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Ottawa, December 17, 2014 — In a report published today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce argues that the only way for Canadian companies to compete and win in modern manufacturing is through a strong commitment to innovation. Today, however, Canada’s innovation rank—a key component of competitiveness—is troublesome. Ranked 22nd in the world by the World Economic Forum for its capacity for innovation and given a “D” grade in innovation by the Conference Board of Canada for most of the last decade, Canada has not had a company on the Boston Consulting Group’s list of top 50 global innovators since 2010.

“Manufacturing remains the largest sector of the Canadian economy, but competition has never been more aggressive,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “In order to remain on top, our companies need to be more innovative and adopt disruptive technologies at a pace never experienced before. It’s the only way to stay in the game!”

Throughout 2014, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce held a number of consultations with its members from across the country to identify the barriers that are currently confronting manufacturers when it comes to harnessing technology and innovation in Canada.

Our discussions led to three overall recommendations:

  1. Manufacturers can, and should, leverage best practices in overcoming barriers that currently prevent them from broader and faster adoption of disruptive technologies.
  2. Canada’s innovation policy framework must be structured to acknowledge and support business investment in R&D. Government should consider new incentive options, such as adopting an “innovation box” approach to R&D funding that reduces taxes and promotes domestic intellectual property activity.
  3. A policy framework that rewards collaboration, recognizes product cycles across various industries, acknowledges that the milestones for innovation incentives cannot be generic across industries and moves beyond a bias for breakthrough technology research is essential to improving Canada’s innovation scorecard.

 

The Canadian Chamber will build on these recommendations in a subsequent report on the value of government incentives in Canadian manufacturing.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing some 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are available at Chamber.ca or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.

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Contact:
Émilie S. Potvin
Vice President, Public Affairs
Office: 613.238.4000 (231) | Cell: 613.797.1860
epotvin@chamber.ca