British Columbia among the top-ranked provinces in Conference Board's innovation report card

OTTAWA, Sept. 3, 2015 /CNW/ - British Columbia earns a "B" overall and ranks 10th out of 26 jurisdictions in The Conference Board of Canada's How Canada Performs: Innovation report card. This is the first report card to compare Canada, the 10 provinces, and 15 peer countries.

"B.C. makes the top 10 overall, but there is still significant room for improvement," said Daniel Muzyka, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Conference Board of Canada. "The province does particularly well on indicators related to entrepreneurship. It manages to outperform the top-performing countries on entrepreneurial ambition and has a very strong showing on venture capital investment. However, on business enterprise R&D, B.C. does worse than all peer countries, including Canada as a whole."

HIGHLIGHTS

  • British Columbia earns a "B" grade overall on innovation and ranks10th among 26 jurisdictions.
  • B.C. ranks second among all comparator regions on entrepreneurial ambition and venture capital investment.
  • The province earns its worst grade, a "D–", on business enterprise R&D.

Eleven indicators were used to measure the provinces' innovation performance. This includes indicators in three categories:

  • innovation capacity—i.e., investments and resources that provide a foundation for research, idea-generation, and insight-sharing (including public R&D, researchers engaged in R&D, connectivity, and scientific articles);
  • innovation activity—i.e., entrepreneurial ambition, investments in ICT and venture capital, and business R&D activity that help to transform ideas into commercialized products, services and processes; and
  • innovation results—i.e., evidence of the impact of research, innovation and commercialization as captured in patents, new ventures, and overall labour productivity.

B.C. receives one "A+", one "A", three "B"s, two "C"s, three "D"s, and one "D-".

B.C. gets an "A+" on the entrepreneurial ambition indicator (the percentage of the working age population who report being engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activity). With 17 per cent of British Columbians reporting some kind of early-stage entrepreneurial activity, B.C. places second overall, behind only Alberta, and outperforms the top-ranked countries—the U.S. and Australia. B.C.'s next highest grade is an "A" on venture capital investment. With the venture capital investment rate in B.C. more than doubling in the past few years, the province comes in second overall, trailing only the United States.

The province earns "B"s on enterprise entry, scientific articles, measured as the number of peer-reviewed scientific articles produced in natural sciences and engineering per million population and connectivity, and receives "C"s on information and communications technology investment and public R&D.

B.C. earns "D" grades on labour productivity (GDP per hour worked) and researchers engaged in R&D (including researchers employed in business, higher education and government), performing below the Canadian average on both indicators. It also receives a "D" on the patents indicator.

The province earns its worst grade, a "D–", on business enterprise R&D (BERD). B.C. ranks third among the provinces but nevertheless performs worse than the lowest-ranked peer country. B.C.'s BERD as a share of GDP was only 0.7 per cent in 2013, less than one-third the rate of BERD in top-performing Japan. This is at least partly due to the predominance of primary resource companies in B.C.'s economy which, historically, have conducted less R&D than firms in other sectors, such as manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. Six performance domains are assessed: Economy, Education and Skills, Innovation, Environment, Health, and Society.

Released today, and building on previous How Canada Performs analyses, the Innovation report card is the fourth of six to be produced on Canadian and provincial socio-economic performance. To date, the Economy, Education and Skills, and Health report cards have been published. The remaining report cards will follow over the year.

This is the first year that provincial rankings are included in the report cards. Further details, including information on data sources and the methodology behind the rankings, can be found on the How Canada Performs website.

Explore the results of the innovation report card in depth during a live webinar, An Innovation Report Card for the Provinces: Global Leaders & Late Adopters, on September 25, 2015.

View video commentary by Daniel Muzyka, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Conference Board of Canada.

Follow The Conference Board of Canada on Twitter.

For those interested in broadcast-quality interviews for your station, network, or online site, The Conference Board of Canada now has a studio capable of double-ender interviews (line fees apply), or we can send you pre-taped clips upon request.

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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

For further information: Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca; or Juline Ranger, Associate Director of Communications, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 431, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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