Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains Thinks He's Doing a Good Job

          By Henry Stewart

Sometime this week, the Canadian government is expected to release a 100-page report titled "Building a Nation of Innovators."

The report is intended to highlight the various policies, programs, plans and funding mechanisms the Federal department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) has undertaken since 2015 in order to embrace innovative methodologies, digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) applications.

But it probably won't mention anything about Canada's space industry, which is a shame since the space industry is one of the drivers of innovation in the Canadian economy.

As outlined in the February 9th, 2019 Financial Post article, "The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada," Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains is already providing a sneak peak at the contents of the report.

According to Bains:
...it’s a report card, because people need to know as a government you made promises, are you living up to those promises? And what does it mean to them, to their communities, for their own prospects and for their kids’ prospects? 
The speed and scope of change is phenomenal, and that creates anxiety and concerns that Canadians have. And we’re dealing with that and saying, look, we want you to succeed.
Front cover. Graphic c/o ISED.
The full interview is available online. The report is also expected to be available online and will likely be referenced at least once or twice during the upcoming Federal election in the fall of 2019.

The Innovation Minister wants to be judged by this report and by how he has succeeded in advocating for Canada's Innovation Agenda.

He's right. We should do this.

The policy was originally outlined on the July 26th, 2016 Federal Government website "Positioning Canada to Lead: An Inclusive Innovation Agenda."
Editors Note: The Federal government has released its report. 
As outlined in the February 12th, 2019 ISED press release, "Canada is building a nation of innovators," the report "presents the Government's progress in laying a solid foundation for Canada to remain competitive and for Canadians to succeed in the global economy." 
But it doesn't say much else. It spends most of its 100 pages talking about preliminary results and what could happen if the Liberals are allowed to carry through with their plans. 
There are a few mentions of the space industry, most notably on page 70, where the document states that "Canada can, and must, do a better job in unlocking the potential of its space sector for the benefit of Canadian businesses and society at large."
The complete report, under the title Building a Nation of Innovators, is available online so the curious can confirm the content for themselves.

Henry Stewart is the pseudonym of a Toronto based aerospace writer.

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