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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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Training of future leaders in health research

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 09/27/2016 1475003090
Clinician Researchers Training of physicians occurs best when they are trained in a research rich environment that fosters innovation and creativity. .... Read more

Clinician Researchers

Training of physicians occurs best when they are trained in a research rich environment that fosters innovation and creativity. These clinician researchers/scientists, who are versed in multiple disciplines, possess a unique set of skills that set them apart from other health professionals. This makes them an invaluable asset for translating discoveries in medicine into day to day delivery of clinical care. Clinician researchers meet a pressing national need, are economic drivers by early adoption of health care cost reduction strategies-technologies, and as future leaders in health research are crucial in identifying best practices for the delivery of health care, which is changing at a rapid pace. A critical need for medical leadership versed in research was identified in the Report of the Advisory Panel on Health care Innovation and as such our clinician scientists in training are the future leaders who will make the discoveries and innovate to improve the health of Canadians. These individuals however face significant challenges in the form of total length of professional training that includes research training, funding during prolonged period of training, post-training debt, future career prospects and life-long mentorship. As an organization dedicated to advancing medical education and life-long learning, the Association of the Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) believes that the next generation of health professionals will need research training to become innovative and compete in knowledge-based global economies.

 Recommendation:

The AFMC recommends the establishment of a national training strategy for clinician scientists (that includes all health disciplines) at all stages of career development. Such a plan would include a) setting national standards and metrics, including oversight, of the continuum for developing an independent clinician scientist; b) supporting active summer studentship programs that often provide medical and other health trainees their first opportunity for exposure to research c) competitive programs in which both students and mentors should show exemplary characteristics; d) leverage opportunities and partnerships to create sustainable support for clinician scientist programs; e) address issues of salary and time protection, debt relief and sustainable research funding; e) a mentoring program that spans the entire career track of the clinician scientist career.

 

Scientists

Training of the next generation of graduate students (PhDs) is critical for the future of health research and economic development in Canada. An increasing number of graduate students in health disciplines are seeking job opportunities outside of Universities and there is a growing need for programs to support career development in other sectors such as industry and business. Training such highly skilled individuals to be fluent in science and business will stand to make Canada an attractive destination for foreign investments in any health-related sector. There have been significant changes to the Tri-council trainee award programs over the past decade or so. The creation of Vanier and Banting award programs, while desirable and effective at rewarding the accomplishments of the “best of the best” only serve to benefit an extremely small proportion of the skilled and deserving trainees that are among our most important learners within our medical schools. The offering of trainee support awards should be based on accurate projections of expected personal numbers needed to drive Canada’s future excellence in biomedical research globally. Instead, we have witnessed a steady erosion in the numbers of Tri-council Masters, PhD and Postdoctoral Scholarships and Fellowships over the past decade. This decline in awards assures that Canada’s future in biomedical research will not soar to the heights in the future that it has in the past. Thus it is essential that greater resources be distributed to restoring reasonable capacity building levels of excellent trainees (summer students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows) that will drive biomedical research excellence in the future and ensure Canada’s place a global leader in advancing solutions for the health related diseases that inflict humankind.

 Recommendation:

In the short term AFMC recommends providing increased support through targeted tri-council funding for trainees. As a longer term strategy, AFMC recommends promoting and encouraging institutional identification and supporting graduate students committed to a career in research by providing appropriate opportunities (including multi-disciplinary training) for those graduate students contemplating careers outside of academia. As a longer-term goal, AFMC encourages the Federal Ministers of Health and Science and their provincial partners in developing a pan-Canadian strategy for attracting young minds into science and providing sustainable support that increases the attractiveness of a career in science and health research.

