Nova Scotia earns a "D" on innovation report card

OTTAWA, Sept. 3, 2015 /CNW/ - Nova Scotia finds itself at the back of the class on The Conference Board of Canada's How Canada Performs: Innovation report card. The provinces earns a "D" and ranks 20th among 26 jurisdictions on the first innovation report card to compare Canada, the 10 provinces and 15 peer countries.

"Nova Scotia's higher-education sector provides a good foundation for science and innovation potential. In fact, the province performs very well on public R&D and scientific articles published," said Daniel Muzyka, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Conference Board of Canada. "However, Nova Scotia's poor grades on a number of indicators, including business R&D, patents, number of researchers, and labour productivity suggest the province has challenges with transforming ideas into commercialized products and reaping the larger benefits of innovation."


  • Nova Scotia earns a "D" and ranks 20th overall.
  • On public R&D, Nova Scotia earns an "A+" and outperforms all jurisdictions.
  • However, the province ranks last among all comparator jurisdictions on BERD.


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.


Nova Scotia does very well on public R&D. With public R&D of 1.12 per cent of GDP, Nova Scotia earns an "A+" and ranks first among all comparator jurisdictions. The province also earns an "A" and places second on scientific articles, measured as the number of peer-reviewed scientific articles produced in natural sciences and engineering per million population.

Nova Scotia receives a "C" on information and communications technology (ICT) investment and four "D"s for venture capital investment, connectivity, enterprise entry, and labour productivity.

Nova Scotia receives "D-" grades on researchers engaged in R&D (including researchers employed in business, higher education and government) and patents. The province also earns a "D-" on business enterprise R&D (BERD). In fact, Nova Scotia ranks last among all comparator jurisdictions on BERD—an indicator on which Canada as a whole ranks last among international peers.

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.


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:; or Juline Ranger, Associate Director of Communications, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 431, E-mail:

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