The New Innovation | R&D in Canada

Based on a speech delivered by Bombardier Inc. president Pierre Beaudoin on Wednesday, Nov. 13,2013.

r&d funding for innovation in canadaBombardier President Pierre Beaudoin’s ideas and thoughts on innovation send an important message to Canada’s innovators and policy makers.  For innovators the message is clear that strategic innovation takes time, patience and investment – but is essential to Canada remaining competitive in a global market place. For policy makers in Canada the message is to support SMEs with even better R&D incentives like the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit.

Beaudoin points out that there is a significant wave of change under way in terms of how innovation is occurring globally. He points out that as a country it is imperative that we pay attention to the changes that are happening and either adapt or be left behind.

He urges that it so important for Canada to keep pace with global innovation because innovation that reaches commercialization builds sustainable growth. Innovative products, processes and services increase productivity, income per capita and the quality of social programs.

The fundamentals of innovation

Fundamentally, innovation requires a number of factors to fall into place:

  • an entrepreneurial environment and an appetite for risk,
  • sufficient investment in R&D especially by the private sector,
  • high quality scientific research centres,
  • extensive collaboration between universities and industry,
  • high levels of competition,
  • access to capital and financing,
  • and, last but not least, the need to be persistent and tenacious.

In terms of access to capital and financing, Beaudoin affirms the excellence of R&D tax programs like SR&ED.  He urges that innovation needs this type of public-private sector partnerships to continue to foster friendly and supportive environments, especially to make long-term research project feasible.

He also suggests some improvements for the SR&ED program and the need for further programs. He states that these programs, although excellent, “do little to alleviate the problem faced by many cash- strapped SMEs who have few options for securing the early-stage funding needed to advance their innovative ideas. This financing challenge often stops innovation dead in its tracks. To address the issue, the taxable income and capital thresholds to qualify for the small business refundable Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit of 35% should be raised to alleviate some of the pressure faced by pioneering SMEs.”

Inclusive innovation

Beaudoin points to a change in how innovation occurs in and beyond the organization, a change that sees more conversations happening with diverse groups of stakeholders.  His experience, points to fostering conversations between employees, customers, suppliers, partners, end-users and even competitors.

As a country Beaudoin urges industry leaders and policy makers to make the strategic choice to create value through innovation. By improving Canada’s infrastructure for innovation and by encouraging, expecting and rewarding people for challenging the status quo and risking failure to find a better product, process or service, this can be a reality.

Innovation Resources

As R&D incentive consultants Enhanced Capital Recovery can help your organization capitalize on R&D incentives in Canada.  If your organization is innovating products, services or processes, contact Enhanced Capital Recovery today to see how we help support your mission to join to new wave of global innovation.