Credit: The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada

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Create a culture of innovation by creating a culture of risk acceptance

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 09/28/2016 1475078935
Innovation is an inexact science that attempts to navigate the many risks of trying something new. For innovations to flourish, innovators need to be .... Read more

Innovation is an inexact science that attempts to navigate the many risks of trying something new. For innovations to flourish, innovators need to be able to live with the constant risk of failure. If the risk or consequence of failure is seen as too great, many innovators may give up after their first attempt, or not try at all. The innovation ecosystem can do a number of things to help mitigate the risks of innovators. These include services provided through universities, such as introducing entrepreneurship and innovation in university curricula, and support programs for pre-commercial incubation activities within the university. Another key element is the creation of a culture of innovation, which is a culture of risk acceptance, where failure is seen as creating the learning and experiences that lead to success. Such a culture emerges largely from the tone set by the institutional actors in the innovation ecosystem—universities and governments. If these support institutions themselves are too risk averse, or are too punitive of failure, a true culture of innovation cannot flourish.

Federal innovation investment and programming should seek to balance diligence and risk management with acceptance of risk-taking and occasional failure.

Credit: Memorial University of Newfoundland

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Four Ideas to Grow Innovative Talent

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 08/12/2016 1471029760
Canada needs a talent strategy for growth. Within our publicly-funded post-secondary institutions, we need to focus federal supports to produce &ldquo .... Read more

Canada needs a talent strategy for growth. Within our publicly-funded post-secondary institutions, we need to focus federal supports to produce “made-in-Canada” talent: the highly qualified and skilled workers that Canadian businesses and organizations seek.  Without better labour market forecasting, Canada cannot build an inclusive talent pool for the 21st century workplace.  We present four ideas below:

  1. Direct Statistics Canada to create, deliver and disseminate high-quality, current, relevant and comparable labour market information.

This information will benefit learners and employers and encourage informed choices about careers and jobs by providing data on skills-in-demand, employment outcomes by education type, demand for work-integrated learning, apprenticeship completion rates

2. Create a Youth Entrepreneur Seed Fund to support students enrolled in post-secondary institutions to acquire vital entrepreneurial skills.

Polytechnics and colleges offer many services, courses and centres to help young entrepreneurs. Current federal support for young entrepreneurs exists as repayable loans only; we propose a grant program for students working under the guidance of an instructor or mentor.

3. Create an innovation-focused internship program connecting polytechnic and college undergraduate students with firms and non-profit organizations.

This work-integrated learning initiative will build applied research and innovation skills, as well as enhance graduate employment outcomes, while also addressing employer need for workers with innovation skills.

4. Expand existing research talent programs at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to increase participation by polytechnic and college students.

Evidence shows that real-world research is conducted by collaborative teams, across the credential spectrum. Yet, programs designed to mentor the next generation of researchers are primarily open to graduate and post-doctoral researchers because of a narrow interpretation of terms and conditions. These programs should include the talent produced by polytechnics and colleges.

A polytechnic education builds resilient and resourceful workers for the 21st century economy.  These talented learners should be included in any government action for equipping youth with entrepreneurial and creative skills.

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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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Healthy business climate, great projects, innovative culture, prioritized immigration streams for highly skilled talent

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 09/19/2016 1474320059
Great talent is typically attracted to great work. To attract the best and brightest talent in the world, the Government needs to attract the best inn .... Read more

Great talent is typically attracted to great work. To attract the best and brightest talent in the world, the Government needs to attract the best innovation projects and most innovative companies to anchor their operations in Canada. Ensuring our corporate tax rate remains competitive while also offering financial credits and incentives that support innovation and a strong talent pool are essential to attracting foreign companies to Canada. Moreover, attracting anchor companies in provinces that can supply talent and meet their demands will be key to long-term success. These companies need not be global headquarters to achieve this goal, as we have seen with companies like Ubisoft and EA, who respectively employ approximately half of the FTEs in the Canadian videogame industry.

To lead in innovation, we encourage the government to invest in creating and propelling forward a framework that can be applied to all policies, funding incentives, laws, and programs with the primary goal of developing the best, Canadian talent pool. This includes both 1) an immediate resolution to bring in highly skilled talent from around the world into Canada to transfer and share knowledge and skills; and 2) a longer term strategy to address digital skills gaps.

To start, current policies and legislative frameworks should be evaluated for their effectiveness and ability to meet the goal of developing the best talent pool in the short and long term. To the extent that relevant policies, practices and laws do not work to achieve this goal then they must be revised to meet current needs and ensure Canada remains competitive globally.

