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Innovation with Robotics

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 08/17/2016 1471465700
FIRST Robotics Canada (a non-profit organization) is also currently working diligently and tirelessly to support and prepare the next generation to be .... Read more

FIRST Robotics Canada (a non-profit organization) is also currently working diligently and tirelessly to support and prepare the next generation to be innovators and thought-leaders of the future. Through FIRST programs and initiatives, students are becoming more skilled and prepared to face the challenges of the future. With a stronger connection and increased support, FIRST could play an even greater role in preparing the next generation to make Canada great.

“Canada needs a bold, coordinated strategy on innovation that delivers results for all Canadians. We need to move forward with fresh ideas and a joint action plan that will make innovation a national priority and put Canada on a firm path to long-term economic growth.” –The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

We at FIRST whole-heartedly agree with Minister Bains approach to innovation. We currently see a talent pool of kids and students who, if given the opportunity and know-how, will inherently approach problem solving with an innovative approach. Currently, youth are not widely given that opportunity which results in a lack of a prepared and innovative leaders and workforce.

This is where FIRST Robotics Canada programs make a difference. FIRST programs teach kids and youth the necessary skills and strategy that inspire fresh ideas, innovation, and creative problem solving. If more students are exposed to, and participate in, FIRST programs, they will cultivate the skills and habits for the future that lead to unlimited potential and opportunities. These are the leaders who will help put Canada on the firm path to economic growth and sustainability.

With increased support for FIRST programs, the benefits include:

  • More student participation in FIRST programs, resulting in more students prepared for a future where creative problem solving is critical
  • Cultivating a future workforce of leaders who believe in teamwork, encourage diversity, and inspire creativity 
  • Developing and teaching students the skills and know-how to embrace challenges with an innovative mindset
  • Showcasing and proving that we’re surrounded by talent who will have the competencies to compete in a digital world, lead global partnerships and change, encourage entrepreneurship, and accelerate growth in Canadian business
  • Increased collaboration between organizations and corporations involved in FIRST and kids and youth across Canada

This kind of program truly makes a difference in cultivating the leaders and innovators of the future.

Credit: FIRST Robotics Canada

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Fab Labs Nation

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 07/11/2016 1468243720
Le français suit. The “Fab Labs Nation” project proposes a concerted strategy to equip Canada with a digital manufacturing interstructur .... Read more

Le français suit.

The “Fab Labs Nation” project proposes a concerted strategy to equip Canada with a digital manufacturing interstructure that makes it possible to promote, entrepreneurship and the creation of jobs of the future as well as innovation in communities and businesses.

A Fab Lab is a collaborative innovation laboratory equipped with digital production machine tools (3D printers, laser cutters, digital milling machines, etc.) and an innovation accelerator where students, engineers, inventors, creators and all those who have a project gather to go from the idea to the object. The Fab Lab offers its users the means necessary for professional digital design to conduct collaborative innovation projects, access to quick prototyping.

A true international community gravitates around the Fab Labs, by implementing laboratories in hundreds of cities and villages. The potential which emanates from them for economic and social development steadily increases and is explored in numerous sectors: health, creativity, education, entrepreneurship, etc. The Fab Labs are part of an open innovation movement and are the tangible tools of a Smart City.

 

L'initiative « Fab Labs Nation » propose une stratégie concertée pour doter le Canada d’une interstructure de fabrication numérique permettant de favoriser l'entrepreneuriat et la création d'emplois d'avenir, l'innovation dans les communautés et les entreprises.

Un Fab Lab est un laboratoire d’innovation collaborative équipé de machines-outils de fabrication numérique (imprimante 3D, découpe laser, fraiseuse numérique, etc.) et un accélérateur d'innovation où les étudiants, les ingénieurs, les inventeurs, les créateurs et tous ceux qui ont un projet entrepreneurial se réunissent pour passer de l’idée à l’objet. Le Fab Lab offre à ses usagers les moyens de conception numérique professionnel nécessaires pour mener des projets d’innovation collaboratifs, l'accès au prototypage rapide.

Une véritable communauté internationale gravite autour des Fab Labs, par l'implantation de laboratoires dans des centaines de villes et villages. Le potentiel qui en découle pour le développement économique et social croit sans cesse et est exploré dans de multiples secteurs : santé, créativité, éducation, entrepreneurship, etc.. Les Fab Labs font partie du mouvement d'innovation ouverte (open innovation) et sont les outils concrets d'une Ville intelligente (Smart City).

