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Build a learning framework for STEM education - Canada 2067

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 11/15/2016 1479225940
Seventy per cent of the top jobs in Canada today require some STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills – and this number i .... Read more

Seventy per cent of the top jobs in Canada today require some STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills – and this number is growing every year. That said, less than half of Canadian high school students graduate with senior level science and math courses and only one in five graduate with the prerequisites to pursue engineering.

At Let’s Talk Science, we are committed to helping youth build the competencies they need to become innovators, critical thinkers and problem solvers ready to meet the challenges of an increasingly demanding economy through education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

STEM learning builds competencies and characteristics that are needed for all jobs – things like critical thinking, problem solving, information management, positive risk taking, resiliency, effective communication and more. As the world rapidly changes, work and citizenship demands will require greater capacity in STEM.

Canada 2067 is our bold new nation-building initiative that will bring Canadians together to develop a STEM learning framework.

With Canada 2067, we are calling on Canadians to join the conversation on STEM education by visiting http://canada2067.ca and filling out our online learning framework questionnaire.

The contributions of Canadians through this initiative will contribute to a STEM learning framework for the next 50 years – and will help us to evolve and strengthen Canada’s education model for the 21st century by enhancing student exposure and access to the STEM disciplines across all levels and areas of learning.

Together, we’ll make sure Canadian youth have the skills they need to face the future with confidence.

 

About Let’s Talk Science: Let's Talk Science is an award-winning national, charitable organization. Over the past twenty years, we have worked with educators to support learning and skill development. We’ve developed hands-on programs for Kindergarten to Grade 12 youth to get them interested in STEM at an early age and keep them engaged as they move through high school. Our goal is to motivate and empower youth to fulfill their potential and prepare for their future careers and roles as citizens.

Credit: Let's Talk Science, Canada 2067

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Attracting talent to Canada

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 11/04/2016 1478290826
To attract talent to Canada we must first create  world leading companies with brands  like the "Nortels" & "Blackberry " of the past and probably .... Read more

To attract talent to Canada we must first create  world leading companies with brands  like the "Nortels" & "Blackberry " of the past and probably QNX in the future. This will arrest  brain drain from Canada and attract students ,researchers , Industrialists & professionals from  all over the world , which means we also need to focus on making our universities attract talent(both students researchers and teaching staff) with the correct curriculum, areas of research .

To reinvent the Silicon Valley of Califiornia USA in Canada  we need to provide a platform for Canadian born companies to scale and develop into Global companies. What Canada lacks  today  is expertise in Market research and  International Marketing and doing Global business, we require market  Channels to be created to create world class Canadian Brands.

Though we may have the Technical knowledge and talent to innovate we lack the talent in  scaling product to capture world wide markets and get recognition. , if we can develop a sustaining model of University, Research organizations, groups  working with Innovators and Entreprenurs to start up companies that then get scaled to international companies we may stand a change to kick start that cycle.

One must learn the lessons of how innovations that started in garages scaled to be world leading brands like Apple, Microsoft, Google...There has to be the promise of unlimited opportunity for companies to scale and this will trigger a chain of migration of Talent to Canada.

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An Integrated Inclusive Innovation Agenda

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 10/27/2016 1477603059
Successfully evolving Canada’s innovation system to generate inclusive growth and advance Canadians’ prosperity requires a concerted and c .... Read more

Successfully evolving Canada’s innovation system to generate inclusive growth and advance Canadians’ prosperity requires a concerted and comprehensive strategy integrating STEM, business and social innovation with coherent supports and platforms for co-creative innovation, incubation,market access, procurement, talent development, social financing and partnership building. Combining STEM, business, and social innovation leverages our national innovation assets in achieving inclusive innovation, reaping the benefits of inclusion as both a process and outcome of Canada’s innovation agenda.

Deploying an integrative strategy will mean federal funding and policy bodies accelerate:

  1. The integration of STEM, business and social innovation as the cornerstone of Canada’s Agenda, focusing innovation policy on achieving linked economic and social goals (shared value).
  2. A targeted plan to leverage social innovation as a mainstream practice of innovation and further develop the ecosystem of social innovators in response to core Government goals around reconciliation, youth leadership, the next economy, climate change etc.
Credit: Social Innovation Generation

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Tax incentives for individual innovators

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 10/27/2016 1477539031
From the airplane and the liquid-propellant rocket, to modern computers, software and social media, many of the technologies that have shaped and cont .... Read more

From the airplane and the liquid-propellant rocket, to modern computers, software and social media, many of the technologies that have shaped and continue to shape our modern world have been the result of individuals, amateurs, and small groups of enthusiasts, often working in their spare time with extremely limited resources, rather than as part of a company.  