 

  i. Attracting High-Skilled Talent

With almost 1,400 job vacancies expected in the next 2 years, Canada’s video game industry is facing challenges recruiting foreign workers.

While technical and creative educational programs across the country produce well-trained workers for entry level positions (98% of junior roles in the industry are filled by Canadians), there is a shortage of available talent at the intermediate, senior and expert levels in various disciplines. Programmers, data analysts, game designers, artists and art directors are in highest demand. The capacity to hire, support and train junior employees depends on a solid and experienced core team. Foreign workers can help continuously “upskill” current Canadian talent through mentoring and by importing best practices in innovation. The inability to efficiently hire experienced talent is a critical barrier to growth for Canadian studios.

There is no question that the industry prefers to hire domestically, but the dearth of available labour, combined with the unique nature of an industry that is continually innovating and continually improving on games to be exported around the globe, requires the industry to have access to the best and brightest workers from around the world. Competition for this talent is fierce, both within the video game industry and within the technology sectors more broadly.

Consequently, the ability to quickly bring in temporary foreign workers (TFWs) is extremely important to the video game industry. However, changes by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) have erected barriers that are causing significant staffing problems. Specifically, in 2011 HRSDC eliminated the federal IT Worker Program, which permitted companies to bypass obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA for seven specified categories of IT workers.

The TFW program is ill-equipped for our industry’s needs. Although changes were made, it continues to make insufficient differentiation between low-wage, low-skill streams and high-wage, high-skill streams. Program officers’ inconsistent application of the regulations and their inability to understand the particularities of the new jobs created for a new economy makes it cumbersome to administer and frustrating for companies looking to quickly advance projects. The requirement for a Transition Plan is ill-suited to companies selectively hiring top global innovators, and negates the government’s own critical role in developing the skills needed for the economy of the future. A “trusted employer” approach or a return to sectoral exemptions as existed under the IT Workers Program could greatly help a growing video game industry in Canada. Sectors such as the video game industry, which are specialized and require specific skills that are in demand globally, should not be required to obtain LMIA’s as there is a shortage of professionals in this area in Canada. Hiring high-tech workers with specialized skills is not displacing Canadians. In fact, it is adding to Canada’s talent pool and innovative brain-trust.

Short of this solution, the program could be fixed if a number of changes were made:

  1. NOC Codes do not accurately represent our industry or jobs

 ESDC makes determinations about labour shortages based on outdated national occupation codes (NOC). The department should work with the industry to remove the requirement for NOC Codes and/or create the ability for new NOC Codes to be introduced annually to meet new and evolving roles and jobs of the future. In 2013, video game companies were consulted on the 10 different positions and job definitions with the hope that eventually new NOC Codes would be created for them. This information is already with ESDC and has been for two years now; however, the NOC codes have never been updated, which has had a negative impact on our companies in Canada.

 2. Inconsistency in Service Canada Processing

 

Across the country, Service Canada officers process TFW applications using different interpretations of the regulations. An application in Vancouver might be approved quickly, while the exact same type of application in Toronto could be held up and/or declined for one of many reasons as determined by individual officers. If Service Canada is to be empowered to make determinations on eligibility, officers should have a thorough understanding of our industry and the particularities of technical job titles and descriptions which are continually evolving and changing based on the evolution of technology. ESAC has already offered to work with ESDC and Service Canada to hold information sessions about our industry in order to educate staff on the particularities of hiring in our industry. This would help Service Canada officers to streamline and standardize the service standards for our industry’s TFW applications.

 3. Processing Times for LMIA Applications

 

Processing times at Service Canada offices have not noticeably improved, even with the total elimination of the low-skill stream and with a hefty application fee. There are no service standards and companies have no confidence in making a hire and expecting the LMIA to be approved in a certain time-frame. The government of Canada could introduce service standards that accompany the application fee so that companies can plan and make decisions based on a reasonable expected time-frame for processing applications.

Ideally, growth sectors paying above average wages like the video game industry should be allowed to hire TFWs without Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs), similar to the former Facilitated Processing for IT Workers Program that was discontinued in 2011.

