Saskatchewan earns a "D" on innovation report card

Mix of grades show potential for improvement.

OTTAWA, Sept. 3, 2015 /CNW/ - Saskatchewan has entrepreneurial spirit but very poor to poor scores on nearly all other innovation indicators, earning the province a "D" grade and 21st spot overall in The Conference Board of Canada's How Canada Performs: Innovation report card. This is the first innovation report card that compares the provinces, Canada and 15 peer countries.

"While Saskatchewan receives an overall "D" grade, the province performs very well on the entrepreneurship indicators in our innovation report card. But, the province is weak when it comes to R&D and attracting capital for innovation," said Daniel Muzyka, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Conference Board of Canada. "Saskatchewan could  benefit from its entrepreneurial spirit by prioritizing investment in innovation capacity and activities."


  • Saskatchewan earns a "D" and ranks 21st overall on the innovation report card.
  • The province receives an "A+" for entrepreneurial ambition and an "A" for enterprise entries.
  • Saskatchewan is very weak on public and business R&D, and attracting venture capital for innovation.

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.

Saskatchewan earns an "A+" and ranks third among international peers on entrepreneurial ambition (the percentage of the working age population who report being engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activity). It also scores an "A" and ranks fourth among provinces on enterprise entries.

Saskatchewan earns a "B" on scientific articles, measured as the number of peer-reviewed scientific articles produced in natural sciences and engineering per million population, and "C"s on connectivity and labour productivity. However, like  Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan's high ranking on labour productivity relative to the other provinces may be more the result of its resource-intensive economy (with resource wealth contributing to its higher GDP per hour worked) than its innovation performance. 

The province earns its lowest grades on R&D as a share of GDP and attracting capital for innovation. It scores "D" grades on public R&D and venture capital investment, as well as information and communications technology (ICT) investment. Like most provinces, Saskatchewan does poorly on business enterprise R&D (BERD). With BERD sitting below 0.5 per cent of GDP, the province ranks 24th out of 26 jurisdictions and earns a "D-". Saskatchewan also scores "D-"s on patents and researchers engaged in R&D (including researchers employed in business, higher education and government).

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.

If you would like to be removed from our distribution list, please e-mail


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:

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890