Not only does the work of such individuals sometimes lead to significant new technologies and viable companies, it also provides them an unmatched opportunity to develop their own creativity, skills and expertise in a hands-on way that can be of immense benefit in helping them to succeed and contribute to Canada’s economy. 

That success may come directly as a result of an idea they are working on, but it can equally come indirectly, as a result of the experience they have gained and the skills they have developed.  Such self-motivated innovation and experimentation can thus be both a means of developing talent and a means of encouraging innovative work that could lead to new products or companies.  

Yet they tend to face significant obstacles and there tends to be very little support available to them to pursue such work.  If those individuals are only able to pursue their work in their spare time, they may not have the means of incorporating a company and gaining access to the incentives that are available to businesses.

One way the government could lend its support to such self-motivated innovators would be through tax incentives, for example allowing any investments they make related to their innovative activities to be tax-deductible against their primary income, if they do not happen to have their own profitable business to claim it against.  If the costs they incur, for example purchasing a tool or piece of equipment, buying parts to build a prototype or proof-of-concept, taking a relevant course or joining a “hackerspace”, could be used as a deduction against their primary income, this would serve as one practical incentive to encourage and aid them in the pursuit of their work, and would help promote the idea that individuals who take the initiative to engage in their own innovative work and hands-on skills development are actively supporting Canada’s innovative economy and should be encouraged to do so.  

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Fostering Innovation from Non-Traditional Sources

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 10/27/2016 1477536302
In a true innovative culture, innovation can and does come from many different sources.  Some may be traditional established companies or university .... Read more

In a true innovative culture, innovation can and does come from many different sources.  Some may be traditional established companies or university researchers, but in the modern age where access to information and ease of networking, collaborating and sharing of ideas have never been greater and “crowdsourcing” is increasingly becoming common, significant innovation is also being driven outside of these traditional sources.  Small startups, individual entrepreneurs, researchers and hobbyists, private collectives of innovators such as “hacker spaces”, and student teams and organizations are all filled with highly talented people and highly original ideas.  Moreover, these small, non-traditional innovators are typically much more nimble and have far less overhead than their larger, more established counterparts and as such can do “more with less”. 

Moreover, their work serves not only as a potential source of commercially viable products, technologies and future companies, but also as a direct, hands-on means of fostering learning, skills development and creativity that is invaluable in helping those who engage in it to reach their full potential as innovators and contributors to the creative economy.

To truly foster a culture of innovation, the government and its agencies should actively strive to make Canada among the most favourable countries in the world for this rapidly growing group of innovators.  The government should make it policy to recognize the existence of these small, non-traditional innovative groups and individuals as potentially valuable sources of both innovation and hands-on skills development, and ensure that support is specifically available to them that recognizes and is responsive to their unique needs, capabilities and situation, rather than being solely available to or heavily biased towards larger established companies and universities only. Such support may take the form of grants or funding, but could also include tax incentives, access to government facilities and government experts.

Not all innovators are the same, and the needs and abilities of individual or small groups of innovators are inherently different from those of large organizations, established companies and universities.  By ensuring support is specifically available to individuals and small groups engaged in innovative work, this large and growing source of innovation can be encouraged.

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Finish High School with a Bachelor's Degree - Why Not?

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 10/17/2016 1476710077
http://wfla.com/2016/10/16/finish-high-school-with-bachelors-degree-at-1-florida-school-yes/   Tuition-free Florida Atlantic University gives smart .... Read more

http://wfla.com/2016/10/16/finish-high-school-with-bachelors-degree-at-1-florida-school-yes/  

Tuition-free Florida Atlantic University gives smart kids a chance to earn a high-school diploma along with a bachelor's degree at the same time.  Why not? Future of public education which blurs the lines between institutions and ideas. Canadian provinces and territories & the federal government should move beyond the educational divide to encourage innovation in education.