  1. Transition Plans

With the introduction of the Transition Plans, applicants must now include a detailed plan on how the company will transition from hiring foreign workers to Canadians with every single LMIA application. This requirement is ill-suited to our industry which will always require access to the best talent and innovators to add to Canada’s overall productivity and resourcefulness. Ideally, the requirement for transition plans should be removed from Canada’s immigration requirements. Not only is this part of the program ill-suited to the modern innovation economy, which is global and will always need external talent, but it is also cumbersome for companies and creates unnecessary liability.

If it is impossible to remove this piece of the program than a better way forward would be to allow companies to submit one company-wide Transition Plan each year, which would encompass all of their LMIA applications and could help ease the administrative burden on companies and show government the overarching approach a company is taking to transition to a Canadian workforce. This would be beneficial for both sides and would reduce administration on the company and Service Canada officers.

5. Salary Disclosure in LMIA Advertisements

 

As part of the advertisement requirement for LMIA applications, ESDC requires companies to post and disclose starting salaries. In a competitive industry, this is sensitive information which can compromise a job offer through when companies are vying for highly sought after talent. Allowing companies to omit the salary disclosure portion from the ad, or allowing a generous range in salary, would help protect the competitive advantages of companies.

 ii. Developing Digital Skills

In the long term, we encourage the Federal Government to lead by example and build a country that celebrates and prioritizes educational opportunities, at all levels, to support an inclusive and innovative economy. One way that the Federal government could demonstrate this commitment would be to provide cutting edge education in aboriginal communities, to create access to digital skills education opportunities. There are numerous international programs to provide inspiration of what is possible regarding the design and delivery of this type of education, and we encourage the Government to engage, learn and adopt best practices regarding skills education from K-12, and beyond. Moreover, it is also possible for the Government to re-think the manner in which it defines the education space. Increasingly, Canadians are seeking alternative venues for education opportunities like coding dojos, virtual classrooms, “open-source” learning like Khan Academy, Udacity and even classes on You Tube. To re-think education is a challenge, but the current gap in skills and talent required to innovate, and most importantly, lead demands out of the box policies, incentives and programs to help Canada play catch up to its international counter-parts. Some examples of innovative approaches to education include, The UKs Digital Schoolhouse (http://www.digitalschoolhouse.org.uk/) and the US-based Alt School (https://www.altschool.com/about). Considering ways to incent innovative companies to contribute to the education of Canadians is also important to ensure Canadians are job-ready to meet current vacancies and those careers we have yet to imagine. The Government could consider tax or financial incentives for companies that offer in-office training to students and current employees. This extends past co-op and internship opportunities, which are important but only address new employees and not the current workforce that also needs constant training to keep up to date and innovate forward. Education in companies is expensive and takes employees away from projects. There is a cost to companies to invest in the education of their workforce and the government should consider ways to encourage more employers to invest in educating their talent. For these reasons, we recommend the above and that the Government:

    1. Create a comprehensive national computing and digital skills strategy for Canada that includes a coordinated effort to immediately address the digital skills gap in Canada. The strategy should be holistic, reflecting industry and educational needs in Canada, and developed by a multi-stakeholder task force comprising industry leaders, policy makers and educators who establish clear objectives and milestones to put Canadians’ digital skills back on track with international competitors.
    2. Develop policies and programs that support and incent industry stakeholders to be active participants in digital skills education and curricula development for Canadians in K-12, post-secondary and in the workforce.
    3. Establish a strong working partnership with the provinces to support the introduction of computing and digital skills into elementary and secondary school curricula across Canada. The federal government can provide the resources and support required to define national objectives in relation to computer science and digital skills in a manner that ensures inclusivity, diversity and ultimately creates more opportunities for all to participate more fully in Canada’s digital economy - including teaching staff, local and provincial policy makers and students in levels K-12.
Credit: The Entertainment Software Association of Canada

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Start early, create engagement opportunities, inspire curiosity & create an innovation ecosystem in schools, communities and at home

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 09/19/2016 1474315644
Collaboration by all stakeholders is key to ensuring that youth are equipped with the right skills for the future economy. By today’s definition .... Read more

