Canada gets a “C” for innovation in latest report card

canada flag

The Conference Board of Canada has released the latest instalment of its How Canada Performs: Innovation report card, and the results are a mixed bag for our fair nation. Compared to 16 peer countries, Canada earned a “C” grade with a 9th-place rank.

The Canadian research organization tracks the 17 different countries across 10 different innovation indicators, organized into three specific categories: capacity, activity, and results. Canada received one “A”, three “B”s, three “C”s and three “D”s, for its overall “C” result, a slight improvement over last year’s “D” grade and 13th-place rank.

Innovation report card

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“While Canada’soverall ranking is slightly better, it masks downward trends in some key innovation drivers and highlights the need for the private and public sectors to improve their innovation game in a much more competitive environment,” said Daniel Muzyka, President and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada.

Canada performed most poorly in business enterprise R&D, where it fell from 15th to last place this year. Canada also continues to trail nearly all peer countries when it comes to labour productivity.

Canadian labour productivity

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Canada’s only A came from entrepreneurial ambition, a new indicator for the report card which measures the share of the working-age population reporting early-stage entrepreneurial activity. Muzyka also indicated that an increase in venture capital investment aided Canada’s ranking.

This is the first year that provincial rankings are included in the report card, showing Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia as the top-rated, each with a “B” grade overall. The three provinces also all ranked in the top 10 of the 26 comparator regions (which include Canada’s 10 provinces and the 16 peer countries). Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick were the lowest ranked provinces.

The complete innovation report card can be found here, along with additional information regarding data sources and methodology behind the rankings.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.