CDMN News Article

Progress Towards Canada’s Moonshot Goal: Anyone Can Do Anything Online by 2017

By on Apr 17, 2012 / Categories: CDMN News, Featured

As we prepare for the Canadian Digital Media Network’s (CDMN) fourth annual Canada 3.0 Digital Media Forum on April 24th and 25th, 2012, we are reviewing our nation’s progress as we move towards our Moonshot goal: To ensure that anyone can do anything online in Canada by 2017.

CDMN has focused on five key industry streams for Canada 3.0 2012 that will drive the achievement of the Moonshot. These streams include: Access to Capital, Connectivity, Content, Productivity, and Talent.

In order to understand just how far we’ve come towards achieving our goal, it’s important to reflect on where we’ve been. Below are some of the challenges faced and advancements made in Canada in the past few years in each of the key industry streams.

1. Access to Capital

Challenges Advancements
  • VCs tend to invest more in later stage ICT companies versus startups. Read our blog about Industry Canada’s Q4 2011 “Venture Capital Monitor” report for details.
  • It’s difficult for Canadian startups to sell into large, multi-national organizations. This topic was discussed during our Calgary National Tour Workshop.
  • SR&ED Tax Credits were too complicated. In 2011, Tom Jenkins, Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer at OpenText, led a panel of experts exploring ways to improve how Ottawa invests in and provides tax cuts for entrepreneurs, research and innovation.

 

  • Improved government incentives and tax credits in the 2012 Economic Action Plan. The federal government listened to the Tom Jenkins’ panel report and made significant changes to the SR&ED tax credits and other investments in research and innovation.
  • Increased local and international investments in Canadian companies. Some examples include:
    i. Bruce Croxon, one of the investors featured on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, has raised $100 million in funding to invest in Canadian digital media startups.
    ii. IBM recently announced that the company is launching its first formal research and development lab in Canada through a $175-million investment over the next 21 months in a consortium with seven Ontario universities.
  • 2012 KPMG Study ranks Canada as the “most cost-effective country to run a digital business.”

2. Connectivity

Challenges Advancements
  • Canada’s global broadband edge is dwindling. By 2011, Canada’s position compared to other countries in the OECD had slipped to 13th place (from 2nd in 2002) for fixed connectivity, 23rd for wireless connectivity and 28th for average pricing per megabit.
  • Continued connectivity gaps between Northern/Rural Canada and Urban Centres. See our National Tour Report from Ottawa regarding constraints on Northern Canada’s broadband infrastructure.
  • Canada’s 2012 Economic Action Plan includes:
    i. Increased focus on universal availability of broadband: $225 million is being provided by Industry Canada over three years to develop and implement a strategy to extend broadband connectivity to as many underserved households as possible.ii. Increased support for further connectivity and infrastructure research: $40 million will be invested over two years to support CANARIE’s operation of Canada’s ultra-high speed research network.

3. Content

Challenges Advancements
  • Canada is falling behind EU countries with regard to digitizing our cultural content.
  • Launch of new programs and funding:
    i. The CHRC is launching new digital skills training workshops in copyright management and export marketing for Canadian cultural workers.
    ii. The Canada Media Fund (CMF) recently announced a new two-year Program Guideline for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 fiscal years – set at $375 million, an increase of $4 million over the previous year’s budget.

4. Productivity

Challenges Advancements
  • Canada is falling further behind in the global “Internet economy.” We now rank 9th out of all G20 nation’s with regard to the Internet’s contribution to GDP. We are expected to slide to 12thplace by 2016.
  • Lack of competition for connectivity and infrastructure services curbs innovation.
  • Launch of new programs focused on boosting research and innovation including: CANARIE’s Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research (DAIR) program  in 2011 and the Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP).

5. Talent

Challenges Advancements

 

  • Introduction of new college and university-level academic programs in Business Technology Management (UWS, Ryerson DMZ, etc.).
  • The Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow’s ICT Skills (CCICT) has launched a new “CareerMash” initiative to educate students about the digital jobs of tomorrow. Read more about the program on our Canada 3.0 blog.

Each of these topics will be covered in great detail at CDMN’s fourth annual Canada 3.0 Digital Media Forum. Learn more about the conference at its website: www.canada30.ca and register here.


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