Community Leader and R&D Champion, Dr. Charles Despins, endorses the Innovation Nation
June 8, 2009

" Canada's ICT sector is comprised of many small-to-medium-sized companies. These companies have unique needs. By bringing together researchers with complementary skills and requirements in thematic programs, we can help to establish communities of R&D interest with critical mass. This facilitates partnerships between academic and industrial researchers with ICT competence, and accelerates the development of new expertise required by the sector" says Dr. Charles Despins, President & CEO, Prompt, in regards to achieving the core planks of the Innovation Nation Campaign.

"Setting the Gold Standard" - Research and Development Agenda for Growth

Ottawa, June 08, 2009 -- CATAAlliance announced that Dr. Charles Despins, President & CEO, Prompt and recognized community leader, has endorsed the call for the adoption of the CATAAlliance Innovation Nation Platform, as a compelling model to improve the nation's competitiveness and prosperity.

Dr. Despins joins a growing list of business and community leaders, including Terry Matthews, Chair of March Networks, Dr. James Goodnight, CEO, SAS, Rod Bryden, President & CEO, Plasco Energy Group, Samantha S. Sannella, President & CEO, the Design Exchange, Rob Ashe, President & CEO, Cognos, Lionel Hurtubise, former CEO & Chair, Ericsson Canada Inc., Dennis Melnbardis, Lead Partner, Communications & High Tech, Canadian Practice, Accenture, Micheál J. Kelly, Dean of the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, the Hon. John Manley, former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, Mike S. Zafirovski, President & CEO, Nortel and Chris Fawcus, President & CEO, Aon Reed Stenhouse, Dr. Marc Garneau, MP Westmount, Villle-Marie and Canada's first astronaut, to call for the adoption of the Innovation Nation Platform.

"The award of national prosperity will go to those countries that lead the world in the design, development, production and distribution of goods and services," says Dr. Garneau, "These countries will attract and retain investment and talent. For nations to prosper they must become leading innovation nations; we all need to do our part to get there."

Dr. Charles Despins, President & CEO, Prompt

Charles Despins' career has spanned both the academic and industry segments of the information and communications technologies (ICT) sector. In addition to his work as a faculty member of INRS-Telecommunications (Université du Québec) in Montreal, Canada, he has held senior posts in the private sector, namely at CAE Electronics, Microcell Telecom (Canadian GSM operator) and at Bell Nordiq Group (a network operator in rural and northern areas of Canada) as vice-president and chief technology officer. He has also worked as a consultant for wireless network deployments in India and China. Since January 2003, he has been president and CEO of Prompt inc., an ICT university-industry research and development consortium. He today remains active in university research in the Université du Québec network with research interests in wireless communications. He is also a guest lecturer on non-profit organizations in McGill University's executive MBA program.

He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from McGill University in Montreal, Canada as well as M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees, also in electrical engineering, from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Dr. Despins is a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada and received in 2006, the Outstanding Engineer award from IEEE Canada.

Innovation Nation Core Planks

Among the core planks in Innovation Nation are developing a national brand for Canada based on regional advantages, creating an industrial strategy based on strategic approaches to government procurement and global supply chains, adopting best innovation tax credit (SR&ED) practices, removing trade barriers as part of responding to the flat world and attracting and training and retaining the best talent.

CATAAlliance is also looking for measures that would advance executive leadership and promote the adoption of high technology tools in government and the private sector.

John Reid, CATAAlliance President, concluded, "We are living through an economic revolution created by technology, global interdependence and increasingly open markets" adding, "Canada is already a leader in many business sectors. But to maintain and grow this leadership, we have to expand our markets and be the best in the world. We are calling on all Canadians to work with us to create the necessary entrepreneurship, innovation, risk taking, and public policies for the Innovation Nation."

++ 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 call 613-236-6550.

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