September 23, 2020

CATA Member Lloyed Lobo’s Bloomberg Tax Column in Support of Small Business Tax Credits

 

INSIGHT: The Real Problem With Amazon’s Tax Bills

Sept. 23, 2020, 4:00 AM

 

 

CATA’s policy approach recommended to nation leaders by OECD Chief Economist

 

Download North Fall Cover Shot .png

Click the cover to open the magazine, or  View via Issuu Download North - CATA - D17.pdfDownload North – CATA – D17.pdf

In these fresh Fall days we embark on new beginnings, and for the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, that includes the inaugural Issue of Download North Magazine – People & Policy. Download North will reach the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, MPs and the Parliamentary Press Gallery, as well as, 11,000 in the technology community across Canada.

A few days before the Throne Speech,  the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) advised nations to adopt economic policies for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) aligned with solutions proposed by CATA. Our recent advocacy action, starting with a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on 3 April, is outlined in The Fall Issue above. OECD Chief Economist, Laurence Boone is giving clear economic policy advice to world leaders in her
 20 September blogCoronavirus: Living with Uncertainty:

‘Support to firms must evolve to let non-viable firms go and encourage viable ones to grow. Equity instruments could be deployed for large firms, with state support, provided competition is preserved and a clear strategy for exit designed. However, it will require more creativity for SMEs, for example in the form of tax credits, with repayments occurring when firms sustainably return to profit’

CATAAlliance‘s  Resilience and Rebound Proposal is such a creative approach. 338 members of parliament have received this simple CERB like solution that uses government audited data to boost SME new market opportunity liquidity for GDP, R&D, economic and jobs growth.

Our efforts were influential in unlocking $200M in stalled R&D tax credits in April. The people at the Canadian Revenue Agency were the heroes of that story. 

Additional solutions have been shared and advised Minister Chrystia Freeland that CATA stands by ready to help. 

 

 

 

Give back & help brilliant New Canadian women in tech make meaningful connections with hiring teams

Share your network, a little advice and deliver impact! Helping new Canadian women in tech level up expands your talent experience insights.

September 21, 2020

Accounting & Artificial Intelligence

An Interview With Eli Fathi, CEO Mindbridge.ai

CATA Alliance member Cindy Gordon’s most recent Forbes article explores AI in the financial sector. Cindy is CEO of Saleschoice, an AI firm that helps sales teams make better prospect predictions using advanced analytics. Eli Fathi’s firm, Mindbridge AI,  is a leader in the ai enabled audit space and have explored 30 trillion data points in one use case alone.

The article is based on a podcast discussion where Cindy and Eli explore just how far the corporate world has, and hasn’t come in adopting practical AI solutions. Together they provide some insights into data quality and trust, governance, traversing to the light at the end of the AI adoption tunnel.  

 

New – Download North Fall Magazine Edition – People & Policy

We’re introducing the Fall Issue of Download North – People & Policy. This inaugural Magazine quarterly format joins the Download North Media Suite, which will include a podcast and monthly newsletter. 

The Fall Issue reviews CATA’s advocacy focus that kicked off with a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau on 3 April. These efforts led to an expedient restart to SR&ED claims following $200,000,000 in stalled returns.  Thousands of companies benefitted in the uncertain days of early COVID19.

Hundreds of CATA community members contributed to surveys, letter writing campaigns and meetings that included Cabinet Ministers, MPs and Canada’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Topics ranged from CATA’s proposal to digital trade and WTO reform.

As we approach the eve of the September 23rd Throne Speech, strategies for the future have taken a twisting and turning path.  The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) came out in support of the same approach CATA recommended for small and medium technology companies back in April. 

In her 20 September blog, Coronavirus; Living with Uncertainty, OECD Chief Economist, Laurence Boone penned economic outlook recommendations. She provided guidance to world leaders on national economic policy:

‘Support to firms must evolve to let non-viable firms go and encourage viable ones to grow. Equity instruments could be deployed for large firms, with state support, provided competition is preserved and a clear strategy for exit designed. However, it will require more creativity for SMEs, for example in the form of tax credits, with repayments occurring when firms sustainably return to profit’

CATAAlliance submitted a creative Resilience and Rebound Proposal  for this very solution in April. 338 members of parliament have received  this simple like CERB data solution that uses government audited data to boost liquidity for new market opportunities, GDP, R&D creation and jobs.

We have offered additional solutions and advised Minister Chrystia  Freeland that CATA stands by ready to help.

 

 

 

September 8, 2020

Lemay.ai : Stories of Survival from Canada’s Tech Innovators

Since the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) was created 42 years ago we have represented the interests of Small and Medium science and technology-centric enterprises. Today these Canada headquartered businesses are in the tens of thousands and have grown to be the heart of the Canadian economy generating $188B in annual revenues.

We are over 150 days into COVID19 and we do not see a comprehensive restart or response plan for the technology sector.

We see well placed companies thriving and others struggling. News of staff layoffs and acquisition activity continues. Many seek equity for new opportunities, pivoting to other markets, applications and verticals. Tech firms, their IP and talent, remain crucial to Canada’s future economy and job creation.

In this ongoing series, we profile companies dealing with the reality of COVID-19 and their experience with emergency government support pro-
grams.

For all those struggling there are others that have seen a rise in business activity. They are examples of what CATA contends is why tech firms can help drive economic recovery.


We are inspired, we hope you are too.

Business Solutions Based On Artificial Intelligence Are Smart Business

Lemay.ai of Ottawa, an enterprise consultancy, has experienced an upswing of 40% in business during the COVID-19 pandemic. During that same time, the firm hired a 20% increase in staff and they expect to hire more.

Matt Lemay, co-founder and CEO, attributes the business increase to two things: first, deals that had been put on hold are now being reactivated; second, companies are forced to look at AI in new and different ways.

Lemay adds, “Companies clearly want more work automation and alleviation. While I can’t say that all interest is tied to COVID-19, for sure it is good for AI in general.”

Mathieu Lemay, CEO Lemay.ai

He continues, “Last year, we saw a sharp rise in implementations, with more and more people seeing AI in a business setting. Depending on the industry, I would say that there is a 50/50 split between those who are and those who are not using AI, in some form. The AI industry has moved from being esoteric to exotic, and potential clients went from fearful to curious. Companies are now more likely to seek new ways to accomplish their goals, and AI can help them achieve those goals faster with more precision.“

Lemay.ai is an approved top-tier federal government AI supplier and an NVIDIA Solution Advisor.


They have worked on government projects,“That particular exposure”, says Lemay, “is an important business asset to have. It creates credible brand power that allows you to compete with large consulting firms. We look forward to increasing our existing overseas and US business, and being able to say that our own government buys and uses our products and services is important.”

As for assistance from government, Lemay has long been a user of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program both for Lemay.ai and sister company AuditMap Technologies, which identifies enterprise risks and risk trends from internal audit reports. He says he is extremely thankful for this kind of funding, but thinks its use should be accelerated and that the system could be reworked to be more supportive of financially-strapped startups. The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) believes that SR&ED data can be used to pre-qualify and assess proportionate funding for established innovative firms who have a track record of using SR&ED.

A partial list of Lemay.ai business solutions

Regarding another key point of the CATA proposal, that the support for these firms will drive Canada’s economic recovery as companies of all kinds need the solutions offered by tech firms. Lemay says, “I absolutely believe this to be the case. Innovation is critical and tech already enables that innovation. Before COVID, 80% of our clients we never met face-to-face; now, it is over 90%. We are designed to be a remote, cloud-based company and many other companies are taking advantage of that business model. It had value before, and now with COVID it has even more value.”

For more information visit www.lemay.ai or email matt@lemay.ai

CATA’S proposed Resilience and Rebound (RR) Fund and Data Solution  seeks to provide simpler assistance eligibility using available Canadian Revenue Agency audited data. Proportionate and partly forgivable loans, pegged to previous SR&ED claim amounts, will help bring talent back to work and retain sovereign IP as a foundation for bridging to the future. Funds would finance growth expansion and development of new commercial opportunities and/or help bridge stressed COVID19 induced issues for these firms.  StatsCan data reveals that 13,000 Canadian SMEs have established SR&ED records and they directly employ 760,000 and with downstream jobs added in they support 4 million people.