Credit: Florida Atlantic University

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Let businesses have smoking rooms

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 10/08/2016 1475960206
19 plus businesses used to allow smoking inside. This not only minimized exposure to smoke while walking down the street (cancer rates are up and I do .... Read more

19 plus businesses used to allow smoking inside. This not only minimized exposure to smoke while walking down the street (cancer rates are up and I don't wonder why) but it allowed Canadians with allergies or an aversion to steer clear of those spaces. Smokers were treated like human beings. No-one has quit smoking, they have just rebelled against being treated like undesirables by filling every public space with huge amounts of noxious smoke. Mushroom clouds of marijuana over every event are also huge. If we're going to legalize marijuana and keep 19 plus smoking legal, we need to provide spaces where 1. People can smoke in peace and 2. Non-smokers know which places to avoid. This would make Canada great for everyone. Marijuana should also be legal but NOT in the smoked form so polite marijuana users can buy teas or baked goods, but the ones trying to blow it in children's faces would still be committing a crime. 

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Israel and Canada's Innovation Agenda

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 10/05/2016 1475692583
Tags: startup  innovation 
Along with best practices on attracting talent, we are pleased to share models for cluster development, start-up support and brand development.   Th .... Read more

Along with best practices on attracting talent, we are pleased to share models for cluster development, start-up support and brand development.  

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute. 

Credit: Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

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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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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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Increase support for pure, applied, and interdisciplinary research excellence for students and faculty.

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 09/28/2016 1475078124
Driven, by and large, by universities, pure, or theoretical research helps to develop the knowledge breakthroughs that form the basis for new innovati .... Read more

Driven, by and large, by universities, pure, or theoretical research helps to develop the knowledge breakthroughs that form the basis for new innovations. Likewise, and often more immediately, strong applied research done in collaboration with community, industry, or government partners also leads to impactful innovation. And as the range of social and economic problems grow increasingly complex, both pure and applied research will require interdisciplinary teams to contend with the entire scope of these challenges and develop the innovations that are able to address them.

Federal support, through the three research councils, should be increased, and funding program policies should be adapted to facilitate interdisciplinary and collaborative applied research projects between university, community, industry, and government partners.

Credit: Memorial University of Newfoundland

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Promote experiential learning opportunities for students.

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 09/28/2016 1475077911
The best way to ensure more innovation, and resultant economic and social benefits, is to foster the development of more innovators. One effective way .... Read more

The best way to ensure more innovation, and resultant economic and social benefits, is to foster the development of more innovators. One effective way to do this is to provide post-secondary students with real-world experiential learning opportunities throughout the course of their studies. This includes co-operative programs, internships, and course work experiential opportunities.

The Federal support for programs like MITACS should be expanded to increase the opportunities for students in all areas of the country and from all academic backgrounds, working in all sectors of the Canadian economy.

Credit: Memorial University of Newfoundland

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Whole Girl, Whole World through Digital Filmmaking

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 09/23/2016 1474645330
Digital filmmaking has become more pervasive than ever in all areas of life. The influential broadcasting quality of the film medium is apparent on vi .... Read more

Digital filmmaking has become more pervasive than ever in all areas of life. The influential broadcasting quality of the film medium is apparent on virtual platforms like YouTube, where millions of young people view independent films every day. With this distribution power, young women’s perspectives can impact their families, peers, communities, and the world.

Credit: Chantal Drolet

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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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National Entrepreneur Day

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 09/17/2016 1474133348
"In order to progress, modern society should be treating ruined entrepreneurs in the same way we honor dead soldiers, perhaps not with as much honor, .... Read more

"In order to progress, modern society should be treating ruined entrepreneurs in the same way we honor dead soldiers, perhaps not with as much honor, but using exactly the same logic (the entrepreneur is still alive, though perhaps morally broken and socially stigmatized. For there is no such thing as a failed soldier, dead or alive —likewise, there is no such thing as a failed entrepreneur or failed scientific researcher"

National Entrepreneur Day, with the following message:

Most of you will fail, disrespected, impoverished, but we aregrateful for the risks you are taking and the sacrifices you are making for the sake of the economic growth of the planet and pulling others out of poverty. You are at the source of our antifragility. Our nation thanks you."

Credit: Nassim Taleb

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Talent and knowledge mobilization / Talent et mobilisation du savoir

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 09/16/2016 1474055228
In Canada’s sesquicentennial year, over one million undergraduates are entering university halls across the country. These students are the foun .... Read more

In Canada’s sesquicentennial year, over one million undergraduates are entering university halls across the country. These students are the foundation of Canada’s innovative future. Canada’s universities are committed to equipping these students with the skills and knowledge they need to flourish in work and life, empowering them to contribute to Canada’s economic and social success.

