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Academies look for reasons for Canada’s innovation deficit

The Council of Canadian Academies has published an analysis of seven recent studies that seeks to explain why the country punches above its weight in science, but lags behind in business innovation.

Canada’s small domestic market, commodity-based economy and tight integration with the US market all contribute to the country’s relative lack of innovation in business despite its strength in academic R&D, according to the report Paradox Lost: Explaining Canada’s research strength and innovation weakness.

Although Canada conducts world-class research in several areas, Canadian firms have historically not given much thought to innovation, content to find success as upstream suppliers to more innovative US firms. But the report warns that the country’s complacency is now threatened by four major trends that are creating an economic landscape in which Canada’s firms are ill-equipped to compete.

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