Major Industry Group advances Working Agenda for a newly proposed Minister of Science, Technology & Business Innovation
October 21, 2015

Read related media coverage: Tech alliance pushes for federal innovation ministry (Globe & Mail) and CATA proposing a merged Cabinet position with a focus on innovation (OBJ) Ottawa, On...CATAAlliance ( a recognized champion of Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship has tabled a Working Agenda for the elected Liberal government as part of a recommended consolidation of the Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Minister of Industry into a Minister of Science, Technology and Business Innovation. Ideas and guidance were crowdsourced from the CATA Social Media Group comprising 11,350 opt in members across the nation and in key global markets.

CATA CEO, John Reid, said, “ We need 21st Century leadership for improving Canada’s business innovation performance and this must begin at the political level. Now is the time to pivot to the future.”

Reid added, “A newly refocused department and Minister can and should lead and facilitate discussions with Cabinet colleagues, the provinces and municipalities about making business innovation one of the keystones of Canadian economic policies. The New Minister would have a shared responsibility with Finance’s economic development portfolio in order to assure proper evaluation, integration and evolution of mandates. Key investment criteria and evaluation criteria should include the demonstrable potential of the investment instruments  to promote the growth of Canadian business for the full potential of the Canadian economy.

CATAAlliance  has already released a White Paper  on Canada's Innovation leadership: Others do better as part of its Competitive Innovation Nation Campaign that aims at moving Canada to number one ranking in innovation and competitiveness. Canada's rankings lag behind many other nations and much has been proposed to reverse this trend. The White Paper research was combined with a Video Sharing Channel for Advocacy Leadership where community leaders were challenged to present their best guidance.

Reid noted, “ A good starting starting point for 21st Century leadership is for the new Minister to address a Working Agenda of key items and guidance put forward by entrepreneurs, innovators and concerned citizens.”

Please view our recent interview(s) with executives offering insights into key working agenda items. Peter Morand, former Dean of Science and Engineering at the University of Ottawa and past President, NSERC. Mr. Morand makes the case for a new ministerial position:

TechNOW Video (3 minutes) Peter Morand, National Commentator, CATAAlliance

Michael Cayley, Founder Cdling Capital and Director of Startup Grind (Toronto) makes the case for startups as he discusses crowdfunding and procurement: TechNOW Video (5 minutes): Michael Cayley, National Commentator, CATAAlliance

Ted Dixon, Founder & Director, Huron Technologies makes the case for a Canadian version of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program:

TechNOW Video (7 minutes): Ted Dixon, National Commentator, CATAAlliance

Working Agenda: New Minister of Science, Technology & Business Innovation

First, the elected government should consolidate the Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Minister of Industry into a Minister of Science, Technology and Business Innovation.

Second, an effective SR&ED Dispute Resolution approach should be adopted, paving the way for a more effective SR&ED incentive program, as one of the keys to driving Canadian innovation excellence.

Third, the new Minister with Cabinet colleagues should initiate discussions with the provinces to match or beat SEC regulations related to crowdfunding that enable startups to raise up to $50-million from anyone. Whereas, U.S. crowdfunding markets are closed to only U.S. incorporated companies, set out to make Canada a single market and global hub for crowdfunding.

Fourth,  similarly the new Minister with Cabinet colleagues should work towards having all provinces copy or better the B.C. Angel Investor Tax credit that returned $2 in provincial tax revenue for every dollar of tax credit.

Fifth, a capital gains exemption should be created for Founders and early stage employees who reside in Canada, followed by the creation of an open and global Canada Seedling Market, aiming to attract best global investors and startups that incorporate in Canada.

Sixth,  the federal government should commit 10 percent of its procurement spend to startups (i.e., new businesses that are less than three years old). All provincial and municipal governments and government concession businesses should then be challenged to do the same.

Seventh,  New York State's Startup New York tax exemptions should be seen as a match or beat business model to fuel startups and business growth. In the same vein, we should match or beat the U.S. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization.

Overall there should be a focus on adopting global best practices for improving Canada’s low innovation and competitiveness rankings.

CATA CEO, John Reid, concluded,  “Our big goal is a shared community approach to cultivating every advantage and eliminating every barrier to enterprise growth and competitiveness, a goal that is vital to realize the improvements that will let Canada rank amongst the highest performers as a competitive innovation based economy.”

++ Mobilization & Engagement: If you have an individual or organizational interest in collaborating with CATAAlliance to advance Canada’s competitive Innovation Nation, then please contact CATAAlliance, CEO, John Reid at  You can also sign up for the CATA moderated Social Media Group (11,300 members) at:


The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance) is the largest high-tech association in Canada. Through its "Innovation Nation" advocacy program, CATA is the foundation for commercialization, market research, networking, events, access to other associations, and professional development, across the nation. For further information visit