How Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation Can Create More Jobs and Wealth for the Nation
By Andrea Wahbe on Apr 13, 2012 / Categories: CDMN News, Featured
Last month, the Government of Canada introduced Economic Action Plan 2012 which included a plan to foster entrepreneurship and innovation, and a commitment to invest in science and technology. Within the 2012 federal budget, $1.1 billion will be invested over five years to support research and development. In addition, $500 million will be allocated to venture capital with $400 million allocated to help increase private sector investments in early-stage risk capital, and to support the creation of large-scale venture capital funds led by the private sector; and, $100 million going to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to support its venture capital activities. Finally, $110 million per year will go to the National Research Council to double support to companies through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).
The intent of these investments and actions is to keep our economy strong, create high-quality jobs and ensure that Canada is a premier destination for the world’s brightest minds. But is government investment enough to foster innovation and entrepreneurship?
According to James Milway, Executive Director of the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity, “public investment in research and development is crucial to Canada’s long-term competitiveness. However, the real opportunity is for our businesses to step up their R&D activities in support of strategies that are based on innovation and growth. In many cases, this R&D can be done in collaboration with academic partners.”
Milway also argues that Canada needs to “focus less on giving tax breaks to small businesses and instead find creative ways to support high-growth, high-impact firms that will drive innovation, productivity, and prosperity.” The Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity recently published a study entitled “Small business, entrepreneurship, and innovation” which describes the key characteristics used to identify a high-growth business that is likely to innovate and succeed. The report also outlines the qualities that make for a successful entrepreneur in Canada – some of which might surprise you.
Gerri Sinclair, Principal of The Gerri Sinclair Group, a consulting company providing strategic management and foresight consulting services focused on future trends and the role of digital technologies in various industry sectors, argues that “competition breeds innovation – and Canada needs more of both.” She says that “increasing investments in technology accelerator centres might be a better way to ensure more competition and innovation.”
Want to know more about what Milway and Sinclair have to say about these topics? They will be speaking on a panel entitled “Entrepreneurship + Innovation = Success for Canadian Business” at CDMN’s Canada 3.0 Digital Media Forum on April 24th and 25th in Stratford, Ontario. Together with other Canadian experts in the fields of entrepreneurship and digital media, they will explore how Canada’s digital media industry can complete globally by integrating our efforts for more effective, and profitable, commercialization. To be part of the conversation about accelerating Canada’s digital future, please visit www.canada30.ca.