 Source : http://www.communautique.quebec/portfolio-items/fablabs-nation/?portfolioID=33

 

 

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Make work-integrated learning opportunities the cornerstone of the Innovation Agenda

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 08/09/2016 1470776531
People innovate. Whether it takes the form of a new product, new process, or new markets, the introduction of innovation is done by visionary individu .... Read more

People innovate. Whether it takes the form of a new product, new process, or new markets, the introduction of innovation is done by visionary individuals who see how to do things differently. A successful innovation strategy must therefore start by fostering the talent, skills and opportunities required for potential innovators to thrive.

The need for innovators intensifies as the economy continues to move towards an innovation-focused, high-value service base. Already, Canada’s service economy employs about three quarters of Canadians and accounts for 70.8% of GDP — a 5% increase since 2000. Financial services, environmental services, water-management services, and IT services are all areas where Canada is a world-leader, thanks in part to the innovators who have built world-class firms in these growing sectors.

The trend towards an economy built on innovative services is intensifying as the knowledge economy evolves. We are entering what has been called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” where disruptive technology such as artificial intelligence, robotics and nanotechnology are quickly transforming the ways we live and work. As a result, the skills Canadians need for career success are also changing, and employers increasingly demand workers with a wide range of skills and functional knowledge.

An effective innovation strategy will respond to these trends by supporting the effective education and training of future innovators. To do so, Canada needs to increase the number of work-integrated learning opportunities for students in order to grow talent and skills, and to prepare the next generation for a rapidly changing economy. In order to “futureproof” a workforce, the World Economic Forum reports that “government and businesses will need to profoundly change their approach to education, skills and employment,” and they recommend enhanced collaboration between businesses, governments and education providers in developing 21st century curriculums.

There are some caveats: students should be paid; the learning opportunities should be relevant; and the experiences should be meaningful. The idea is that the opportunities are collaborative, and mutually beneficial. By connecting young minds with dynamic Canadian businesses, we can grow Canadian talent for innovation, strengthen the employability of post-secondary graduates, and provide businesses with the specialized knowledge, skilled talent and fresh perspectives they will need to adapt and innovate.

If Canada is serious about becoming an innovation leader, we need to make work-integrated learning opportunities the cornerstone of the Innovation Agenda.

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Lower taxes for startups

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 06/23/2016 1466662419
You need to lower taxes for companies trying to start-up and also provide more be benefits and tax breaks to hire good talent so new startups can get .... Read more

You need to lower taxes for companies trying to start-up and also provide more be benefits and tax breaks to hire good talent so new startups can get there ideas of the ground and into solutions. It's always better working with people side by side but with the high costs to pay when you can contract someone over the Internet for much cheaper is hard for startups. 

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Innovation and talent acquisition can solve our growth dilemma

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 08/26/2016 1472222781
“Canada needs a robust national access-to-talent strategy. We should increase immigration. By 2025, 30 per cent of our population will be 60 and .... Read more

“Canada needs a robust national access-to-talent strategy. We should increase immigration. By 2025, 30 per cent of our population will be 60 and older - to mitigate this imbalance, Canada would need to increase immigration for each of the next five years to one million people. If we focus this intake on skilled newcomers between the ages of 20 and 39, it would shift our overall proportion of that band from 25 per cent to 32 per cent of the population.

Without such a strategy, Canada may face stark choices: tax increases, greater national debt or scaled-back social programs.”

 

“We must move from a passive intake system to one where we actively recruit more people who can succeed and help increase our capacity for innovation and productivity. This includes new science grads, skilled tradespeople and investors with capital.

 

“We could look at opportunities to fast-track visas for foreign workers, particularly for highly skilled jobs in the innovation sector.”

 

“We could fast-track foreign students educated in Canada for permanent residency, and target students at leading foreign educational institutions. For some industries, it may also be appropriate to look at reinstituting the temporary foreign worker visa.”

 

“We can also look at doing more within the North American freetrade agreement framework.”