Collaboration by all stakeholders is key to ensuring that youth are equipped with the right skills for the future economy. By today’s definition, the skills we think are relevant and the way that we define education and curriculum will likely look quite different in 10 or 20 years if we are committed to developing these key skills for success. For example, education may include:

  • experiential learning opportunities (e.g. virtual reality simulations or simulated real-life workplace scenarios);
  • integration of digital skills learning opportunities across subject matters (versus a siloed approach with singular classes for specific digital topics like “coding” or “digital skills”);
  • interaction with companies that have expertise and business acumen to share with children and youth;

each of these, as well as other new opportunities, will be critical. Of equal importance, is offering engagement opportunities that pique the curiosity and ignite the inner-innovator in children as early as 4 and 5 years of age. Experiences in the UK, Sweden and other parts of the world have shown that this can be done through activities that develop computing logic skills and may require teams to solve tough challenges (e.g. http://www.digitalschoolhouse.org.uk/), or may include programming or building something (e.g. the BBC microbit project: https://www.microbit.co.uk/). In all cases, the key is to offer options that are engaging, challenging and fun to help kids get started on a path that will help them succeed in the future. We need to ensure that in terms of education we are constantly evaluating the material being taught and the delivery model. Work needs to be done to ensure buy in from the parents, students, educators and government. An important piece is ensuring that Canadians understand the shifting landscape and why certain skills are more important today than ever before. By setting a clear framework with defined objectives this will help build awareness of the value of these skills and also provide a measuring stick to ensure progress.

 

Many of our member companies have also expressed that while young graduates are engaged in co-ops and internships, they still seem to lack the general business skills required to grow into leadership positions. Deeper collaboration and consultation on curriculum and programs between training organizations, including elementary, secondary and post-secondary institutions may help to facilitate the reduction of this skills gap in new employees and better prepare students for the work force.

 

Certainly students in secondary school start considering what they want to do for work when they “grow up”, but these skills are not reserved solely for secondary school and can be introduced very early on in simple ways. One example of an organization championing this new approach is Alt School, a US based private school (https://www.altschool.com/). We encourage the government to consider how to support and inspire new learning opportunities for children, youth, and their families that are engaging, dynamic and equally supported by the provinces.

 

To start this process we would recommend the Government consider further collaboration with the provinces to establish a national skills strategy that incents and rewards provincial innovation in education.

Credit: The Entertainment Software Association of Canada

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Create an inclusive economy, including innovation support systems for Canadians in rural, remote, and Aboriginal communities.

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 09/28/2016 1475078639
It is growing increasingly clear that an economy in which only certain segments of the population participate in the economy and are afforded innovati .... Read more

It is growing increasingly clear that an economy in which only certain segments of the population participate in the economy and are afforded innovation support will underperform. As the Federal Government strives to make its Innovation Agenda as inclusive as possible it will be important to ensure that supports for innovation are not merely concentrated in the largest, most affluent cities, but also are developed to allow Canadians living in rural, remote, and Aboriginal communities—communities often facing the most difficult economic challenges in the country, not to mention being the site of the natural resources that continue to drive the national economy—to avail, including the supports offered by universities, ranging from academic programs, pure and applied collaborative research opportunities, and entrepreneurship training and support (i.e. incubation and acceleration).

Ensure that any new Federal innovation policies or funding programs, including those for incubators and accelerators, are developed to allow Canadians living in rural, remote, and Aboriginal communities to avail of the benefits of working with university, and other players in the innovation ecosystem.

Credit: Memorial University of Newfoundland

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Invest in infrastructure and programs that support bridging organizations

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 09/28/2016 1475078390
A key to Memorial’s ongoing success in supporting provincial and national innovation and prosperity has been the success of a number of universi .... Read more

A key to Memorial’s ongoing success in supporting provincial and national innovation and prosperity has been the success of a number of university units and centres that exist to help bridge the divide between university knowledge and community needs. Consistent with the recommendations of the Jenkins Task force, these organizations work with industry, government, and community partners to help turn ideas into innovative solutions, bolster industry-led R&D, an area in which Canada lags behind other OECD nations, and form the heart of sectoral clusters.

