October 1, 2013

Paradox Lost

Explaining Canada’s Research Strength and Innovation Weakness

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Summary

In 2006, the CCA had completed seven expert panel assessments analyzing in great depth Canada’s performance in science and technology, and innovation. The CCA initiated a review of these reports in an effort to better understand the trends and insights that exist among them.

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Questions

Paradox Lost: Explaining Canada’s Research Strength and Innovation Weakness was prepared by a three-member expert advisory group, and provides a concise and articulate synthesis based on the following reports:

  • The State of Science and Technology in Canada, 2006
  • Innovation and Business Strategy: Why Canada Falls Short
  • Catalyzing Canada’s Digital Economy
  • Informing Research Choices: Indicators and Judgment
  • The State of Science and Technology in Canada, 2012
  • Innovation Impacts: Measurements and Assessment
  • The State of Industrial R&D in Canada

Paradox Lost examines two questions that have been of perennial concern to Canadian policy-makers, industry leaders, and economists alike: (i) Why has Canada’s research excellence not translated into more business innovation?, and (ii) How has Canada’s economy sustained relative prosperity despite weak innovation and correspondingly feeble productivity growth? In their examination of these questions, the report’s authors consider the complex ways in which research leads to innovation, and the factors that motivate Canadian business strategy. As such, the report explores Canada’s current paradox and identifies four megatrends that will pose challenges for Canadian businesses in the years to come.

Key Findings

Paradox Lost examines two questions that have been of perennial concern to Canadian policy makers, industry leaders, and economists alike: (i) Why has Canada’s research excellence not translated into more business innovation? and (ii) How has Canada’s economy sustained relative prosperity despite weak innovation and correspondingly feeble productivity growth? In their examination of these questions, the report’s authors consider the complex ways in which research leads to innovation, and the factors that motivate Canadian business strategy. As such, the report explores Canada’s current paradox and identifies four megatrends that will pose challenges for Canadian businesses in the years to come.

In  2006,  the CCA had completed  seven expert panel assessments analyzing in great depth Canada’s performance in science and  technology and innovation. Paradox Lost synthesizes the main findings of that work, from which two main conclusions emerge:

  1. Canadian  academic research,  overall, is strong and well-regarded internationally.
  2. Canadian  business innovation,  by contrast, is weak  by  international standards, and this is the primary cause of  Canada’s poor productivity growth.

Expert Panel

Explaining Canada’s Research Strength and Innovation Weakness