August 26, 2020

AFTIA: Stories of Survival from Canada’s Tech Innovators

Since the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) was created 42 years ago we have represented the interests of Small and Medium science
and technology-centric enterprises. Today these Canada headquartered businesses are in the tens of thousands and have grown to be the heart of the Canadian economy generating $188B in annual revenues. 

We are over 150 days into COVID19 and we do not see a comprehensive restart or response plan for the technology sector. We see well placed companies thriving and others struggling. News of staff layoffs and acquisition activity continues. Many seek equity for new opportunities, pivoting to other markets, applications and verticals. Tech firms, their IP and talent, remain crucial to Canada’s future economy and job creation.

In this ongoing series, we profile companies dealing with the reality of COVID-19 and their experience with emergency government support programs.

For all those struggling there are others that have seen a rise in business activity.  They are examples of what CATA contends is why tech firms can help drive economic recovery.

We are inspired, we hope you are too.

Right Product, Right Time And AFTIA Is Enjoying A Spike In Business.

A 30-40% increase in revenue for a small firm during a pandemic and economic shutdown is a clear indicator that you have what other companies want.  For AFTIA, a five-year-old Ottawa company, what it offers are solutions to moving a company towards digital transformation and improving the workflow. The founders saw a gap in the solutions available to companies, especially solutions that would enable forms and documents to be integrated.

It may not be the Shopify increase of 83% in profits and 71% increase in client companies during Q2 but co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Rodney Waugh says AFTIA is benefiting from the same workplace trends driving Shopify and that is the need to move business activity to the online and digital world. Companies and their customers are shifting to remote work and accelerating digital transformation doing in months what might have taken years to unfold.

In July of 2020 research company, Avant Analytics reported that the global Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) sales during March increased by 86%compared to the month before as the world shifted to remote work. “The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation plans, making business leaders more aware of any gaps in their legacy communications solutions,” said Ian Kieninger, CEO and co-founder of Avant Communications.

Key AFTIA digital services including eSignature

Waugh says the shift driven by COVID-19 has generated new business and for AFTIA the most demand in recent months is for the eSignature service. The use of eSignatures is not new but COIVD like so many other changes accelerated a shift the has been building for years. A secure signature is the cornerstone of moving manual processes into the digital world. Generating a global revenue of almost a billion dollars in 2019, the entire market for electronic signatures is forecast to skyrocket and hit $9 billion by 2023.

Business opportunities would seem to abound according to a survey by Montreal’s OVHCloud that indicates 48% of Canadian businesses say they are not prepared to either support or maintain long-term remote work because of the digitization shift required. The survey was released at the end of July and meshes with another survey released just days before by Salesforce that indicates 30% of firms do not believe they are prepared to reopen and 20% say they do not have the right technology in place to enable a re-opening.

Business Surveys on preparedness for digital transformation and reopening.

48% not prepared to support or maintain remote work
30% of firms not ready to reopen after COVID lockdown
20% need the right technology to enable reopening

AFTIA has hired a few people during the COVID lockdown and because revenues are up the company could not qualify for most government assistance programs other than the $40,000 partially forgivable loan.

Rodney Waugh Co-Founder and COO, AFTIA

In the past AFTIA was able to expedite hiring more people because of the funding it received through the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program. “AFTIA has been using SR&ED since our first year of operation. It makes a huge difference and ensures that you can grow a company.” The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) believes the SR&ED program is a viable and effective way to get assistance out to Canada’s innovators. “If the CATA plan were implemented and we received the funding it would make a huge difference. Right now cash is everything.”

For more information visit www.aftia.com or Rodney.Waugh@aftia.com

CATA’S proposed Resilience and Rebound (RR) Fund and Data Solution  seeks to provide simpler assistance eligibility using available Canadian Revenue Agency audited data. Proportionate and partly forgivable loans, pegged to previous SR&ED claim amounts, will help bring talent back to work and retain sovereign IP as a foundation for bridging to the future. Funds would finance growth expansion and development of new commercial opportunities and/or help bridge stressed COVID19 induced issues for these firms.  StatsCan data reveals that 13,000 Canadian SMEs have established SR&ED records and they directly employ 760,000 and with downstream jobs added in they support 4 million people.

August 23, 2020

CATA Letter of Support from SREDucation

CATA is pleased to recognize the latest letter of support for our campaign seeking more assistance for Canada’s most innovative tech firms. This letter comes from SREDucation, the largest single online source of information and resources about Canada’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development federal government program. To learn more about SREDucation click here. Read the full letter.

 

August 19, 2020

To whom it may concern, We would like to announce our support to the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) in proposing the Resilience and Rebound fund to provide interest-free, partially forgivable loans to innovative companies who have previously worked on SR&ED projects.

As the creators of the single largest source of SR&ED information online, we have seen first- hand the benefits of the SR&ED program and are aware of the tens of thousands of companies this program supports annually. With the infrastructure already in place, it is a sensible suggestion to leveraging this program and department to deploy additional direct-funding to Canada’s innovative companies.


It is critical that we are ensuring the survival of Canadian innovators by protecting jobs and investments. This emergency fund is expected to help maintain 760,000 direct jobs in technology and – taking into account downstream jobs – upwards of four million jobs are at stake across the country at all levels. It is hoped the fund will keep innovators in Canada. We cannot afford to lose our competitive edge.

The team at CATA has put forward excellent ideas in the past and this is no exception. With proper controls, we believe this to be an excellent way to deliver targeted assistance.

We hope all firms can stand alongside CATA in advocating for this additional support.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Lance, MA, MASc.
Managing Director, InGenuity Group Solutions Inc
Creators of SR&ED Education & Resources
Office: (613) 729-2828 x101

 

100 Metcalfe St, Suite 200, Ottawa, ON K1B 5M1
(613) 729-2828
www.SREDucation.ca
info@SREDucation.ca

 

Oliver’s Story: Stories of Survival from Canada’s Tech Innovators

Since the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) was created in 1978 we have represented the interests of Small to Medium science and technology-centric Enterprises. Today these Canada headquartered businesses are in the tens of thousands and have grown to be the heart of the Canadian economy.

In April of this year, as the COVID-19 impact on business became clear, CATA wrote to the Prime Minister to urge a strong level of support for our most innovative tech firms. Following multiple conversations with ministers and bureaucrats, we are still waiting for a formal response to our questions and proposal.

We are over 100 days into COVID19 and do not see a comprehensive
technology sector emergency response. Payroll and obligations wait for no one.

We see companies struggling, laying off staff, trying to pivot to improve their chances of survival, hunting for funding to meet the bills. Small and medium firms are crucial to Canada’s economy and job creation.

In this ongoing series, we profile company leaders dealing with the reality of COVID-19 and their experience with emergency government support programs.

We are inspired, we hope you are too.

Oliver’s Story

Our first case comes from Else Labs, an Ottawa business that believes they have the next big thing in home cooking. Can they hang on until the product is launched is the big challenge.

It’s a long story of iterative and careful development that began in 2016. Else Labs built Oliver, a food-cooking robot. From the Oliver app, you can choose a recipe and then load ingredients into individual containers on the robot. Oliver then controls the dispensing, cooking, heating, mixing and full preparation of your meal and can even be remote-started via your phone.

The OLIVER smart Kitchen Robot – Courtesy Else Labs

Oliver has been refined over the years and a full-time staff of 14 engineers and developers is making the final design changes. The plan is to launch by the end of 2020.

Khalid Aboujassoum, Founder & CEO of Else Labs said just before COVID-19 hit they received about a million dollars in private funding, 20% of what they had hoped for and that will have to carry them until product launch.

“We are on the defensive now, watching every dollar, and strategically navigating the uncertainty of COVID-19.”

Khalid Aboujassoum, Founder & CEO of Else Labs

As a pre-revenue firm most assistance programs are not available to Else Labs. The firm is eligible for $132,000 of federal IRAP money that will cover some payroll from April to June. “The assistance is not significant but every bit does help, in this economic climate survival is what it’s all
about,” says Aboujassoum.

Aboujassoum thinks they can survive until beginning of 2021. For now, he says it makes no sense to lay people off, there is too much work to be done. Finalizing design plans, agreements with a manufacturers, setting sales targets and creating a pipeline to get to market.

Media coverage and public response have been favourable, almost 1,000 people have pre-registered to buy a unit. Just a few weeks ago a South Korean appliance maker reached out and wants to discuss a white label product for Asia.

