CATAAlliance Announces Additional Recommendations for Innovation Nation and Economic Stimulus
February 23, 2011


CATAAlliance, Canada's largest high-tech trade association, is pleased to announce additional recommendations to Section 4 of its Innovation Nation platform. Approved by CATA's Governing Council, the recommendations focus on recognizing the importance of continued government support and investment to successful R&D and commercialization programs already in place across the country.

"While we seek to improve the current economic landscape by challenging the government to provide much needed investment into new programs, we also need to emphasize the continued support necessary to maintain federally funded labs and programs that have a successful track-record," says CATA CEO and President, John Reid. "Our high tech leaders are committed to keeping Canada at the forefront of job creation, exports and innovation, and these recommendations seek to fulfill those commitments."

Support documents and videos:
State of the Innovation Nation: CATAnet TV inteview
White Paper
Innovation Nation Core Planks

Additional recommendations (items h-l)

4.) Improved government investment in, and support for, technology commercialization, by;
a) Immediately amending what types of companies and projects can qualify for the SADI program to broaden the range of sectors and technologies eligible,
b) Or alternatively, developing a similar program to SADI for other high-tech sectors, (though more efficient than the former TPC),
c) Expanding the NRC-IRAP mandate to include technology adaption and commercialization, giving companies the option of IRAP staff support or direct funding,
d) Immediately expanding the funding available to IRAP a further $100M, and increasing annual max contribution agreements from $500K to $2 Million,
e) Streamlining IRAP administration, including considering whether IRAP should remain part of the NRC or be associated with another agency or the department directly,
f) Encouraging and funding IRAP and EDC to better support foreign sales and R&D partnerships by collocation of appropriate staff with Trade Commissioners at our major embassies,
g) Supporting and funding the DFAIT Trade Commissioner Service proposed "Global Innovation Strategy",
h) Continuing to support existing R&D and commercialization being done in federally funded labs that have delivered successfully over the long-term, given their proven track record of tech transfer to industry;
i) Maintaining NRC's strengths in software research and commercialization in support of the Digital Economy Strategy
j) Increasing innovation capacity in all regions of Canada through leveraging existing labs such as those of NRC, in order to increase BERD through collaborative R&D;
k) Continuing support to those federally funded labs, aligned with major policies/initiatives and with other departments and agencies, that have yielded improved market shares for Canadian companies
l) Continuing to support GoC labs (e.g., NRC) that provide real-world experience to students and graduates in fields such as IT, in which the demand for Highly-Qualified People is high and the supply is low.

++ Action Item:

Executives interested in assisting CATA with its Innovation Nation Campaign and/or who have recommendations to add should contact CATA President John Reid at jreid@cata.ca.

Please circulate the communiqué internally and also send to your business, media and community network of contacts as part of mobilization behind the Innovation Nation Campaign.

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