Since its inception, Memorial has had a legislative mandate to contribute to the social and economic development of the province. This “special obligation” to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador had led to a university that is an international leader in publicly-engaged teaching and learning and research. Experiential learning, service learning, applied research, and faculty members and staff with expertise and commitment to knowledge mobilization and community-based research, typify Memorial’s leadership in partnering with industry, community organizations and governments within the province and beyond.

A key element of this success has been the establishment of boundary-spanning institutions and mechanisms that enable external partners to access the expertise and resources of university faculty and staff, and which enable research, teaching and learning to respond to needs and opportunities identified by external partners. These vehicles for innovation and collaboration also facilitate mutual identification of shared projects, ground-truthing during the research and commercialization process, and result in external partners who have commitment to apply results in real world contexts.

Drs. David Wolfe and Peter Warrian of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School, University of Toronto, recently completed a report, “C-CORE as a Networked Industrial Policy Initiative,” highlighted this unique university-owned, entrepreneurial boundary spanner organization (elaborated upon below). Drs. Wolfe and Warrian are now embarking on a study of the Marine Institute at Memorial, another world-leading unit which links the applied training and industrial-sponsored research of a polytechnic, with the research expertise and highly trained personal of the university.

Memorial also has nationally and internationally recognized units in the Genesis Centre technology incubator, the Lesley Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, identified by the OECD as an international best practice, and the NL Centre of Applied Health Research, with a Director who reports jointly to the Dean of Medicine and the Deputy Minister of Health. Memorial is also the developer and steward of Yaffle, an on-line connecting tool being expanded to the college system in NL and to universities in the Maritimes and potentially across the country.

The federal government should work with the funding councils and the National Research Council, or establish separate departmental programing, to support such critically important boundary spanning institutions and on-line tools.

The federal government should make a strategic investment in the economic and environmental well-being of Canada through supporting the establishment of the Fisheries and Marine Institute Holyrood Marine Base Phase IIB ($25 million) and the C-CORE Cold Ocean Oil Spill Response Centre of Excellence ($35 million).

Credit: Memorial University of Newfoundland

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Support entrepreneurs who develop entrepreneurs

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 12/02/2016 1480715966
INTRODUCTION Mining requires a complex network of skills in engineering, business, and trades.  These skills are developed by a strong educational s .... Read more

INTRODUCTION

Mining requires a complex network of skills in engineering, business, and trades.  These skills are developed by a strong educational system that teaches science, technology, engineering, financial literacy, business, math, social science and the arts.  However, young people must also learn how to embrace change, take smart risks and be resourceful. In the workforce, a great way for young people to build technical competence while practicing these soft skills is through the long-term application under the advisement of a competent entrepreneur or business leader.

The Ultra-Deep Mining Network (UDMN) is a Business-Led Network Centre of Excellence comprised of mining industry leaders, academia, mining supply and service companies.  UDMN believes in equipping entrepreneurs  and young thought leaders with the right skills and experience for the future economy through active roles in UDMN supported projects. The concept of a business-led network provides a challenging environment that attracts the most skilled and creative thinkers, thus providing connectivity and global visibility to accelerate their careers.

CHALLENGES

For entrepreneurs, the task of training the next generation of entrepreneurs can be extremely valuable, but risky.  When a promising young employee begins work, they often lack the experience and skills to perform at the same level as a tenured employee.  Sometimes when an entrepreneur invests upfront in young employees (through training, education and mentoring), they decide to take their new skills and leave the company for a competitor or become an entrepreneur themselves (and perhaps a competitor).  

SOLUTIONS

It is important to train mining industry entrepreneurs the skills necessary to mentor young professionals, while also ensuring they have the right growth mindset necessary to value mentorship. This could mean direct, sector specific training and support for hiring, leadership, and implementing tactics for developing talent, along with courses on leadership for enabling business growth.  By expanding Canadian entrepreneurs’ management capabilities, we secure the best trainers for the next generation of Canadian entrepreneurs.   

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

Credit: Ultra-Deep Mining Network

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