CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA LAUNCHES NEW CENTRE FOR BUSINESS INNOVATION
TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE AMONG FIRMS
OTTAWA, Jan. 31, 2012 /CNW/ - Canada's weak innovation performance is
partly a result of Canadian business leaders' sometimes inaccurate
beliefs about the innovation environment, according to a Conference
Board of Canada report based on results from the World Economic Forum's
Global Competitiveness Survey 2011-12.
"Canadian business leaders may be less inclined than their global
counterparts to adopt innovation as a business strategy because they do
not see it as rational or necessary in their current environment," said
Daniel Munro, Principal Research Associate. "Many Canadian business
leaders feel that competitive pressures are not strong enough to
motivate innovation, capital markets are too weak, and the tax burden
is too high. But their perceptions do not always align with reality."
The findings outlined in the report, From Perception to Performance: How Canadian Business Leaders View the
Innovation Environment, are based on the Canadian results of the World Economic Forum's
Executive Opinion survey. The Conference Board is the Canadian partner
for the World Economic Forum in carrying out the annual survey, which
this year will be conducted between late February and end of April.
Canada placed 11th among the 142 countries ranked on innovation in the WEF's Global
Competitiveness Report 2011-2012, but trailed key competitors such as
Japan, the United States, and Germany - as well as small advanced
economies like Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland. In the Conference
Board's 2010 How Canada Performs: A Report Card on Canada, Canada received a grade of "D" and ranking of 14th out of 17 peer countries on innovation performance.
Perceptions of high taxation, less intense competition, and weak capital
markets, help to explain why Canadian firms are less likely to innovate
than global peers.
Canadian business leaders cited the tax and regulatory burden as a
barrier to innovation. Yet Canada's business tax rate is one of the
lowest among its main global competitors. Canadian leaders' perception
of the tax burden ranked 40th in the Global Competitiveness survey,
Canada's actual total tax rate ranks 29th in the world - placing the
country ahead of innovation powerhouses such as the United States,
Switzerland, Sweden, and Japan.
When asked to assess the intensity of competition in local markets—a key
driver of innovation—Canadian business leaders gave it 5.6 on a
seven-point scale. This put Canada 21st among the 142 countries, but behind most of its major competitors.
Business leaders also see Canada's capital markets a key barrier to
innovation. Ranking 19th in terms of leaders' perceptions of venture capital availability and 22nd on ease of access to loans, Canada trails a handful of international
competitors like Norway, Sweden, and Finland, though it ranks higher
than Switzerland on both indicators.
"Canada has many innovation strengths—including world-class institutions
of higher education and research. But business leaders report many
barriers—some real, and some perceived—that may be stalling innovation
performance. The challenge is to focus efforts on overcoming real
barriers while dispelling the illusions," said Munro.
To drill down on the impediments to firm-level business innovation in
Canada, the Conference Board has established a new Centre for Business
Innovation (CBI). A major, multi-funder five year program of research
and consultation. CBI's mission is to:
develop performance indicators and establish metrics that track
innovation activity inside firms so that progress can be made;
contribute to the formulation of public policies and private sector
strategies to drive business innovation; and
help Canada become a world leader in firm-level business innovation.
The Centre for Business Innovation has embraced the measurement and
benchmarking mandate identified by the Coalition for Action on
Innovation in Canada. The Centre's research will delve into four other
areas: business strategies for firms; capital markets; people; and
The first meeting of the CBI is Friday, Feb. 3, 2012, in Toronto.
Link to report: http://www.conferenceboard.ca/e-library/abstract.aspx?did=4661
Link to Center for Business Innovation: http://www.conferenceboard.ca/CBI/
Link to How Canada Performs:
SOURCE CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA
For further information:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448