We need to do better as a country to meet the aspirations and unlock the potential of Indigenous youth – their community’s future leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. Currently, only 11 per cent of Indigenous peoples aged 25 to 34 in Canada have a university degree, compared to 33 per cent of non-Indigenous Canadians in the same age group.

  • Universities Canada aspires to significantly reduce the gap between the university participation rate of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians within the next ten years, by increasing federal financial assistance to Indigenous students and institutional efforts.
  • Universities Canada also recommends supporting more Indigenous students to pursue graduate and post-doctoral studies, growing the cohort of Indigenous university faculty and researchers and boosting their engagement in Canada’s innovative future.

Through work-integrated learning, hands-on research training, and global experiences, Canadian university graduates are educated in a culture of innovation and prepared with 21st century skills including flexibility, adaptability, and an openness to risk-taking.

We support the call by the Canadian Business/Higher Education Roundtable for access to work-integrated learning for 100 per cent of Canadian postsecondary students.

  • To support this goal, Universities Canada, along with national business and student groups, recommends investment in new federal measures, such as vouchers and tax credits, to incentivize employers – particularly in small- and medium-sized enterprises and not-for-profit organizations – to create more paid co-op and internship placements across disciplines and address the barriers employers face in offering such placements.

Canada’s universities are dynamic and supportive partners in helping businesses and not-for-profit organizations solve their problems. One of the greatest contributions universities make to innovation is equipping their graduates with the skills, knowledge and mindset to contribute to our contemporary and future economy. Through a range of knowledge mobilization activities – hands-on learning experiences of co-op students and graduates, community service and outreach, public policy engagement, inter-sectoral partnerships, and the commercialization of research – universities contribute to innovation, prosperity and the quality of life in Canada. Such a flexible approach is needed as no one-size-fits-all approach will suit the diverse needs and capabilities across Canada’s regions. Commercialization contributions are made by universities as valued research partners and through knowledge spill-overs in the form of spin-off companies.

  • Canada’s universities have proven themselves to be prolific generators of new ideas and designs, but R&D assistance is needed in the start-up phase to bridge the capital and financing gap between the initial idea and venture capital stages of the commercialization wave.
  • Targeted support should also be provided to encourage incubation and acceleration on university campuses, and to facilitate access to risk capital. Our graduates abound with ideas, but help is needed to develop strong and nimble start-ups that can grow into globally competitive companies.

Universities can also provide support to young companies by helping educate business talent in areas where we know Canada needs improvement – training executive talent with the ability to scale-up small start-ups, and building know ledge of sales into the business curriculum to assist small companies to grow.

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À l’approche du 150e anniversaire de la Confédération, plus de un million d’étudiants au premier cycle font leur entrée à l’université d’un bout à l’autre du pays. Ces étudiants sont le fondement de l’innovation future au Canada. Les universités s’engagent à inculquer à ces étudiants les compétences et le savoir dont ils ont besoin pour s’épanouir sur les plans personnel et professionnel, et ainsi contribuer à la réussite économique et sociale du Canada.

Le Canada doit faire plus pour concrétiser les aspirations et réaliser le potentiel des jeunes Autochtones, qui seront les dirigeants, les innovateurs et les entrepreneurs de demain dans leurs collectivités. À l’heure actuelle, seulement 11 pour cent des Autochtones de 25 à 34 ans possèdent un diplôme universitaire, comparativement à 33 pour cent des Canadiens non autochtones du même groupe d’âge.

  • Universités Canada aspire à réduire considérablement l’écart entre Canadiens autochtones et non autochtones en matière de taux de fréquentation de l’université au cours des 10 prochaines années par la hausse de l’aide financière fédérale aux étudiants autochtones et des initiatives des établissements d’enseignement.
  • Universités Canada recommande également d’appuyer un plus grand nombre d’étudiants autochtones pour qu’ils entreprennent des études aux cycles supérieurs et au niveau postdoctoral, d’augmenter le nombre de professeurs et de chercheurs autochtones, et d’accroître leur participation à l’innovation future du Canada.

Par l’apprentissage intégré au travail, la recherche sur le terrain et les expériences à l’étranger, les diplômés universitaires canadiens sont formés au sein d’une culture d’innovation et acquièrent des compétences du XXIe siècle, dont la souplesse, la capacité d’adaptation et une ouverture au risque.

