How to make Canada the most innovative country in the world? Look to universities, says Allan Rock

Posted on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Canada's universities should be at the core of a national effort to maintain our standard of living and our quality of life to ensure Canada is more innovative, productive and competitive, said University of Ottawa President Allan Rock in a speech today at the Economic Club in Toronto.

“My message here today is that if our universities are given the tools they need, and if they build stronger relationships and new partnerships with industry, they can be the centrepiece of a national strategy to overcome the performance gaps holding us back. Universities can help make Canada the most innovative country in the world,” said Allan Rock, a former federal minister of industry.

Allan Rock provided several examples of how universities are already major assets to local and regional innovation networks across the country. Universities significantly strengthen the culture of innovation in Canada by excelling in many critical areas: educating and graduating highly qualified people, engaging in top quality research, commercializing new discoveries and fostering entrepreneurship in their students.

Looking to universities to help find solutions by partnering with them on research projects and supporting them through philanthropy is the key to securing Canada's place as one of the most innovative countries in the world, said Allan Rock.

“No one actor can meet our nation's innovation challenge alone. But I insist that Canadian universities are playing a vital part. With sustained public support and ever deeper relationships with the private sector, universities can do more of what we already do so well: produce highly qualified people; attract international talent; conduct ground breaking research; partner with industry; and instill an entrepreneurial spirit in those who are leaving to start their careers.,” concluded Allan Rock.

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