Something similar is possible with a large American player in the wellness/
nutrition space. The giant firm contacted Else Labs because their millions of
calorie-conscious clients are a prime market for a device that lets the user
automatically log their food intake. In the market there’s now a convergence of connectivity, new appliances and people’s interest in eating well.

Aboujassoum points to the huge success of Instant Pot, a similar product, also produced by an Ottawa firm, as evidence of a potential $200 Billion market for this type of product. COVID-19 actually creates a plus for Oliver, there has been a significant rise in cooking at home and people may well want to continue that with some help from technology.

As for the CATA proposal to provide assistance through the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SRED) program, Aboujassoum says he has used SRED and he likes the proposal, “It would mean life or death. We could get $1.5 million and that would be literally life-changing for our firm. We think we could more than double our staff in 6-12 months after launch. The clock is ticking for us.” Since the company began, CDN $3.2 million has been invested by owners and investors and the firm has spent more than CDN $4 million on research and development.

The first company Aboujassoum started is still operating successfully. It taught him how tough the business world can be and while he thinks the government treatment of pre-revenue firms is unfair it is simply one more thing to deal with.

“It will be very tough to swallow if we run out of money, end up not making it to launch and have to sell our idea and let someone else get all the benefits, but I am still hopeful that we will navigate the financing challenges of COVID-19.”


For more information go to www.olivercooks.com or email khalid@olivercooks.com

August 20, 2020

Simplifying cyber hygiene best practices at home

George Y. Al-Koura, recently accepted media interviews on behalf of  CATA.

https://www.1310news.com/audio/the-rob-snow-show/

Here are some “be digital safe” at home tips he shared. 

By George Y. Al-Koura, CD,  Director of Advanced Cyber, Intelligence & Security at ADGA Group Inc.

We all have the power to improve cyber hygiene for ourselves and for our households. 

Cyber can sound big and scary if all you see are headlines. We can simplify to the core by describing the devices, functions and programs for all things digitally connected in our lives.  To better protect ourselves and our families from cyber risk, we need to first acknowledge that by using internet connected apps and devices, we open ourselves up to the risk of compromise. 

 

That does not mean that we need to shy away or plead complete ignorance to the risks of use, but rather to understand that it all starts with conversation and knowledge. Look into your devices and the apps that you use; ask your kids how they use theirs. By facilitating an open discourse, we can help one another understand our uses and their risks to better protect ourselves without any additional cost but a little attention, time and effort. 

 

What are some of the steps involved in better securing our own personal and home networks? Leading antivirus company Norton gives us 9 easy “best practice” steps that are outlined below:

 

Step 1: Install reputable antivirus and malware software. …

Why?

Specifically, antivirus software provides protection by performing key tasks, including these.

 

  • Pinpointing specific files for the detection of malicious software.
  • Scheduling and performing automatic scans.
  • Scanning either one particular file or your entire computer, or a flash drive, depending on your specific needs.
  • Erasing malicious codes and software.
  • Confirming the “health” of your computer and other devices.

 

Mention AV apps for mobile protection as well (Norton, McAfee) 

 

Step 2: Use network firewalls. …

Firewalls are a basic first line of defense in network security by preventing unauthorized users from accessing your websites, mail servers, and other sources of information that can be accessed from the web.

 

Step 3: Update software regularly. …

 

Update your apps, web browsers, and operating systems regularly to ensure you’re working with the latest programs that have eliminated or patched possible glitches. Setting up this feature to update automatically will help ensure you have the latest protections.

 

These updates are particularly important because they often include software patches. Software developers issue security patches whenever they discover software flaws — flaws that could let in viruses or hackers. Developers may not always alert you when a critical patch has been implemented, because this might give hackers the heads-up, as well. Thus, regular updates will ensure these patches plug any holes in your software.

 

Step 4: Setting strong passwords and better managing them.

 

Setting strong passwords for all of your devices is essential. Your passwords should be unique and complex, containing at least 12 characters along with numbers, symbols, and capital and lowercase letters. Changing your passwords regularly — and never sharing or reusing the same password — will help prevent hackers from figuring them out.

 

Additionally Mention:

Brute Force attacks, password randomizer, Fake Banking applications (stealing login credentials), and keyloggers (usually part of advanced malware that infects systems via common vectors like phishing emails)

 

ProTip: Mention KeyPass password management tool.



Step 5: Use multi-factor authentication. …

 

Two-factor or multi-factor authentication is a best practice that offers an additional layer of protection. Two-factor authentication usually requires you to submit your password and username along with, say, a unique code that is sent to your cell phone. This may be all that is needed for some systems, but multi-factor authentication adds additional layers of security with the use of biometrics, like facial or fingerprint recognition, to make it harder for hackers to gain access to your device and personal information.

 

Mention:

 

FaceID or finger-printing access control on your phone or Google Authentictor



Step 6: Employ device encryption

 

While most companies automatically have data encryption processes in place, you also may want to encrypt your devices and other media that contain sensitive data — including laptops, tablets, smartphones, removable drives, backup tapes, and cloud storage. 

 

In fact, many devices use encryption as the default for data stored on smartphones. Some apps are using end-to-end encryption, and other services encrypt data on your devices and back them up in the cloud. Another option is to use an encrypted USB memory stick for protecting sensitive data.

 

Mention:

 

  • Problems with Zoom video conference app at start of covid, issues with their E2E encryption allowing unauthorized persons to enter active conference meetings or accessing previously recorded sessions after the fact.
  • Use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Beyond getting you access to American Netflix, a VPN is virtual private network extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.
  • VPNs are also an excellent way to add a layer of security to your web browsing. I personally use VPNs on all of my computers and mobile devices because it is just one extra layer or data security that a bad actor would have to break in order to compromise my systems. 

 

Step 7: Back up regularly. …

 

It’s also smart to keep your files secure by backing up important files offline, on an external hard drive, or in the cloud. This can help protect against many types of data loss, especially if hackers gain access to one of your devices.



Step 8: Keep your hard drive clean.

 

If you’re selling your laptop, tablet or smartphone, it’s important to ensure your personal or sensitive information doesn’t get passed along, as well. If your device is hacked, a clean hard drive means less information that’s accessed.

 

But merely deleting files or data may not be enough. Part of good cyber hygiene is reformatting and then wiping your hard drive clean. For example, if you want to sell your computer and have used it for online banking, you’ll want to consider disk-wiping to remove software and data from your hard drive.

 

Step 9: Secure your router

Don’t forget to protect your wireless network. This involves turning off and updating the default name and password the router came with from the manufacturer, turning off remote management, and logging out as the administrator once it’s set up. Also, make sure your router offers WPA2 or WPA3 encryption to maintain the highest level of privacy of information sent via your network.

 

Step 10: Beware of the Phish!


Phishing, or “spearphishing” when it is directly targeted at an individual or small group, is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information or data, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. If and when you encounter an email from your work, a supplier, your local bank, insurance or credit card agency, take a moment to see if it actually looks legit. If they ask you to do something that is out of the norm, such as accessing a strange looking link or opening an attached file where they normally wouldn’t transmit files like that, you are likely dealing with Phish. Verify with the real sending organization if they sent you this communication first! If it turns out that it’s a real thing, they’ll let you know. Otherwise—don’t fall for the phish!

 

George Y. Al-Koura, CD is the Director of Advanced Cyber, Intelligence & Security at ADGA Group Inc. A leading figure in Canadian Cyber Security, George has served as a communications and digital security professional for 15 years in military and commercial organizations.

 

August 8, 2020

Grow a garden, climb a mountain, land bigger deals. Hello from Kim Caves’ Calgary backyard. #ReachingYourEverest

Kim highlights takeaways from Base Camp and Camp II  of Reaching Your Everest – A Sales Journey webinar series. Fast growth, revenue from big deals, new customer problems, knowing your customer, planning your route to the big deal, relationship plans for the buying organization. Coming up – Camp III – the Buyer’s Journey.  

About Reaching Your Everest – The Sales Journey Camp III – The Buyers Team

Register here

http://https://youtu.be/DhQdxQq8CdA

August 7, 2020

Reaching Your Everest – A Sales Journey. This Webinar series is for bold technology leaders redefining or refreshing growth strategies.

A word from the moderator and enterprise sales pro Kim Caves

Register now: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/114399166988

There’s a new buyer’s profile in big companies.

  • Would you like to understand the many roles the buying team members?
  • Interested in avoiding procurement gotchas?
  • Could your business benefit by knowing the new challenges of the C-Suite after COVID (and how your business can meet those needs)?

If you are aiming for bigger and more sustainable deals, you belong in this webinar.

About the event

Climbing Everest is such a wonderful metaphor for our sales journey.

Common reasons people fail to reach Everest include;

surprise weather changes, crowds (competition), readiness and fitness, a solid plan, teamwork development, wrong tools, lack of oxygen and timing.

This isn’t too far off what we might experience in our sales journey to win big deals!

You will leave the webinar with:

  • A toolset to assess each player on the buying team of your dream prospect.
  • An understanding of procurement teams
  • Kim Caves’ buying team matrix
  • An invite to CATA’s sales experts’ SLACK Channel.

Join us on Aug 18 at 1 pm ET

Reaching Your Everest — A Sales Journey

 

In Camp 2 we mapped out the relationship route. Contact Kim Caves to get your free prototype question kit.

 

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/114399166988

How TO.png   

Reaching Your Everest is part of the CATAAlliance HowTo X.O Series 
 

Partnering with best selling authors, career sales and dealmaking pros, CATA’s How to X.O (X dot oh!) is rolling as a member series on rethinking strategic relationships, sales, positioning and deals. This member series is open to CATA friends and CATA’s Download North Newsletter subscribers for the pilot only. How to X.O (X dot oh!) is packed with tips, first principles and design thinking, forward looking insights, techniques and tools, and peer and expert engagement.

August 1, 2020

CATA CEO Suzanne Grant presents at CIGI/ Hon Mary Ng Round Table – 30 July

Exploiting current and imminent trade opportunities in digital technology hosted by Centre for International Governance Innovation and Hon Mary Ng 

CATAAlliance was invited as a lead intervener for: “Digital Trade: COVID-19 recovery and Canadian businesses”. A synopsis delivered by CEO, Suzanne Grant follows. 

Expanding digital and advanced technology trade and exploiting opportunities starts at home – with resilient and agile small companies. The resilience suggestions that follow, are drawn from conversations with hundreds of innovators, and are the tip of the iceberg. 

Proportionate assistance, delivered at market pace and scale can help exploit new opportunities. Existing programs have delivered proportionate support to hundreds of companies but fall short of deploying assistance at scale or pace. Government data, and existing due diligence, can simplify liquidity assistance eligibility needed to bridge toward the future.  The RR Fund – Data Solution can bring people back to work and protect sovereign IP. 

As entrepreneurs pivot and adapt technologies to new applications, they struggle to meet new vertical first customer buyer and investor criteria. The government can lead in procurement of small. Overcoming bias, re-writing guidelines that skew towards big, and incentivizing Canadian & small company made technology purchases can help. 

We also recommend expanding the “Go Digital”, a new program to upgrade businesses to e-commerce.  Why not incentivize private businesses to update their technology, and be more competitive, by purchasing Canadian digital and advanced technologies? 

And then when we looked at export development support, underwriting, and services, and financing through banks. Criteria and access are based on backward looking business models. A recently announced BDC program matches funding with new investment based on Intellectual Property valuation. This model is a solid step toward the future economy.  IP valuation should be more broadly applied to bank financing. 

Going Forward the pace of technology changes, enormity of global challenges and the hyper-competitive nature of markets, including major international investments into home based innovation, will drive the need for more private /public partnerships. Broader consultations with customer and competitor facing innovators are recommended.

July 25, 2020

All brains on deck! Technology crossroad for Team Canada

Some highlights of recent tech announcements shared with the Canadian technology community on 24 July 2020. Updated.

The Financial Post published an article following Minister Bill Morneau’s 17 July announcement of wage subsidy expansions.  Kevin Carmichael’s piece takes on a tech small business lens and compares Canada’s economic response to Germany’s. His quotes from a CATA interview reflect CATA’s messaging during recent meetings with seven MPs and ministers.

Canada’s COVID-19 response still ignores the innovative companies that could power a recovery

“Morneau and Bains will have heard that from every lobbyist in Ottawa, but Grant has a stronger claim than most …. “
After being picked up by media coast to coast, and even internationally, LinkedIn ran the story as an Editor’s Pick highlighting some of the story’s viral uptake.

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Read some of the animated commentary under the LinkedIn Editor’s Pick   

Members have joined in some of CATA’s meetings with the PMO, MPs, ministers and policy makers. We are advocating for a comprehensive science, technology and innovation emergency and strategic response to the current economic crisis. CATA has also proposed simpler eligibility to access proportionate assistance through existing programs and a new fund. 

Watch this space: 

Download North is in production now.  The digital magazine outlines CATA’s recent advocacy journey including prominent business leaders who joined our letter writing campaign. 

Sponsor opportunities available to support advocacy. Email Suzanne.grant@CATA.ca

All brains on deck

This coming week CATA is preparing a 2021 Federal Budget Submission and remarks for the Ontario Legislature Standing Committee on Finance & The Economy.

Share your thoughts on how provinces & Canada can leverage our innovative strengths.  CATA members and friends are welcome to share your comments on response so far and ideas to restart the economy here.

The race is on

Meeting Canada’s innovation potential will, in part, need recognition of the strategic and economic impact the sector can play in a  “future” world economy. Canada has everything to gain, and sovereign IP and talent at grave risk. Germany and South Korea have already made it clear that they are serious contenders in the technology, IP and talent race, each committing hundreds of billions to innovation and pivoting their economies. China recently allocated US$1.4T investment into tech.

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Alberta-  new Science, R&D incentives for innovation

“Alberta is launching new financial programs targeted at its innovation and technology sector less than one year after startups said that slashed tax credits and grants caused investment to leave the province.” Read full Globe and Mail article

In April CATA supported an Alberta’s innovative community letter to Premier Jason Kenny. Congratulations and a big thank you to CATA’s Alberta lead, Mike Ede for his advocacy support and wisdom.

Canada has the technology talent, intellectual property and entrepreneurial drive to lead in the new currency race

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CATA’s proposals have been met with enthusiasm by federal ministers. We’re encouraged by shifts in language and awareness. Our community support and discussions with CRA helped to get the SR&ED program running more efficiently than ever. The tax incentive program was disrupted early Spring with $200M in backlogs.

Over 50 media stories have helped to amplify CATA’s messages to date

We had early discussions with the PMO and they later responded to our business letter campaign by directing messages to both Minister Bains and Minister Morneau. A meeting with finance and ISED ministers and CATA is in the works.  

Let’s all be bold together


 In a recent CIO Association of Canada podcast with host Edwin Frondozo, Minister Bains urged Canada’s innovator CEOs to be bold. He often doubles down on private – public partnerships.  The complexity and breadth of problems, and the future literacy required to comprehend the application of available technologies to address challenges ahead, require informed thinkers at a bigger table. #Let’sGoCanada!

Courageous collaboration

In an era of chaos, leadership takes extra energy, amplification, empathy and creativity. Collaboration is the name of the success game and we see an abundance!

Digital Main Street is one favourite outcome. Grants for businesses to go digital, accelerate tech adoption with a bonus of employment for students hits a sweet spot. We love our main street businesses. This is a great example of how technology can help industries compete.  https://news.ontario.ca/medg/en/2020/06/ontario-and-canada-helping-small-businesses-go-digital.html

Breaking status quo – from procurement to IP qualifiers for financial access


Did we see a glimmer of hope with Minister Bains championing Canada First green tech procurement in this Globe and Mail articleOttawa weighs procurement process as way to champion clean technology? Might the disruption to Canada Made public procurement on the medical front weaken the “it’s really hard” argument against a triple bottom line solution? This is a needed commercialization boost for Canadian tech.

Kudos Minister Bains! We support taking Buy Canadian Tech beyond medical and green tech

TECHNATION is taking on public procurement for Canadian tech, the very premise upon which CATA was envisioned 50 years ago!  We salute and join their efforts in partnership with Shared Services. They are driving a more modernized challenge-based procurement approach. You can register for TECHNATION’s open business intelligence platform, TECH2GOV Digital Marketplace free of charge.


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IP literacy supports stronger commercialization and growth for Canada.

A salute to the Canadian Council of Innovators for their leadership culminating in the Ontario government Intellectual Property Action Plan.  The announcement of IP valuation based pivots to financial eligibility is even more encouraging. The $160M allocation via BDC sets a precedent and holds the potential to help hundreds of companies in the near term.