 

John Ruffolo, Innovation and talent acquisition can solve our growth dilemma. Globe and Mail. August 18 2016

Credit: John Ruffolo, CEO, OMERS Ventures and vice-chair of the Council of Canadian Innovators

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Better Protect the Jobs of New Moms

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 08/03/2016 1470230279
We see and hear all too often, a new Mom taking their maternity leave and susequently losing their jobs. Whether due to a legitimate business decision .... Read more

We see and hear all too often, a new Mom taking their maternity leave and susequently losing their jobs. Whether due to a legitimate business decision, or not; I wonder if most Canadians know these folks aren't eligible for EI benefits once their leaves are over. As one of these individuals, I was let go mid way through my maternity leave and was forced to spend the remainder of my time on leave searching for work. Time spent not enjoying my new baby, not adjusting to life's new normal. Time spent endlessly searching online postings, revising cover letters, meeting with flaky recruiters and spending hours in interviews to no avail. Why ... Because I knew that at the end of leave, I would be without a job and without any earnings if I didn't find a new job in time. What a vulnerable position to put a family in that is already in a disadvantaged position. Why can't our government do more to help those affected by business decisions that needlessly hold back women in the professional world. Why can't we start a family knowing our job is safe for just 1 year? Why can't we trust that our replacement can't angle for our position in our absence? Why are we so often meant to choose between having a family and having a career? Please, let's address this systemic issue, lets protect our new Mom's, nurture them and take care of them while they take on the most important role in their lifetime. 

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Ensuring that SMEs Have Access to Skilled Employees and Encouraging the Next Generation of Innovators

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 11/04/2016 1478282522
Skilled labour remains the top concern of SMEs looking to innovate. As significant funds are already being invested in post-secondary institutions, go .... Read more

Skilled labour remains the top concern of SMEs looking to innovate. As significant funds are already being invested in post-secondary institutions, governments must ensure that these investments translate into actual results for small businesses. The focus should remain on job-ready graduates who are able to fill labour gaps across sectors of the economy.

  • Work with the provinces to reform the education system to improve basic skills training, including building job-readiness skills, and to reach out more to the small business community when creating curriculums;
  • Better co-operation and coordination with other levels of government, as well as post-secondary institutions, to focus funding on programs linked to the employment market;
  • Better communication by governments with small business owners on which programs and services that may be able to assist with training in their business.
  • Review existing tax credit programs to promote hiring and retention, and introduce new tax credits such as an EI training credit or EI holiday for youth hiring that recognize the investment in both formal and informal training made by small employers when they expand their payroll;
  • Recognize the importance of informal training in small businesses by designing a federal training tax credit based on existing government reporting and filing requirements, such as payroll-based EI;

* For full list of recommendations, see attached CFIB report on SMEs and innovation, Beyond the Big Idea: Redefining and Rethinking the Innovation Agenda 

 

Credit: Canadian Federation of Independent Business

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Allowing easier and faster access to human resources to help SMEs innovate

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 11/04/2016 1478282835
Streamline temporary and permanent immigration programs to allow easier and faster access to human resources to help with innovation. Recent changes .... Read more
  • Streamline temporary and permanent immigration programs to allow easier and faster access to human resources to help with innovation. Recent changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are a step in the right direction in helping employers deal with labour shortages, and we hope the government’s review of the program will result in effective changes to the program;
  • Ensure that the number of economic migrants allowed into Canada is not reduced so that employers can continue to access the skilled workers they require.

* For full list of recommendations, see attached CFIB report on SMEs and innovation, Beyond the Big Idea: Redefining and Rethinking the Innovation Agenda 

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Self Publishing as a Viable and Growing Industry

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 10/06/2016 1475788142
Canadian Council for the Arts should start thinking about the changing publishing industry and the new roles and responsiblities that are arising. Fo .... Read more

Canadian Council for the Arts should start thinking about the changing publishing industry and the new roles and responsiblities that are arising.

For writers there is a definite shift from traditional publishing to self-publishing. Even if the author is being traditionally published, there is more and more of an oness being placed on the author to promote and market.

Self publishing is no longer that nether region where hacks hang out on the fringes. Canada has a real opportunity here to support upcoming self-publishers and really put Canada on the map as a new Mecca for self-publishing. We have all of the tools to help these people. We just need to implement them.

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Make sure we have a presence when the global leaders get together!

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 08/08/2016 1470691587
At the end of August in San Francisco, the Inaugural  Global Grand Challenge Awards will be given. https://exponential.singularityu.org/summit/ggc/ .... Read more

At the end of August in San Francisco, the Inaugural  Global Grand Challenge Awards will be given. https://exponential.singularityu.org/summit/ggc/

This will be three days of world innovation leaders gathered for the Singularity University Global Summit. If we want to attract talent, we have to make sure they can see us! Catalyst Agri-Innovations Society is a finalist in the environmental category, and will be presenting their "Technology Meets Permaculture" program. I hope there will be some other official Canadian representation there! 