 

Universités Canada appuie les revendications de la Table ronde de l’enseignement supérieur et les entreprises, qui réclame l’accès à des expériences d’apprentissage intégré au travail pour tous les étudiants canadiens de niveau postsecondaire.

  • À cette fin, Universités Canada et d’autres groupes nationaux étudiant et des milieux des affaires et recommandent au gouvernement fédéral d’investir dans de nouvelles mesures, comme des bons et des crédits d’impôt, pour inciter les employeurs – surtout les PME et les organisations à but non lucratif – à créer plus de stages rémunérés dans toutes les disciplines et à résoudre les difficultés qui les empêchent d’offrir ce type d’expériences aux étudiants.

Les universités canadiennes sont des partenaires dynamiques qui aident les entreprises et les organisations à but non lucratif à trouver des solutions à leurs problèmes. Une des plus grandes contributions des universités en matière d’innovation est de donner à leurs diplômés les compétences, les connaissances et la mentalité nécessaires pour participer à l’économie du XXIe siècle. Les universités contribuent à l’innovation, à la prospérité et à la qualité de vie des Canadiens grâce à diverses activités de mobilisation du savoir. Il suffit de penser aux programmes d’enseignement coopératif qui offrent aux étudiants des expériences d’apprentissage sur le terrain, aux activités de service à la collectivité, à la participation à l’établissement des politiques publiques, aux partenariats intersectoriels et aux activités de commercialisation de la recherche. La souplesse est de mise, car il n’existe pas de démarche unique en mesure de répondre aux besoins des différentes régions du Canada.

Les universités contribuent à la commercialisation de la recherche en agissant comme précieux partenaires de recherche et en favorisant la transmission du savoir par le démarrage d’entreprises.

  • Les universités sont une source intarissable de nouvelles idées, mais elles requièrent du soutien en recherche-développement (R-D) pendant la phase de démarrage pour faire le lien entre l’idée initiale et les capitaux de risque nécessaires à sa concrétisation pendant le processus de commercialisation.
  • Il faut également offrir un soutien ciblé pour favoriser l’incubation et l’accélération sur les campus et faciliter l’accès au capital de risque. Nos diplômés ne manquent pas d’idées, mais ils ont besoin d’appuis pour mettre sur pied de jeunes entreprises solides et souples en mesure de devenir concurrentielles à l’échelle mondiale.

Les universités peuvent également soutenir les jeunes entreprises en offrant une formation en administration des affaires dans les domaines où le Canada peut faire mieux, soit en formant des dirigeants à faire croître des entreprises en démarrage et en intégrant des connaissances sur les ventes aux cours des programmes de commerce pour aider les petites entreprises à grandir.

Credit: Universities Canada / Universités Canada

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Training the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs / Former la prochaine génération d’innovateurs et d’entrepreneurs

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 09/16/2016 1474053648
For Canada to be a global innovation nation, we need young Canadians to understand other countries and other cultures. Open minds mean open borders fo .... Read more

For Canada to be a global innovation nation, we need young Canadians to understand other countries and other cultures. Open minds mean open borders for trade, immigration and ideas. Yet only three per cent of Canadian university students (approximately 25,000) go abroad in any given year, despite 97 per cent of universities offering international experiences. Canada’s universities aspire to enable all Canadian university students to develop greater risk-taking, adaptability, flexibility, language and intercultural skills, as well as knowledge of global markets before they graduate.

To celebrate Canada’s 150th, Universities Canada recommends that we invest in our next generation of leaders by increasing the outbound mobility of university students to 50,000 students abroad per year by 2022. Doing so, particularly by exposing our students to cross-border learning opportunities in emerging economic powers and strategic partners, will sharpen Canada’s competitive edge.

At the same time, Canada needs smart immigration policies and best-in-class processes to support the attraction and retention of international talent. As the government looks to substantially increase the levels of immigration into Canada, universities in communities across the country are important hubs for attracting and integrating top talent. Universities play a critical role in drawing top researchers to our communities, directly boosting our innovative potential and strengthening our international research connections. Universities also draw some of the best and brightest international students, who contribute well over $10 billion to the Canadian economy each year. Many of these students would like to remain after their studies, transitioning into productive members of the Canadian labour force with valuable people-to-people ties that assist in trade linkages, foreign direct investment and private sector partnerships. Our immigration policies must position Canada as a global magnet for this top talent. Universities Canada recommends the following:

