CATA's Lunch with Leaders series discusses Commercialization opportunities in Canada's Most Promising Sector
"As part of advancing our Innovation Nation Platform, CATA initiated this dialogue to focus on the commercialization opportunities in the ICTS sector. The general synopsis of industry experts is that Canada does not seem to have a technology strategy and we need to get one fast," says John Reid, President, CATA.
The sector is growing so quickly that it is being restricted by declining enrolment in science and technology programs at Canadian universities. An untapped female workforce, and the strength of the Canadian dollar, are a few of the other challenges the Canadian ICTS sector has had to face in recent years. They also noted that Canadian businesses have difficulty in gaining home-grown business from federal departments. Unfortunately, many companies do not receive recognition for their innovative technology in Canada until is has obtained credibility in the U.S.
With their experience and understanding of the ICTS sector, the informative luncheon gave the group the opportunity to solidify the importance of ICTS as an enabling technology and skill for Canada's advancement in other sectors.
Technology's latest obsession with social networking has industry leaders looking for future employees in the generation "X" and "Y" categories. All attendees agreed that companies need access to bright, young talent for the ICTS sector to prosper and that social networking tools like Facebook are possible avenues through which they can be targeted. While the Canadian market will grow with young blood, greater commitment from the government in procuring Canadian products was also identified as necessary for its continued development.
With the group's recommendations and exciting new ventures like Northern Light's latest Mars lander project, Canada's ICTS sector is certainly promising. Government officials and industry experts plan to continue an on-going dialogue to foster Canada's potential as an ICTS leader. A meeting will be held next week with the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology