Innovation Nation: Why has the government put a cap on innovation success?


Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains on Nov. 26, 2018 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press. NP Photo Illustration.

Canada has a rich history of innovation, but in the next few decades, powerful technological forces will transform the global economy. Large multinational companies have jumped out to a headstart in the race to succeed, and Canada runs the risk of falling behind. At stake is nothing less than our prosperity and economic well-being. The Financial Post set out explore what is needed for businesses to flourish and grow. You can find all of our coverage here.

The recent statements about innovation coming from politicians in Ottawa are encouraging. On more than one occasion, Minister Navdeep Bains has said he would rather see 10 high-growth Canadian tech companies scale globally than 10 more foreign branch plants open their doors in Canada.

Domestic innovators and innovation economists have long argued that to create quality jobs and prosperity, our country needs an ecosystem that enables our own high-growth anchor firms. The best returns to national economies, experts say, come from companies that generate value from intangibles like data and intellectual property — and that scale from $100 million to billions of dollars in revenue. These are the companies that provide critical public and private wealth, and that can help Canada generate the new revenues it desperately needs to fund social programs and public infrastructure across the country.