  • Facilitate the flow of international talent to Canada’s universities through a simplified process for temporary work permits under the International Mobility Program.
  • Given that a large portion of foreign academics are already Labour Market Impact Assessment-exempt under the International Mobility Program, we recommend extending this exemption to all hiring by universities for positions that support the academic enterprise, including faculty, researchers, research associates, academic physicians and senior university administrators.
  • Eliminate the LMIA requirement in the Express Entry points system and/or lower the value of points awarded for the LMIA-supported job offer and allow for greater value to be placed on the human capital criteria to adequately recognize Permanent Resident candidates such as foreign university faculty and international graduates of Canada’s universities.
  • Allocate resources to ensure that study permit processing times are globally competitive in order to position Canada as the destination of choice for top talent.

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Pour que le Canada soit une nation d’innovation, il faut que les jeunes Canadiens comprennent les autres pays et les autres cultures, car les esprits ouverts favorisent l’ouverture des frontières aux échanges commerciaux, à l’immigration et aux idées. Toutefois, seulement trois pour cent des étudiants universitaires canadiens (environ 25 000) bénéficient d’une expérience à l’étranger chaque année, en dépit du fait que 97 pour cent des universités offrent de telles expériences. Les universités canadiennes aspirent à permettre à tous les étudiants du pays de renforcer leur capacité à prendre des risques, à s’adapter et à faire preuve de souplesse, de parfaire leurs compétences linguistiques et interculturelles et d’acquérir des connaissances sur les marchés mondiaux.

Pour souligner son 150e anniversaire de la Confédération, le Canada doit investir dans la prochaine génération de leaders en portant à 50 000 le nombre d’étudiants universitaires qui effectuent chaque année un séjour d’études à l’étranger d’ici 2022. Ces expériences internationales, notamment les possibilités d’apprentissage dans des pays émergents et d’autres qui sont des partenaires stratégiques, viendront accroître l’avantage concurrentiel du Canada.

Parallèlement, le Canada doit se doter de politiques réfléchies en matière d’immigration et de processus optimisés pour attirer et retenir les talents étrangers. Le gouvernement fédéral cherche à hausser considérablement les taux d’immigration, et les universités dans les collectivités de l’ensemble du pays jouent un rôle important pour attirer et intégrer les talents étrangers. Elles favorisent l’établissement des meilleurs chercheurs dans les collectivités canadiennes, ce qui a directement pour effet de stimuler le potentiel d’innovation du pays et de renforcer ses réseaux de recherche internationaux. Les universités attirent également certains des étudiants étrangers les plus brillants, ce qui entraîne des retombées économiques annuelles largement supérieures à 10 milliards de dollars pour l’économie canadienne. Bon nombre d’entre eux souhaitent demeurer au pays après leurs études et effectuer une transition sans heurts vers le marché du travail, où ils participeront à la productivité nationale. Leurs précieux réseaux favoriseront les liens commerciaux, les investissements étrangers et les partenariats dans le secteur privé. Les politiques d’immigration du Canada doivent faire du pays une destination de choix pour les étudiants et les chercheurs étrangers les plus brillants. Universités Canada recommande ce qui suit :

  • Faciliter la venue de talents étrangers dans les universités canadiennes en simplifiant le processus d’obtention de permis de travail temporaire dans le cadre du Programme de mobilité internationale (PMI).
  • Comme les offres de poste d’une grande majorité des universitaires étrangers sont déjà exemptées d’une Étude d’impact sur le marché du travail (EIMT) dans le cadre du PMI, Universités Canada recommande que cette exemption soit élargie à toutes les embauches à des postes contribuant à l’entreprise universitaire, dont les professeurs, les chercheurs, les agrégés de recherche, les médecins universitaires et les administrateurs de haut rang des universités.
  • Éliminer le critère du système de points d’Entrée express exigeant une offre d’emploi ayant fait l’objet d’une EIMT ou réduire le nombre de points accordés pour une offre d’emploi ayant fait l’objet d’une EIMT et permettre d’accorder une plus grande valeur au critère de capital humain afin d’évaluer adéquatement les demandes des candidats à la résidence permanente, notamment celles des professeurs étrangers et des étudiants étrangers diplômés des universités canadiennes.
  • Allouer des ressources afin que les délais de traitement des demandes de permis d’études soient concurrentiels à l’échelle mondiale, pour faire du Canada la destination de choix des étudiants les plus brillants.
Credit: Universities Canada / Universités Canada

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Instead of funding startups, educate a startup work force

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 09/02/2016 1472844309
Canada's comparative advantage should rest in our education system, where we can educate the next generation of innovators. While other countries adap .... Read more

Canada's comparative advantage should rest in our education system, where we can educate the next generation of innovators. While other countries adapt to the changing landscape, our educators have remained complacent, looking to government to lead the way on innovation.”

