaborators identified by business as best suited for the opportunity;
- Further support for business required research and technology development services, especially research and technology organizations;
- Support for business to develop exports and sales;
- Project evaluation with emphasis on the market opportunity, meaning projects would be evaluated on the business case rather than the academic peer review process that is common with basic research.
It is highly likely there is no single model for made in-Canada innovation clusters led by business. More importantly, the question really is what can government do? I would humbly contribute the following:
- Cluster models are incredibly sectorally specific. People suggesting various models, etc. are likely biased towards their familiar sector. What might work in aerospace may not work in agriculture, for example.
- Businesses don’t innovate unless forced to:
Business exists to make money. Innovation costs money, and might not work. Humans are biased against complex, unknowable futures. If a business isn’t in a very competitive environment, is large enough to influence government policy to defend its position, or simply buy its competitors, it will do so. Government policies such as free-trade across provinces and other jurisdictions help to ‘force’ companies to adapt – this still doesn’t mean that they have to ‘innovate’ in the technical sense– they can just adapt, i.e. cut costs, raise prices, buy competition, etc. first.
- Highly Complex Innovation is rarely led by Business:
Here I’m defining complex innovation as highly engineered systems that require heavy engineering and trial and error, such as computers, airplanes, jet engines, synthetic materials, GPS, steam turbines, nuclear reactors etc. Here there were few (no?) companies willing to take those kinds of risks for that length of time. Most of the more engineered, complex systems today came about due to military or government-led missions, in which financial risk was not a prime concern. This article from the New Atlantis has a good overview of this point:
- Government money for facilities usually goes to empire building:
Every wind-tunnel in the country has been built with government funds. Some are at NRC, some are at Universities or colleges. A lot of them overlap in terms of capability, meaning Canada is overcapacity in certain areas – and yet we nationally lack the full range of capabilities. The same can be said for many other specialized research facilities across the country. Some reside in provincial labs, others in national labs, others at universities, and, when strictly necessary, some reside in industry. Before committing more facility money to new clusters, check what already exists and ask hard questions about why it isn’t being fully utilized.
- Geographic Location doesn’t confer an advantage – unless you’re actually working together:
Anyone living in a cubicle farm can attest to the fact that they may not know people on the same floor as them. Therefore people working in companies next door to one another, as opposed to in St. John’s and Victoria, still may not know one another. Geographic location is necessary but not sufficient to create clusters. People need to have a reason to work with one another. (See 7 below)
- To actually create links between organizations in a cluster means ad-hoc groups and very flexible working arrangements:
Almost every company in a cluster or supply-chain have transactional relationships, mediated by legal contracts between them. Completely integrated teams are very hard to set up and manage – and they typically need a specific mission. (Hence # 7 below)
Finally, and most importantly,
- Tie Money to a Specific Mission
Money is very useful for clusters – but just as this government is really focused on delivery, any money committed to a cluster should have very specific results attached to it. You want money for your pet cluster initiative? Fine – in X years we want to see X results, with success as defined by specific end-users (not ‘publications’ or ‘jobs’ or ‘economic benefits’). Rather than use the money on facilities or administrative overhead to set up the cluster, tie the money to a result – this will give people freedom to organize around the deliverables, rather than around what they can buy with the money.
Clusters can bring like-minded companies together for the purpose of joint projects in technology transfer, export development, skills development, and experience exchanges. Forest clusters can include incumbent forest companies, technology developers, equipment manufacturers, companies from other sectors, research institutes, universities, consultants and more. Future forest-based clusters will expand to include a broader array of partners across different sectors, markets, and geographic areas. Funding to support such clusters will strengthen Canada’s overall innovation performance, thereby creating jobs as a result.
As a result of unprecedented technological changes, employees are operating in an increasingly complex and competitive marketplace. If Canada’s workforce continues to fall below the global average when it comes to essential skills, lower productivity will negatively impact Canada’s competitiveness and put at risk opportunities for future economic advancement. Thus, it is imperative that the Government of Canada helps Canadians acquire the skills they need for good quality jobs by working in collaboration with the provinces, territories, municipalities, the post-secondary education system, employers, labour and non-profit organizations to strengthen our training systems to build the human capital that Canadians and employers need.
As part of the government’s promotion of business investment in its employees, ABC Life Literacy Canada (ABC) urges the Government of Canada to highlight sectoral and regional approaches to training and human capital development.