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SMEs and ITBs

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 09/02/2016 1472831814
Expand the Investment Framework (IF) portion of the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITBs) Policy to incentivize non-Canadian companies to team .... Read more

Expand the Investment Framework (IF) portion of the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITBs) Policy to incentivize non-Canadian companies to team with Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).  That will focus growth on the SMEs, which are the catalysts for economic growth in Canada, and employers of choice for entrepreneurs.

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Developing and practicing innovation skills through applied research

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 08/31/2016 1472657255
For Canada’s future workforce to have the capacity to innovate, we must equip them with the necessary skills and provide them meaningful opportu .... Read more

For Canada’s future workforce to have the capacity to innovate, we must equip them with the necessary skills and provide them meaningful opportunities to practice them. Like many Canadian colleges and polytechnics, George Brown College offers students applied research opportunities in curriculum or as part-time employment where they work directly with industry to find solutions to their innovation challenges. 

Not only do these opportunities provide students with the opportunity to gain practical experience and enhance their skills in their area of study, but they provide students with marketable workplace skills and innovation literacy, that is, the ability to think creatively and apply problem solving skills to diverse and intangible issues within industrial problems and contexts. Innovation literacy is a transferable skill that enables students to be flexible innovators in the workforce. Since 2008, George Brown College has enabled 724 applied research partnerships that have provided 7,592 student applied research experiences and opportunities to develop these skills.

No one personifies the ideal applied research experience more than John-Allan Ellingson, a 2014 graduate of George Brown College’s Mechanical Engineering Design program and 2012 graduate of the CNC/Precision Machining program. Early in his studies, John-Allan chose to participate as a student research intern on a long-term project with SOS Customer Service to design, prototype and test a novel, lightweight and portable crane to lift curtain wall panels into place for installation during construction of low-rise commercial and residential buildings. This work won him 2nd place at the 2013 Polytechnics Canada Student Applied Research Showcase and catalyzed his engagement in applied research. In his tenure at the College, he helped 7 companies in sectors as diverse as food, construction and aerospace to develop and improve their products. He proudly shared his work and experiences by representing the College at the Conference Board of Canada’s 2013 Business Innovation Summit and OCE Discovery 2013. John-Allan also served as the 2013-2014 Student Innovation Advisor for George Brown College’s Innovation Advisory Board, a multi-sectoral industry, entrepreneurial, and academic stakeholder group that provides a current and effective link between the Research and Innovation office at George Brown College and the key sectors it serves. In recognition of his contributions and achievements in applied research, John-Allan was awarded the Student Innovation Award in 2013 and the inaugural Excellence in Research and Innovation digital badge in 2014. He credits his applied research experiences at George Brown for teaching him how to identify the business opportunities that lie beneath challenges, demystifying and changing his perception of entrepreneurship to a pathway for guiding skills from the classroom and shop to bring prototyped solutions towards further development and the market, and showing him how to draw parallels between vastly different sectors to find unique solutions in the most unlikely places.

John-Allan has since gone on to enroll in a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering at Lakehead University and will soon enter the Canadian workforce with not only theoretical and applied training in his field of study, but also research problem solving, leadership and entrepreneurship skills and the ability to recognize innovation in the product development life-cycle.

It is our goal to provide all students with opportunities to develop and practice these in-demand workplace skills. We are calling on the government to enhance its funding for the programs that support these applied research opportunities at colleges and polytechnics so that we can equip students with the innovation skills that will drive Canada’s future productivity.

Credit: George Brown College Research & Innovation

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True Calling Canada

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 08/31/2016 1472682489
True Calling is a one-stop multimedia resource that provides the requisite knowledge and tools to help people find and secure a job they will love. Th .... Read more

True Calling is a one-stop multimedia resource that provides the requisite knowledge and tools to help people find and secure a job they will love. Through a content-rich website and engaging programming, we provide inspiring and comprehensive career information that is second to none in terms of both breadth and depth. Our innovative multimedia platform takes a detailed look at every facet of selecting a career, including education and training requirements, future job security, economic trends, and so much more. We’re helping people find the career they’re passionate about and showing them the best path forward to achieve it.

Credit: ITA, JTSTL

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