New paper details 10 Big Ideas for Canada’s innovation agenda

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New Canada 2020 paper Towards an Inclusive, Innovation Canada – Volume 1 available now

February 3, 2017 (Ottawa) – Canada 2020 has released volume one of its new paper, Towards an Inclusive, Innovative Canada – a part of the Canada 2020 Innovation Project. The report provides inspiration for the government’s innovation agenda, with 10 big ideas for how to improve Canada’s innovation performance.
The full report is available here (PDF) or at
The first volume in a new series from Canada 2020, Towards an Inclusive, Innovative Canada features contributions from Canada 2020 Senior Associate Mike Moffat as well as thought-leaders Hannah Rasmussen and David Watters.
“We know that to be competitive, Canada must innovate more — or risk being left behind,” said Mike Moffatt, Senior Associate at Canada 2020 and Director of the Lawrence Centre at Western University. “Our new Canada 2020 report does away with half-measures and offers the kind of big, bold swings that the government’s innovation agenda should be considering if we want to break from our traditionally mediocre innovation performance.”
Volume One opens a conversation about the game-changing ideas that will accelerate Canada’s innovation performance. Each idea is fully mapped out, detailing how they would work and who would be involved.  Some of the ideas include:

  • Establish a Parliamentary Coherence Officer
  • Create a set of Canada 150 Goals and Prizes
  • Push for a Canada-wide acceleration of numeracy skills
  • Reform labour markets, and create innovation accords between provinces
  • Create a financial matchmaker system to help coordinate financing and capital for startups
  • + more

Moffatt added: “Without an inclusive innovation agenda, we will see an economy that does not generate enough tax revenues to provide a quickly growing elderly population with adequate health care. We will see a growing divide between haves and have-nots as the economy fails to provide employment opportunities for all. We risk the rise of American- and British-style populism, as income growth and opportunities are limited to the well-connected, shutting out everyone from the city kid growing up in Toronto to the farm girl from Whalen Corners.”
Based on a series of roundtables, consultations and original research conducted across the country – from Halifax to Vancouver – Volume One eloquently captures Canada’s need to innovate, how to measure innovation, while also highlighting important goals we should keep in mind.
“If Canada is to become truly innovative, governments must have the courage to attempt new approaches,” said Hannah Rassmussen, one of the report’s authors and Director at Projection North. “Our hope is that these ideas will be seen as both the starting point of a larger conversation around innovation and an opportunity to think big about the ways we can make Canada a more innovative country.”
The Innovation Project is a living, evolving initiative housed at Canada 2020 with the goal of studying, debating and promoting the building blocks of what can and will make Canada more innovative country. Launched in June of 2016, Canada 2020 has hosted roundtables, consultations, and events large and small focused on Canada’s innovation agenda.
To keep up to date with Canada2020’s Innovation Project, please visit
For media requests, please contact alex[at]canada2020[dot]ca