One such promising approach is the cluster model, an innovative approach that brings together employees from several micro and small/medium-sized businesses to train together at one site. By implementing a cluster approach to skills training, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly those operating in rural communities, stand to benefit significantly. Clustering for training helps SMEs that do not have dedicated human resources personnel to organize in-house training, lessens the financial burden of mounting training, and provides alternatives for covering an employee who is off the job in training minimizing disruption to daily production and operations.
According to a study conducted by the ABC (Advancing Workplace Learning project, funded in part by the Government of Canada, 2013) the key is to offer training programs that focus on workplace skills among a group of competing companies within a region or community. Clustering in this way will offer Canadian SMEs greater flexibility and responsiveness when responding to the skills training needs of their employees, and under-represented workers in these regional areas will have the opportunity to experience the benefits of workplace training.
Business-led innovation is essential to extract value from science and technology (S&T). Nevertheless, Canada’s business-led innovation performance has increasingly declined against that of key competitor countries such as Australia and United States. Canada must set mechanisms to increase the number of innovative companies willing to invest in S&T to enhance future competitiveness and job growth.
Intellectual property offers a revenue stream to reinvest into future research and may bring a greater and faster return on investment. Stronger IP agreements and partnerships can also help Canadian research achieve a competitive advantage at the international level.
A formal mechanism is needed to set roles for key stakeholders involved in the exploitation of IP resulting from research. Small firms should also learn how to manage innovations with business potential and choose the most beneficial exploitation and dissemination strategies. Specialist staff able to identify and manage knowledge resources with business potential in early stage R&D projects is essential for achieving greater utilization of new technologies and knowledge.
Review current industries that focus on sales of goods like energy, metals, agriculture with established reputation, leadership, global network, knowledge and research/academic partnerships.
Build new clusters based on innovating how we do things and selling the knowledge rather than just the commodity. Once the resources are gone new clusters will have already been established with higher skills required and attracting talent from around the world.
Business will not be disrupting or cannibalizing their existing business as they will be able use and benefit from the advances in processing, technology and analytics they create.
Industry-academia-government cooperation is needed to develop and facilitate regional clusters that will be looked upon as features of international industry. Canada can reach new heights by making these clusters stronger and more efficient. These clusters will accelerate innovation, foster networks of entrepreneurs, strengthen linkages between research institutions and businesses, attract and retain talent, increase competitiveness of cluster firms, and encourage new investment. Canada needs to support more initiatives like the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research (DAIR) consortium (www.dairhub.com). This cluster is a collaboration of all the largest aerospace companies and leading postsecondary education institutions from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Ontario, Canada. The GTA consists of the central city of Toronto, and the four regional municipalities that surround it: Durham, Halton, Peel, and York. The members of this cluster have united with the joint mandate of developing an Aerospace Hub at Downsview Park in Toronto, Ontario. This Aerospace Hub will create a much needed focal point for Ontario’s aerospace industry. The Hub is projected to create up to 14,400 sustainable jobs and provide direct, indirect, and induced benefits of up to $2.3 billion over the next 20 years (KPMG Report). Such a focal point will generate a global gateway for exchange and innovation, and will create national and international corridors that will enable Canada to thrive in this globally-shifting, highly-competitive industry.
Move the DND HQ to a custom built facility on Rockcliffe airbase or around elsewhere in eastern Ottawa. Use the x-Nortel campus as the innovation center for a campus for government department to do RnD or commercialization, in collaboration with the private sector, and Canadian universities can also have an office there. Shared services Canada, patent office, BDC Ventures, a sovereign patent fund housed there, a Canadian version of the US SBIR, among other services could have offices there. Every government department could do with an innovation office, pilot projects could be envisioned and prototyped, government departments could invent some of their own tools and later we sell them abroad, partner with our allies on some projects. Un-invite Huawei or other spies that steal industrial secrets, should be secure innovation.
Since Technology is a key element of the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy, ISED Canada should encourage and expand Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to optimize growth in innovation of Canadian technology. Encouraging non-Canadian companies to collaborate with Canadian research organizations, enhanced by Canadian Government funding, should be incentivized by the ITB Policy. Particularly the ITB Policy should encourage non-Canadian companies via the ITB Policy to transfer technology to their Canadian subsidiaries.