CATA recently held discussions with ISED on linking IP valuation to financial eligibility on a longer term basis. This step is a BIG reason to celebrate as many technology companies struggle to access financial instruments due to backward looking criteria. The future is here. 

Data solution for under-subscribed programs – fast delivery similar to CERB

CATA’s Resilience and Rebound (RR) Fund proposed in April vies for simpler assistance eligibility using available Canadian Revenue Agency audited data. Proportionate assistance will help bring talent back to work and retain sovereign IP as a foundation for bridging to the future. Adoption would provide assistance to help up to 13,000 innovators fuelling 4M jobs. Funds would finance growth expansion and development of new opportunities. They could help bridge stressed COVID19 induced issues for these firms, and help those that need quick cash to respond to opportunities created through the shifting paradigm.

This short-term protective measure would help shore up and restart the innovation and science ecosystem

Celebrating success

We are so proud of Canadian innovators – so many companies are hitting it out of the park! While we look at the ecosystem as a whole and support those slowed down by capital disruption and client cash flow freezes, we also acknowledge success. Medical therapeutics and vaccine developments, agile pivots, pivots for good, problems and opportunities that have ballooned with the pandemic have expedited growth for some and it’s worth celebrating. 

Shopify is seeing e-commerce adoption at 2030 projected rates realized today. They have really stepped up on the leadership front helping out their vendors with simple financing. 

The world and investment dollars are paying more attention to the triple bottom line of health, education, digital and green technologies. Cyber is more important everyday as pandemic chaos is being leveraged for bad.  Sadly IP theft has moved brazenly to our collective critical well being in the theft of vaccine IP. AI, IOT, data, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, connected communities, 5G, quantum computing, micro-electronics, advanced manufacturing and more will continue to drive the future …. technology marches on.

We are especially excited for rural communities and the opportunities the Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan will bring.

#Let’sGoCanada!

July 24, 2020

Financial Post interview with CATA goes viral on LinkedIn

Kevin Carmichael  delivers a brilliant article in the Financial Post on 17 July.  Quotes contributed by  CATA’s CEO, Suzanne Grant hit home on LinkedIN. The piece was not only picked up in publications across the country, and internationally, but was featured by LinkedIN Editors for another round of visibility.

Canada’s COVID-19 response still ignores the innovative companies that could power a recovery

The disconnect between the Trudeau government and today’s business community has undeservedly left tech firms on sidelines

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/news/innovative-companies-to-power-recovery-4164521/

An except from the story follows. Note that CATA advocates for the technology sector with a focus on established science and tech centric small and medium businesses, not just startups as the article indicates. 

“Suzanne Grant, a former entrepreneur who now leads the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, an Ottawa-based advocate for science- and technology-oriented startups, has tried for months to get the attention of an actual decision-maker in Ottawa. She said in an interview this week that she might finally be close to getting a meeting with Morneau and Bains, although that has yet to be confirmed.

Grant hopes to use the opportunity to make the case that the companies she represents deserve special attention. Morneau and Bains will have heard that from every lobbyist in Ottawa, but Grant has a stronger claim than most.

There’s a race. There’s a new currency, so to speak. It’s technology

SUZANNE GRANT, CANADIAN ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY ALLIANCE

Restaurants and retailers come and go even in good times. Tech companies were driving employment growth before the crisis, and they will determine the speed of the recovery as the economy continues to go digital and governments and corporations heavily spend on replacements for carbon-based energy. At least that’s how Germany sees it.

Morneau, though, has struggled to satisfy technology firms, which have been regularly disappointed by having to meet criteria for aid that too often are designed for the way things were done in the old economy, not the new one.

“It’s good, but I don’t think it’s good enough,” Grant said of the government’s efforts to shield smaller technology companies. “I don’t think we are valuing what they can do for our future. The world is shifting and it’s competitive. There’s a race. There’s a new currency, so to speak. It’s technology.””

 

July 20, 2020

IMBA Medical : Stories of Survival from Canada’s Tech Innovators

Since the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) was created in 1978 we have represented the interests of Small to Medium science and technology-centric enterprises. Today these Canada headquartered businesses are in the tens of thousands and have grown to be the heart of the Canadian economy.

We are over 120 days into COVID19 and still, there is no comprehensive, technology-sector emergency or restart response. We see some well placed companies thriving and others struggling, laying off staff, trying to pivot to improve their chances of survival. A healthy tech ecosystem and critical mass health of small and medium enterprises are crucial to Canada’s economy and job creation.

In this ongoing series, we profile companies dealing with the reality of COVID-19 and their experience with emergency government support programs.

We are inspired, we hope you are too.

Gasping for breath, and a long, slow decline 

Govindh Jayaraman is a serial entrepreneur. He is President of IMBA Medical located in Ottawa. The software business has developed a platform to deliver health and wellness products aimed at chronic disease prevention and management. Within days of COVID-19 ramping up in Canada, he was offering a COVID-19 support module to help manage the outbreak. In a few more days his business revenue dropped to zero. No one wanted to make a business decision, everything was on hold. Unfortunately, his story is not unique.

Jayaraman’s IMBA Medical company had been growing at 300% a year as of February. After the COVID-19 crash, it took two months to receive his first customer revenue, just $200.

As for government assistance, “It is a drop in the ocean, you are gasping for breath and the assistance only prolongs the agony of a long slow decline,” Jayaraman says.

Govindh Jayaraman, President IMBA Medical

He adds, “This is a cash crisis not an accrual basis accounting crisis. We keep going through pay periods and rent cycles. We are told to wait; help is coming but it is not.”  Jayaraman did not apply for the rent assistance program because application goes through his landlord and the landlord is demanding confidential and sensitive data about the company.  Information Jayaraman is not willing to give up.

There are signs that change is slowly coming. IMBA Medical has signed some Letters of Intent, including a nation-wide deal, plus some contracts but still waiting for payment, and clients are pushing hard for more favourable terms and pricing. Bottom line, still no revenue coming into the company. But the money goes out as staff make hundreds of cold calls per day seeking new leads. 

With more funding Jayaraman says his company could hire 30 people by the end of this year.  He adds, “As cash and options dwindle, tech companies are being forced to choose between their families, their homes and their tech to be sold for pennies on the dollar in exchange for cash.”

The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) wrote to the Prime Minister proposing a solution for under-subscribed and delayed assistance programs. The alternative uses data from the nation’s largest innovation program; Scientific Research & Experimental  Development (SRED). 

SRED data is used as a simple pre-qualifier for zero-interest loans at operational scale. The Resilience and Rebound (RR) fund would help bridge innovative companies to the other side of COVID19 and aims to keep intellectual property and talent in Canada. 

The loans would be partially forgivable based on company headquarters, intellectual property and jobs remaining in Canada. Established companies within the program have good track records and are known to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  RR delivers a speedy response while minimizing fraud or abuse. Delivery could be hastened by using the CERB model via CRA or applied to other programs. 

Jayaraman has used SRED for five years to develop his software and says the impact of such a program would be “profound”.

Despite the tough situation Jayaraman says he will never quit. It is not time to retreat. His company has now launched “Take Action” – what he calls, a first-of-its-kind, employee wellness and chronic disease prevention platform in Canada.

CATA invited Jayaraman to join in a phone call meeting they organized with a cabinet minister to explain the RR plan.  He outlined his problems and the minister asked for another call to see what they can do. 

It has been several weeks and yet no funding solutions. Jayaraman will not wait for what the minister does or does not do but he worries.

“The 2008 recession impact will repeat itself and we will see many tech companies disappear.” says Jayaraman.

For more information visit www.imbamedical.com or email support@imbamedical.com.

July 18, 2020

Questions submitted to Hon Mona Fortier 8 May 2020

 

CATA members held a teleconference with Hon Mona Fortier in May 2020 and there have been two follow on meetings. At the request of finance staffers CATA  submitted three questions and CATA has requested a written reply.

 Could you and your colleagues please take a close look at this digital-first, data driven and accountable proposal and advise how we can get tech SMEs the support needed for the sector to survive.  The RR Fund or a close alternative is needed to look after SMEs, not just the large firms and avoid a fire sale of our investments and keep our hand in the Future Economy.

The questions follow: 

First Question

The wage subsidies that have been released are exceedingly helpful for current cash flow.  However, there seems to be an instance of the “law of unexpected consequences” at play here.  Companies are very concerned and even shocked to hear that Government Assistance from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) seems to directly decrease their entitlement to SR&ED, including claims for this period.  This will severely hinder their ability to support investments in advancing their technologies in the future.