 

“With more than two million students enrolled in Canadian postsecondary institutions every year, our university and college campuses have a far greater opportunity to spur innovation than any government program.”

 

“To compete, our graduates need skills formed in the latest technology programs, which means that universities and colleges need to update their course material and delivery.”

“ We should also subsidize the cost of postsecondary programs that are in highest demand by technology companies. We talk about the need for more engineers and more technical talent, while the price of these degrees is among the most expensive on our campuses. This logic would be dismissed by any student in first-year microeconomics.”

Jeffrey Doucet, Co-founder and chief executive officer of CareerJSM

 Instead of funding startups, educate a startup work force, Globe and Mail. September 2, 2016.

Credit: Jeffrey Doucet, Globe and Mail

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Adopt an inclusive and coordinated approach to innovation programs, across disciplines and communities.

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 09/02/2016 1472843342
As Minister Bains recently said, “Canada needs a bold, coordinated strategy on innovation that delivers results for all Canadians.” It is .... Read more

As Minister Bains recently said, “Canada needs a bold, coordinated strategy on innovation that delivers results for all Canadians.” It is vital that in 2016, our approach to innovation is both an inclusive and coordinated one. A strategy that benefits only certain regions, industries, or disciplines will be insufficient for innovation leadership.

Without careful planning, the shift towards an increasingly tech-driven, globalized economy may exacerbate existing social disparities. An inclusive approach to innovation will make the most of the skills, qualifications, and ideas held across Canada’s diverse population, and in particular women, Indigenous peoples, and new Canadians.

Canada’s strategy must also promote new partnerships across sectors and borders, while avoiding duplication of efforts. Enhanced collaboration and greater integration among players in Canada’s innovation ecosystem must be a priority if public funds are to be invested as strategically and effectively as possible.

Mitacs supports these objectives by working with provincial, national and international partners across disciplines and sectors to improve Canadian productivity and growth. Our expansive network allows Mitacs’ innovation internships to be integrated into complimentary initiatives, avoiding duplication and presenting a simplified point of access for participants. Specifically, Mitacs has worked to support this coordination through partnerships with organizations like CIHR, SSHRC, NSERC, Genome Canada, NRC-IRAP and many more federally supported entities promoting Canadian innovation.

Finally, an inclusive and coordinated approach must recognize the continued importance of basic research. Mitacs encourages the federal government to support Canada’s granting councils, and to promote basic research at colleges, polytechnics and universities across Canada. Often, basic research leads to new discoveries, and support for untargeted research is important to our innovative future.

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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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What new programs are needed to support inclusive innovation

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 09/01/2016 1472743185
Tags: innovation 
There are barriers for access to programs for all Canadians. Most innovation programs are aimed at young innovators, when the reality is that experien .... Read more

There are barriers for access to programs for all Canadians. Most innovation programs are aimed at young innovators, when the reality is that experienced innovators of all age groups are most likely to succeed and enter the market with an up to date understanding of competitive factors.

Canada needs to wake up and support access to agile funding innovation for mature innovators as well as youth. Programs need to be aimed at entrepreneurs with proof of concept & customers, easy to access and not a time wasting exercise. Special programs for female entrepreneurs are also needed. Not only would these apply to immigrants, but also to a whole generation of Canadian women, whose ranks include many single parents who were raising families with little economic support, and as a result are not well equipped to capitalize their ventures through asset equity, but full of grit, endurance, the will to overcome challenges.

 Also Canada needs to look beyond its government funded educational institutions. There is innovation & private sector activity beyond these walls that is not being effectively supported which can increase Canada's GDP. 

 

Credit: Arupa Tesolin

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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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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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Centralize and disseminate community information

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 08/23/2016 1471976610
When government departments announce events, initiatives, grants, programs, etc they should submit information into a central database, tagged with us .... Read more

When government departments announce events, initiatives, grants, programs, etc they should submit information into a central database, tagged with user selection filters (eg Heritage,Arts,Science,Aboriginal,Digital,Ontario etc), and dated. Allow Canadians to register and select the tags of interest such that new information is automatically pushed or emailed to interested parties. This way Canadians are proactively informed of news relevant to their needs, instead of finding out by accident, or never, as is most often the case. Searching through myriad government documents scattered over diverse platforms isn't practical. Think Google Alerts system for the Canadian government. Keep us informed EASILY.

