Manitoba scores a "D" on innovation report card

Mix of grades show potential for improvement.

OTTAWA, Sept. 3, 2015 /CNW/ - Manitoba earns a "D" on innovation and ranks 23rd out of 26 comparator regions (10 provinces and 16 peer countries) in The Conference Board of Canada's How Canada Performs: Innovation report card.

"Innovation is important to improving productivity, economic growth, and job creation, as well as to sustaining the high quality of life that Canadians have come to expect," said Daniel Muzyka, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Conference Board of Canada. "Manitoba receives very poor to poor scores on most of the indicators used to assess innovation performance. Although the province exhibits a strong entrepreneurial spirit and sees many new start-ups, it falls short on the researchers, venture capital and business R&D needed to innovate and grow in a knowledge economy."


  • Manitoba earns a "D" and ranks 23rd overall on the innovation report card.
  • The province receives an "A" for entrepreneurial ambition and a "B" for enterprise entry.
  • Earning "D-" grades on researchers engaged in R&D (including researchers employed in business, higher education and government), venture capital investment, business enterprise R&D and patents, Manitoba may lack capacity to benefit from its entrepreneurial ambition.

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.

Manitoba receives its only "A" grade on the entrepreneurial ambition indicator. With 13.7 per cent of the province's working age population reporting early-stage entrepreneurial activity, Manitoba is in line with average entrepreneurial ambition in Canada and ranks fifth among international peers.

Manitoba is a middle-of-the-pack performer on public R&D and scientific articles, measured as the number of peer-reviewed scientific articles produced in natural sciences and engineering per million population—earning "B" grades on both indicators. It also receives a respectable "B" on enterprise entry. On information and communications technology (ICT) investment—which is both a condition for and an example of innovation—Manitoba earns a "C" and ranks 17th among the 26 jurisdictions.

The province scores "D"s and "D-"s on the remaining innovation indicators. With connectivity rates at only 70 per cent, Manitoba is one of the least connected provinces in Canada and earns a "D"—although it fares just as well as France, and better than the United States, Ireland and Japan. Like most provinces, Manitoba is a poor performer on labour productivity. The province falls below the Canadian average and ranks 22nd overall.

Manitoba earns four "D-" grades for performance weaker than the lowest-ranking international peers on patents, venture capital, business enterprise R&D (BERD) and researchers engaged in R&D (including researchers employed in business, higher education and government). With 4.5 researchers per 1,000 individuals engaged in R&D, Manitoba ranks second to last, ahead of only New Brunswick, on the researchers indicator. The province's venture capital investment rate—a three-year average of only 0.009 per cent as a share of GDP—leaves Manitoba second to last on this important element of innovation performance.

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.

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:; Juline Ranger, Associate Director of Communications, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 431, E-mail:; 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. If you would like to be removed from our distribution list, please e-mail

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