 Would the Minister consider proposing that the legislation that enacted CEWS be amended to classify CEWS differently and exempt from the standard government assistance provisions, such that it will not reduce the SR&ED qualified expenditure pool? CATA is calling for a similar exemption for the Resilience and Rebound Fund (RR Fund). 

Second Question

Canada has a long history of creating excellent advanced science and technology based firms, including aerospace, health, and Information Technology oriented ventures, only to see them repeatedly sold off for the highest bidder to benefit financially, offshore. 

Over the years, this represents a huge loss of Canadian taxpayers’ investments in developing the talent and the technologies that underlie these firms. There are lessons to be learned from previous downturns when this trend grows exponentially. 

Today, we hear that both Apple and Microsoft have ceased investment are actively looking for valuation bargains.  (As of 8 May) Microsoft has purchased 5 companies total since the start of the pandemic; and Apple has purchased 4 companies this year, 3 since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. 

The companies are reportedly taking advantage of compressed valuations due to the pandemic.  So will others as our history has shown. 

We have the opportunity to do better. How will the Government support tech SMEs so we don’t have a repeat of the 2008 crisis and the sector getting bought out? What actions are you planning to protect our annual multi-billion dollar investment in innovation, intellectual property and the teams that create it?

 Third Question

We are advocating for the full spectrum of Canadian tech-centric small and medium businesses with our proposed Resilience and Rebound Fund (RR Fund). 

We recognize that this is not a narrow proposal but one aimed at helping to protect Canadian investment in commercialization and the education of company development teams. 

Our recent survey indicated that only 18% of tech owners and leaders who responded (63) were confident that existing and proposed funding would help them survive the economic impact of COVID over the next 12-18 months.  Twenty-seven percent (27%) indicated the CATA RR Fund would prevent them from shuttering.  Sixty percent (60%) answered that the fund would help companies compete, pivot and keep revenues flowing.

CATA’s proposed Resilience and Rebound Fund (RR Fund) is an alternative to the larger emergency BDC and EDC equity/capital programs that are not accessible, or practical for many.  Almost 13,000 thousand  small, medium and 3 large tech businesses that participate in the SR&ED program employ 760,000 people across Canada, pay $34 Billion in payroll, and earn revenues of $188 Billion annually  (new Stats Can data). 

They represent one of Canada’s best opportunities to lead a faster recovery post COVID-19, and have been supported by Canada’s biggest innovation program, SR&ED. 

Yet, these firms are fragile.  If 40-60% of them fall, Canada will largely be left out of the future economy as has happened repeatedly in the past.  CATA believes that our proposal to help the Government reach the full, broader spectrum of tech firms left behind with the current emergency funding has not yet been seriously reviewed by Cabinet.

 Could you and your colleagues please take a close look at this digital-first, data driven and accountable proposal and advise how we can get tech SMEs the support needed for the sector to survive.  The RR Fund or a close alternative is needed to look after SMEs, not just the large firms and avoid a fire sale of our investments and keep our hand in the Future Economy.

 

 

Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau – follow up 3/3 16 June 2020

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, 

I write as a member of team Canada, a mother, a military vet with decades of entrepreneurial experience, and the leader of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance). 

We are gravely concerned for our Canadian way of life that is dependent upon strong national revenues. The opportunity to re-imagine the Canadian Dream is now.

As the new economic strategy is pondered, Canada’s well intended emergency assistance programming is missing the mark. The foundations for strategies to be built upon are crumbling. 

In March Germany announced and put into law their crisis and stimulus economic strategy. They committed to defending technological and economic sovereignty. Their approach, and McKinsey & Company’s most recent analysis, lean heavily on “future proof” economies fuelled by technology. 

“Spurred by alarm as they struggle against international competition” Germany earmarked $100B euros to invest in technology companies. China recently invested $1.4 trillion to compete on technology. US big tech business stopped investment and pivoted to acquiring vulnerable companies, targeting Canada’s valued talent, leadership and intellectual property via call center campaigns.

Where is Canada’s urgency and strategic focus? As the world races toward an uncertain competitive future, we are gravely concerned that after 100 days into this crisis Canada lacks a comprehensive science and technology emergency assistance plan. This potentially knocks us out of the “future” international play.

What of Canada’s Innovation Strategy, the $36B year over year innovation investments and the related endowment of Canadians? Canada’s largest innovation program sees 760,000 people employed directly by Canada HQ enterprise participants. Over 3,000,000 downstream jobs spin out of these science and technology centric established enterprises. 

Canada’s largest innovation program, the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program (SR&ED) remains unmentioned in emergency assistance planning. 

Companies accessing this program have an average of eight years of successful claims resulting from their own investments in research and science. They have successfully commercialized intellectual property into products, services, profits, jobs for Canada’s most sought after talent and substantial revenues for Canada. 

We energetically applaud the appointment of Madame Monique Leroux and her team to the Industry Strategy Council. Wisely her mandate is modelled on Canada’s Economic Strategy Tables. Five of seven of Canada’s strategic economic tables are technology centric. 

Setting the Industry Strategy Council up for success requires decisive immediate action. A comprehensive emergency assistance plan to protect a vital technology ecosystem, Canada HQ enterprises, supply chain, and critical infrastructure needed to keep our critical and sought after talent, leadership and intellectual property playing for team Canada.

Emergency assistance needs immediate attention 

A recent article in BetaKit indicated the uptake of wage subsidies under CEWS was only 12% with $9.36 of $73B expended. CATA’s survey found that only 18% of companies felt confident announced funding would help them be in business in 9 months time. The Canadian Innovators Council survey reported only 59% of top tech firms qualified for CEWS and 25% did not qualify for any assistance. Fair and inclusive access to desperately needed programs (at pace and scale) is not evident for small, medium and growth science and tech centric firms. 

A focus on protecting a future proof economy appears absent.

On 3 April I wrote to you sharing a potential solution, a proposal for an emergency program with CERB execution simplicity and speed. The accountable program, for Canada HQ small and medium science and tech centric enterprises, taps into trusted Canadian Revenue Agency data and relationships through Canada’s largest and internationally recognized innovation program, SR&ED. We have had no response on the proposed Resilience and Rebound Emergency Fund proposal to protect 13,000 science and technology centric enterprises that fuel $35B in payroll,  $188B in revenues and growth. 

These firms keep our farmers and construction companies efficient and competitive, provide supply chain data and analysis, trial cures for cancer and develop immunity tests for COVID19. They create robotic kitchen ware, help artists thrive, bring clean energy solutions to market, power electric automobiles, help the Internet run, share safety data from mines, create competitive technologies for manufacturing and warehouses, make remote work and financial transactions cyber secure. They provide access to social and mental health support and connect young and underrepresented people to mentors and employers. They are also under immediate threat.

We understand that clear context and business financial literacy is needed to help guide government policy decisions. CATAAlliance has been providing feedback in the form of surveys, constituent meetings with several ministers and bureaucrat discussions since March. 

We have yet to be directed to the decision makers in charge of an emergency assistance response for Canada’s largest innovation program, SR&ED. Our formal questions submitted at the Minister level on 8 May also remain unanswered.  

We are disappointed that our message is not being heard, by the lack of urgency and by extension, for the 760,000 talented Canadians directly employed in companies in the SR&ED program being left behind. 

  Our ASK: 

  1. Broader, informed and inclusive emergency assistance consultations with science and technology business leaders. The system and the country benefit from open communication about Canada’s large investment. The voice of those leveraging their businesses from SR&ED supported Innovations need to be included.  

  2. If not a technological and economic sovereignty plan, at minimum a comprehensive accessible technology sector emergency assistance response/playbook at scale, including Canada’s largest innovation program, SR&ED.

  3. CATAAlliance and our colleagues advocating for and part of a strong innovation sector for the future of Canada, and for fairness, be given access to decision makers leading a comprehensive, effective emergency response for the tech sector and Canada’s largest innovation program

While we are gravely concerned that avoidable mistakes with devastating impact are occurring, immediate decisive action can increase the prospects of Canadians, our way of life, our health care and programs, and a better future for our children. 

We sincerely wish to contribute and need to be heard, 

 

Sincerely 

 

Suzanne Grant 

CEO

 

 

ANNEX – Snapshot of some voices & consultations

 

Many major industry spokespeople have come out in favour of CATA’s proposed RRE Fund or similar including:

  • Sherry Cooper, is Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres.

