Major Industry Group Taps Crowdsourcing for ideas on making Canada a global hub of innovation & entrepreneurship: UK Budget 2015 Used to Kickstart the Conversation
March 25, 2015

++ Action Item: Please review the communique below and then post your ideas & comments at this social network:

Ottawa...CATAAlliance, Canada's largest high tech association and recognized champion of Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship, announced today that it is starting a Crowdsourcing Campaign to challenge its community members for best ideas on boosting innovation and entrepreneurship in Canada.

"Our intent is to crowdsource the collective wisdom of social networks for best ideas in advancing Canada’s position as a global hub of innovation and entrepreneurship excellence.” said CATAAlliance CEO, John Reid.

CATAAlliance has developed very large opt-in social networking Groups or Communities for executives to connect, inform, advise and inspire others to individual and organizational success.

Combined participation in CATA moderated linkedin Groups, Google+ & other major communities is over 50 thousand executives, with additional outreach to hundreds of thousands of contacts through partner arrangement and direct databases.

Reid, added, “To kickstart the conversation we are asking executives to look at the UK Budget 2015 and ask the question: What do we need to do to keep pace and ensure that Canada becomes a leading global hub of innovation & entrepreneurship?”

UK Budget 2015 – Digital Developments Across Tech Nation

"Backing the industries of the future is a key part of our long-term economic plan to support business, create more jobs and build a more resilient economy. We are committed to supporting the growth of our digital industry nationwide..."  UK Prime Minister, David Cameron

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, unveiled the UK’s pre election  budget, a month prior to the release of UK’s first Tech Nation report.

Budget announcements increased the strength of London as a leading tech capital and boosted the regional digital clusters featured in the Tech Nation report with clear support for increased collaboration and connectivity between cities, as well as direct acknowledgement of our findings.

Budget Highlights:

1.153 Tech: In February 2015, the Chancellor convened tech entrepreneurs to launch the Tech Nation report, which revealed that over 170,000 people are now working in digital business in the North, many in rapidly expanding tech clusters. To accelerate this growth, the government will support the development of innovative businesses across the north through an £11 million investment in tech incubators in Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.

These tech incubators will create thriving local ecosystems by nurturing start ups, fostering collaboration, and providing mentoring, learning and business support:

• Sheffield ‘Maker Hub’ – £3.5 million government investment to renovate a former Co-Op department store in the Castlegate area

• Leeds ‘Future Labs’ – £3.7 million government investment to renovate a derelict police headquarters in the heart of Leeds, creating a 6 floor incubator

• Manchester ‘Forward Plan’ – £4 million government investment towards an 8 floor incubator in Federation House, located in Manchester’s Northern Quarter

1.154 The government will also provide funding to develop a financial technology incubator in Leeds.

1.155 Chemical innovation: The government will provide £1 million to the Centre for Process Innovation to support innovation and knowledge transfer in the North East’s chemicals sector.

1.156 Supporting enterprise: The government will extend Enterprise Zones in Manchester and Mersey Waters, focusing respectively on logistics and healthcare, and on advanced manufacturing. The Humber Enterprise Zone will be extended, enabling it to capitalise on investment by Siemens, with their wind turbine supply chain facilities to be based on site. The designation of the Leeds Enterprise Zone will be changed to support energy and waste technology businesses. The government will also extend the Enterprise Zone at Tees Valley, for oil and gas decommissioning. After business case completion the government will also create a new Enterprise Zone at Blackpool.

Other announcements:

> FinTech firms to have a framework set out for an open API standard by the end of 2015. This will allow companies to utilise data from banks to improve services for the consumer.

> £100m funding for R&D into driverless cars, driving innovation the Britain’s automotive industry.

> Broadband was also addressed, with a pledge to secure speeds of at least 100mbps to nearly all UK properties – this was coupled with an increase in the availability of broadband connection vouchers.

> Digital currencies were also mentioned, with the government renewing its focus on alternative modes of payment as the digital economy grows in scope and scale.

> Further to the investment into three tech hubs in the North of England was the announcement that the Government Digital Service will work directly with local government organisations – an encouraging move towards digital delivery of public services.

> With the Internet of Things becoming a more important area of emerging technology by the day, a £40m pledge to fund the burgeoning space – including an incubator and research hub – was included in the Budget. The Chancellor also promised to review how disruptive technology should be allowed to flourish with less regulation in the next parliament.

> Further pledges of support for high growth companies through “changes to the Enterprise Investment Schemes and Venture Capital Trusts to ensure they are compliant with the latest state aid rules and increasing support to high growth companies”.

You can read the Budget 2015 in full here.

CATA Sr. VP, Russ Roberts, a 30 year public policy veteran, concluded, “Once ideas are crowdsourced, our role is to help start a community dialogue by empowering elected officials, business leaders, and other decision makers to respond to specific issue(s) requiring resolution or adoption”

++ Action Item: Executives interested in a TechNOW video interview where they can discuss in more detail their ideas, views & guidance should contact John Reid at  

Related Resources:

100 Tech Leaders will launch a Standing Council to create a competitive Innovation Nation Roadmap, lead required advocacy and expand global information sharing for business growth & job creation:

Join the Enactus UOttawa & CATAAlliance Team to Advance Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Fifth Annual Legacy Conference:

Leverage the CATA platform of resources to engage and influence decision makers on key issues affecting enterprise growth, entrepreneurship and innovation: