Canada can choose to be a global innovation leader in clean energy, water technology and regenerative medicine



    OTTAWA, Oct. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada has a consistently poor record on
innovation, in part because it fails to take advantage of opportunities in
which it can combine leading-edge technology with the potential to develop
globally-competitive companies.
    The Conference Board of Canada, based on the advice of the Leaders' Panel
on Innovation-Based Commerce, identifies three opportunities- clean energy
technologies, water management technologies, and stem-cell based regenerative
medicine (clinical techniques that can regrow and reconstruct damaged body
parts).
    Each of these technologies have enormous existing or potential global
markets. In addition, Canada already has world-class science and technology in
these areas, as well as the business capacity to bring these technologies to
market.
    "In all of these areas, Canada has brilliant technologies scattered in
small regional clusters," said Gilles Rheaume, Vice President, Public Policy.
"The biggest challenge is to bring Canada's widely dispersed technologies
together, so that Canadian companies can compete on a global scale, and
ultimately become more innovative and prosperous."
    Different strategies will be required to realize the potential of these
opportunities. The final report of the Leaders' Panel on Innovation-Based
Commerce, released today, recommends:

    Clean energy-Let provincial energy utilities go global. Currently only
the large provincial utilities in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec have
the scope and scale to take Canadian energy management solutions to global
markets.
    Water management technologies-Implement a national program to retrofit
municipal water infrastructure with leading-edge "smart" technologies,
produced by Canadian firms. These technologies can then be applied globally.
But to succeed in global markets, Canada's small companies must come together
to create large globally-competitive firms that can offer integrated
solutions.
    Regenerative medicine-Use the health-care system to develop centres for
research, clinical practice and clinical trial management. Canada is already a
scientific leader, and the health-care system must shift its emphasis to
chronic care of an aging population. This combination of science and need
could make Canada a leading centre in new regenerative medicine therapies.

    The Leaders Panel on Innovation-Based Commerce was formed in 2007 to
identify a small number of promising commercial pathways in which Canada could
focus its resources to become more innovative, and ultimately, create greater
prosperity. The report is publicly available at www.e-library.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, (613) 526-3090,
ext. 448, corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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