  • Danny Ladouceur, CPA, partner and national leader at the accounting firm, RSM Canada. 

  • Brian Cookson, CPA, President and Managing Director of RDP Associates.

  • Bill Hutchison, Founder of CATA in 1978. He helped establish the National Advisory Board for Science and Technology.  

  • Micheál J. Kelly, Dean of the School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University.  National spokesperson for the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance.

  • Bruce Croxon, is an entrepreneur, television personality, and a venture capitalist. 

  • Kayla Isabelle, Executive Director, Startup Canada representing the interests of 250,000 entrepreneurs.

We have had excellent teleconference meetings with a number of your senior Ministers and MPs and their constituents;

  • Hon. Mona Fortier, MP (Ottawa-Vanier), Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance 

  • Hon. Marco Mendicino, MP (Eglinton-Lawrence), Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship 

  • Hon. Carolyn Bennett, MP (Toronto-St.Paul’s), Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

  • James Maloney, MP (EtobicokeLakeshore), Chair of the Toronto Caucus  

  • Ali Ehsassi, MP (Willowdale), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

We have also had discussions with:

  • Frances McRae, Assistant Deputy Minister, Small Business and Marketplace Services

  • Aneil Jaswal, Senior Policy Advisor and Ian Foucher, Special Advisor, Office of the Minister of Finance

  • John Hearn, Policy Advisor, Office of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Finance Minister 

Despite positive feedback from several of these ministers, departments, economists, accountants, hundreds of business owners and over 2,500 petition signatures, we have yet to receive definitive feedback on our alternative funding proposal or specific inquiries directed to the Finance Ministry (on 8 May). It appears the gravity and urgency of this priority situation is being missed.

 

July 15, 2020

Kim Caves blew us away with pro moves during webinar one. She’s back 21 July with Your Everest Sales Journey – Setting the Route for Your Climb

    NEXT in the CATAAlliance HowTo X.O Series

 

Partnering with best selling authors, career sales and dealmaking pros, CATA’s How to X.O (X dot oh!) is rolling as a member series on rethinking strategic relationships, sales, positioning and deals.

This member series is open to CATA friends and CATA’s Download North Newsletter subscribers for the pilot only. 

How to X.O (X dot oh!) is packed with tips, first principles and design thinking, forward looking insights, techniques and tools, and peer and expert engagement.

Kim Caves blew us away with pro moves during webinar one:  Reaching Your Everest in a Sales Journey- Starting With BaseCamp.

We talked to people who left with solid plans to enhance their approach to discovery, knowing and connecting with dream clients.

 Kim is back with Setting Your Route for the Climb Register
   

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About your guide: Kim Caves built a career on enterprise technology selling, from complex cyber security, AI to digital transformation software. She has a track record of accelerating big sales wins. Kim shares big business techniques used to close US technology deals with enterprise Canadian buyers and taking Canadian technology to customers around the world.  www.kimcaves.com

Common reasons people fail to reach Everest are surprise weather changes, crowds (competition), readiness and fitness, a solid plan, teamwork development, wrong tools, lack of oxygen and timing. Sound similar to your sales journey?

Set Your Route for the Climb. Register now to make the list!

We strive for quality and limit participant numbers. Base Camp over-subscribed in the first 3 days. Don’t wait! 

Did you attend Starting With BaseCamp? 
Kim’s Discovery Checklist, and access to the CATA Experts Slack Channel are available. Put “Discovery Checklist/SalesSLACK” in an email subject line to: hello@kimcaves.com

 

Join us for Setting Your Route for the Climb

 Tuesday July 21 at 1 pm ET (11 am MT, 10 am PT) Register here

Free for CATA members and those exploring membership

  For program speaker, guides, sponsorship, or membership opportunities contact
CATAAlliance CEO, Suzanne Grant, Suzanne.grant@cata.ca, 613 697 8818

CATA CEO Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau 5 June 2020 (2 of 3)

5 Jun 2020

Dear Prime Minister,

Our future, Canadian way of life, our social, health care, education, immigration and arts and culture programs need healthy Canadian revenues to fund. Getting Canada back to work when it’s safe, securing a future for younger generations depends upon smart decisions made TODAY.  Drawing on strengths and focusing on financial catalysts are key. 

On 3 April I wrote to you on behalf of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance about gaps in Canada’s emergency funding plan, the urgency for those catalysts left behind and the consequences of not adequately protecting a tech sector at risk of being off shored. Today the problem persists. 

We appreciate the immediate contact from your office. We have yet to speak to key decision makers and know the gravity of the problem to be misunderstood and are concerned it is being ignored. 

We are grateful The Canada Revenue Agency swiftly resolved our ask that critical Science, Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits restart. Mutually insightful collaboration ongoing.  

Our future doesn’t need to follow past mistakes – vibrant and unsupported tech sectors, teams, talent, jobs and Canadian prosperity don’t need to be off shored to other countries as in past downturns. Canada could lose our future, cornerstone and technology financial catalysts.

The innovation promise, investment and endowments of Canadians 

Canadian innovation investment of $36B year over year via universities, commercialization programs and direct investment was a welcome shift to a knowledge economy. The strategy has delivered competitive talent, jobs, immigration drivers, and economic growth for Canadians.

We ask that these endowments owned by Canadians not be abandoned, that Canada’s opportunity for financial recovery, our science and technology talent, leaders and sector be adequately protected. 

Canada’s largest innovation program and success story has been ignored and unconsidered in emergency funding.

760,000 people employed by 13,000 established and vital Canadian small and medium companies are a big part of our future. They need to be considered. Their leaders invest their own money in science, and have been part of the SR&ED program for an average of 8 years. They have been contributing $34B in payroll and growing with $188B annual revenues. Many Shopify’s brew here independent of other innovation programs.

The Story of One of 13,000 Left Behind

Calgary’s Flurotest has a cannabis bio quality test on market. Their technology has pivoted to an affordable 5 minute COVID19 portable antibodies and immunity saliva test that data fuels digital immunity cloud based passports on smart phones. This SR&ED supported distancing freedom passport test is approved for FDA fast tracking and could return Canada’s culture, productivity and prosperity in weeks but the investment climate is slow. Flurotest recently partnered with a US medical university due to limited lab facilities in Canada. 

Flurotest does not adequately qualify for Canadian emergency funding. There’s a problem for so many Flurotests, our strengths and financial catalysts left behind.

The Resilience and Rebound Emergency (RRE) Fund is an alternative to keep successful science and technology-centric talent and teams together and save millions of downstream jobs.

Despite enthusiasm from several ministers, a path and access to decision makers has not been forthcoming for us and others and we need your help. Canadians care, momentum is building, we gained 2000 petition signatures this week alone. See Annex

Broader and inclusive emergency consultations including companies belonging to Canada’s largest innovation program, SR&ED, are needed for better inclusive policy outcomes. 

We ask for an expedited meeting with budget decision makers and those leading Canada’s SR&ED program emergency response. Please advise who these people are. We wish to share data, insights and desperately needed context. 

Our recovery and way of life depend on it.

With respect 

Suzanne Grant, CD 

CEO 

Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance 

Suzanne.grant@cata.ca 613 697 8818 
 CATAAlliance  is an independent non-profit with a mandate to support a thriving technology/science centric innovation sector. We advocate for a sustainable, just, inclusive and competitive environment on behalf of Canada Headquartered SMEs.

July 14, 2020

The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance calls on feds to protect Canadian $36B annual innovation investment and endowment

The Canadian Innovation Promise

Canadian innovation investment of $36B year over year via universities, commercialization programs and direct investment was a major shift toward a knowledge economy. The strategy has been delivering competitive talent, jobs, immigration drivers, and economic returns to Canadians.

This investment can not be converted to national returns without our small and medium science and tech centric companies transforming research and science into market ready products and services for the world. These companies remain economic engines for Canada’s future growth post Covid.   

Leaving Canadian innovators behind is a broken promise to Canadians

Without protection these companies who are the glue for Canadian sought after talent, intellectual property and strategic capabilities are at risk of leaving CANADA for good. Canadian’s expectations for a return on their investment will  leave with them. 

As Canada focuses on smashing COVID-19 – an offensive for Canada’s future is equally needed

Our way of life, our social, health and education programs will need healthy national revenues to survive. Our politicians and government  leaders are doing a commendable job navigating through chaos, looking after our health and delivering emergency programs.

