Public Policy Forum calls for first ministers’ conference on innovation in Canada

03/14/2011

OTTAWA – A new report released today calls for a first ministers’ conference within the next year to establish an innovation policy framework for Canada. The report, Innovation Next: Leading Canada to Greater Productivity, Competitiveness and Resilience, is the culmination of a cross-Canada dialogue with several hundred leaders from the public, private and research sectors.

“This report is our response to a real sense of urgency that we heard from Canadian leaders for a need to set our sights on gold, to invest in our people, to better connect internationally and to more boldly celebrate our successes,” said David Mitchell, President and CEO of the Public Policy Forum. “We are now ready to work together to foster a stronger culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in our country.”

The report serves as a call to action to leaders in the private sector, government, the social sector and the academic community in Canada, with the following recommendations:

1.     Convene a first ministers’ conference within the next 12 months with the goal of agreeing on an innovation policy framework for Canada;
       
2.     Create a national productivity and innovation council to benchmark Canadian enterprises to best practices among competitor countries on a sector-by-sector basis;
       
3.     Nurture and develop the next generation of Canadian innovators by providing more entrepreneurial learning and growth opportunities for K-12 students;
       
4.     Establish and aggressively promote a series of major Canadian awards – the equivalent of the Nobel Prizes for innovators – recognizing achievements in innovation globally.

“Acting upon these recommendations is necessary to advance innovation in Canada,” said Public Policy Forum Executive Vice-President, Paul Ledwell. “Leaders we consulted in all sectors recognize that this is more than a question of economics or technology; rather, it’s about providing a new generation of Canadian innovators with every opportunity to succeed.”

The Public Policy Forum convened 15 roundtables in cities across Canada and two major conferences, gathering data and perspectives for this study. The full report is available on our website at: www.ppforum.ca/publications/innovationnext.

The Public Policy Forum is an independent, non-partisan organization dedicated to improving governance in Canada. For additional information about the Forum, visit www.ppforum.ca

For more information:
Caitlin Kealey, Public Policy Forum
613.818.7956 - caitlin.kealey@ppforum.ca