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Canada, rest of world differ on Canadian innovation

Published by Steve Coleman on January 18, 2012

When it comes to innovation, there's a chasm between what Canadians think about our own ability to produce and what the rest of the world thinks.

The decision by GE to include Canada, for the first time, in its new Global Innovation Barometer shows Canada isn't one of the first places that come to mind when other countries think about innovation.

Just three per cent of global respondents reported Canada as a Top Three Innovation Champion. On the other hand, 91 per cent of Canadians asked said Canada has a good international reputation for innovation.

When asked about innovation in the 21st century, an above average number of Canadian respondents associated it with high level scientific research, compared to people creativity. However, Canadian respondents did say creative and out-of-the-box thinking was the most important factor driving innovation in their businesses.

"Increased creativity particularly in the areas of business processes and commercialization is important to our future success," says Elyse Allan, President and CEO, GE Canada. "Canadians share a global conviction that innovation is a key driver of economic transformation. However, we need to increase the speed at which innovative products are coming to market, improve the efficiency of public/private support, and tell a stronger story globally, if we want to improve productivity and drive next generation innovation. The Barometer's findings reinforce GE's perspective on Canadian innovation and recent decisions to invest in several new centres of excellence and innovation."

GE says the most-recent survey shows innovation is a critical piece of global competitiveness and it comes in more than one form. Traditional R&D as well as new products, markets and business models all play a role. Governments also have to ensure the right conditions are in place to create a good business climate.

Check the following link for a more in-depth look at the study results.

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