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The Maker's Economy

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 08/21/2016 1471816959
Tags: Business  innovation  arts 
The Maker's economy is to my mind a sort of micro business economy. Rather than being defined by a job, a maker is someone who perhaps works a job, bu .... Read more

The Maker's economy is to my mind a sort of micro business economy. Rather than being defined by a job, a maker is someone who perhaps works a job, but also pursues a creative passion that they're bringing to market.

But a maker of what? Technology is moving so fast that you can invent a craft for yourself.

An illustrator making show posters for local bands, and also making their own greeting cards for sale in cafes and bookshops in their community would know this. It's a short staircase from that to self publishing graphic novels, children's books, and board-games; each a passion project, but also a product. With a bit of guidance, these products can form the basis for a business.

This economy is already happening in bedrooms and home offices, but could entice more to join it if there was a place that facilitated some of this learning. As it is now, those that are part of this economy are self taught, self-motivated creators with a working understanding of social media and where things are going next. That's a smaller segment of society, but they're also a built in trainer base - going around tutorializing their work for the internet at large. So much of their audience are encouraged to try now after seeing it demonstrated online, but don't necessarily have the equipment to try.

What's needed to facilitate this is a dynamic laboratory space that's open for use to the public of all ages. A place where someone can walk in and say "I've heard about this thing where you get to do X, but I have no idea where to begin." A workshop space, where a video journalist can give a few pointers to aspiring vloggers, or a social media expert can discuss the new species of marketing that continue to evolve month by month. A place where hardware resides that you can use to bridge the gaps between your ideas and the market.

Credit: PCNA, Pacific Community Networks Association

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Mediating innovation : Living Lab approach

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 08/20/2016 1471664698
Tags: innovation 
The need for organizations (public, private or community-run) to innovate is not new. In today’s world—which is characterized by volatilit .... Read more

The need for organizations (public, private or community-run) to innovate is not new. In today’s world—which is characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity—innovation has become central to developing new solutions to increasingly complex challenges. While innovation has been traditionally associated with the academic world or major corporations, we’re recently witnessed a shift in interest toward community-driven innovation. The new “2014-2019 National Policy on Research and Innovation” in Québec recognizes Living Labs as a new alternative for research-action projects.

Credit: Communautique

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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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Keep tech workers satisfied and productive in Canada.

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 08/16/2016 1471378858
“Supporting a thriving tech sector is critical to Canada's innovation economy, which is rooted in the amount of intellectual property we own - I .... Read more

“Supporting a thriving tech sector is critical to Canada's innovation economy, which is rooted in the amount of intellectual property we own - IP is the currency of the future. Keeping talent satisfied and productive inside our borders is essential.”

Carl Rodrigues, President & CEO at SOTI, Why is it so easy to poach Canada's talent, and so hard to poach the world's? Globe and Mail, August 1 2016

Credit: Carl Rodrigues, President & CEO at SOTI

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Recognize that innovation is, in many cases, people solving a problem.

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 08/16/2016 1471378460
Tags: innovation 
“But what is innovation? How do you innovate? I've spent a lot of time the last few months learning about local startups and some of the revolu .... Read more

“But what is innovation? How do you innovate?

I've spent a lot of time the last few months learning about local startups and some of the revolutionary things they're doing in Fredericton like Resson Aerospace, Mycodev Group and ReadyPass Services Inc. Through my research, I discovered innovation is many things. It's a goal. It's mindset. It's a practice. It's an idea. It's a product. It's a solution. It's hard to pin down right?

Before, when thinking about innovation, I pictured lab coats, microscopes, nanotechnology, intricate electrical circuits and coding to create cutting-edge technology, apps, medicines and services. But that's not the whole picture. I've come to realize innovation is anywhere and everywhere. At its very roots, innovation is in many cases people solving a problem.”

Ian Leblanc, the business intelligence co-ordinator with Ignite Fredericton. Innovation can be as simple as solving a problem. The Daily Gleaner. August 5 2016

 

Credit: Ian Leblanc, the business intelligence co-ordinator with Ignite Fredericton.

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