Small and medium tech businesses being left behind under current programs are at risk of being purchased by large international firms. We know that once Canadian tech companies fall,  shattering their teams, they can not be put back together again.

Historically, with each economic downturn, Canada’s unsupported tech sector resulted in a 10 year recovery for new technology platform development. Canada can not afford to make the same mistake.

“APPLE & MICROSOFT FOCUS ON ACQUISITIONS Apple, Google, and Microsoft have not invested in any companies … since the advent of the pandemic. However, both Apple and Microsoft have been acquisitive, purchasing 5 companies total since the start of the pandemic …taking advantage of compressed valuations due to the pandemic to buy companies cheaply.” – CB Insights

Small and medium tech companies are one of the great hopes to lead us out of the stalled economy faster, but only if protected. These potential economic catalysts will be leading the future of jobs and the economy either for Canada or others.  Pre-COVID19 advanced technologies and ICT outpaced job and economic growth rates by almost twice our national average.

COVID emergency programs – some are working – others  inaccessible

Emergency support started with the Canada Wage Subsidy, IAP/ IRAP was originally created for 1000 companies who didn’t qualify. The $40,000 loan (CEBA) has been well subscribed and of great help for smaller companies . 

All were welcome programs and policy makers recognized scale limitations and added programs like the EDC and BDC liquidity/capital matching packages. Unfortunately these additional packages are not accessible or practical for most small, medium and growth science and technology centric businesses.

Only 18% of tech owners who responded to the CATA COVID19 Business Pulse Survey in May 2020 were confident that existing and proposed funding would help them survive the next 12 months.

Leveraging Canada’s largest innovation program – Science Research and Economic Development Tax Credits provides a key opportunity to address the gap.

13,000 small and medium Canadian owned tech businesses participate in Canada’s Science and research tax credit program.  They invest their own money in research and science, employ 760K people across Canada paying $34B in payroll*.

Even with annual revenues of $188B in 2019, they are vulnerable. If 40-60% of these companies fall, and their technologies are absorbed off-shore it will be years before our tech sector rebuilds and recovers. 

 

The DATA Solution

One fast simple solution can help protect some of the 13,000 tech companies in need and the 760K people they employ. In a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, 3 April, The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA)  proposed a Resilience Rebound Emergency (RRE) Data Solution – Fund. This can also be used as an eligibility fix expanding undersubscribed programs.

Protecting some of the 13,000 Tech SMEs,  and keep Canadian tax payer annual $36B/year investments in intellectual property, talent, education and commercialization IN CANADA. We acknowledge that the RRE is not the only solution, but we believe that it or a derivative will work.  

Complex eligibility is an obstacle to right-sized assistance for innovator SMEs under existing programs. CATAAlliance proposes alternative eligibility criteria scaled to company operational size for existing programs or via a new fund. 

The Canadian Resilience and Rebound Emergency (RRE) Fund and DATA Solution – A short term protective measure to shore up and restart the innovation and science eco-system. Right sized assistance will encourage the retention of sovereign IP and bring talent back to work as a foundation for bridging to the future

The program uses Canadian Revenue Agency data and relationships within Canada’s largest innovation program, the Science, Research and Experimental Development tax credits. Track record and claim amounts are used  to simply pre-qualify and right size loans. The assistance would be partially forgivable based upon IP and talent staying in Canada. 

Under-subscribed program budgets could be reallocated to get people back to work and boost subscription rates. Funds would finance growth expansion and development of new opportunities, help bridge stressed COVID19 induced issues for these firms and help those that need quick cash to respond to opportunities created by COVID.

The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) experience and data with the established firms with good SR&ED records provides the basis for a pre-approved loan mechanism for companies.

A baseline loan cap could be based on historic company investment in R&D. The financing could be administered by CRA, like the successful digital-first CERB and Child Tax Credit top up programs or via another mechanism including existing programs. 

More specifically, we suggest a zero interest loan, with a forgivable component  based upon qualified, capped expenditures in R&D, plus IP, finance, marketing and sales. We suggest that the amount would be based on historic claim size; up to 5X annual SRED claim (averaged over the last 2 years of SR&ED)  

Obviously, there could be other derivatives, but the core issue is how to protect Canada’s huge investment in these technologies and development teams for the recovery and the benefit of its citizens.    

Canadian employer businesses are 97.9% small and medium size employing 89.6% of the private sector

 

July 13, 2020

FluoroTech: Stories of Survival from Canada’s Tech Innovators

Since the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) began 42 years ago we have represented the interests of Small to Medium science and technology-centric enterprises. Today these Canada headquartered businesses are in the tens of thousands and have grown to be the heart of the Canadian economy.

We are over 120 days into COVID19 and we do not see a comprehensive, emergency response, nor a strategic recovery plan for the technology sector. We do see previously vibrant companies struggling, laying off staff, trying to pivot to improve their chances of survival. These firms are crucial to Canada’s economy and job creation.

In this ongoing series, we profile companies dealing with the reality of COVID-19 and their experience with emergency government support programs.

We are inspired, we hope you are too.

FluroTech is Changing the New Normal by Pivoting Cannabis Technology to COVID-19 Antibody Testing

Danny Dalla-Longa is CEO of Calgary-based FluroTech Ltd. He is a former Alberta MLA. He knows how the system goes round and says, “This federal government has lost their way. They are not economically minded, they are socially minded. They need to support and advance the technology sector.”

Right now, during this pandemic he says it is the most difficult time he’s ever faced raising money. He calls this an economic pandemic that is costing the North American economy $150 Billion every month. officeArt object

FluroTech began three years ago and with a heavy investment in research and development, commercialized a machine that can in seconds accurately determine if a sample is marijuana or hemp and measure its potency. In many jurisdictions, there is a huge need for the test because one can be legal and the other illegal. The product is called CompleTestTM and interest from consumers was picking up as COVID-19 hit.

But in a fascinating twist, the drug testing machine uses a proprietary platform technology that is used to detect a wide range of particles and is now being developed to test for COVID-19 antibodies and determine if you are currently infected and what is your viral load… meaning how infectious a person may be.

FluroTest web .png

COVID-19 testing has a massive market potential as we all want to know our medical status. The company is targeting a $20 per test cost to take a saliva sample test with results in about 5 minutes. The “New Normal” may very well be a type of “viral card” which will require frequent updating. It would allow us to determine who is safe and so who can come to the office, who could come into a sporting event, who could visit with family and friends. Dalla-Longa sees people getting tested 4 to 7 times a month meaning millions of tests per year. Sports teams have already contacted him to learn more about the possibilities.

The current PCR based testing technology is outdated. Flurotest’s technology says Dalla-Longa, “Will not just tell you if you are infected but will tell you if you were infected plus can tell you if you could infect others .

The research and development of the testing device by FluroTech took place at the University of Calgary. They patented the technology with 58 unique claims and the company went public. The company is at an early stage and have begun sales although not yet cash flow positive. Curtis Smith the CFO says, “The banks and by extension, Export Development Corporation and Business Development Bank are not receptive to issuing grants to support our business. They said, since we are pre-revenue we are not a real business. The government said they had a program to help firms like us. We applied in early April, so far no response.” The company did qualify for the $40,000 federal loan program.

So the hunt is on for money and partners to do more development and testing for the COVID-19 application. This new venture is called FluroTest. Dalla-Longa says it looks like it will be US money and US labs that will be the primary solution. In April they signed an agreement with Albany, New York Medical College and Alberta BioPhotonics Inc. The plan is to conduct human testing by October plus they need to get government health approvals. Money becomes crucial to continue the work. They estimate they will need (USD) $2 to 4 million to complete the validation and obtain emergency regulatory approvals plus distribution and manufacturing partners.

flurotech homepage .png

During the firm’s initial development phase for Cannabis testing the company used funds from the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SRED) program. The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) has proposed using the SRED pipeline to get significant money to the 13,000 firms that have used SRED in recent years. These companies have a track record with the government. Dalla-Longa says that kind of money would enable a significant advance for this groundbreaking test method for COVID-19 and bring this technology to market swiftly.

For more information contact Danny Dalla-Longa 403 680 0644, or visit www.flurotech.com

June 29, 2020

Canadian Government Hesitation To Significantly Support The Technology Sector Will Cost Us All

 

This OpEd is provided courtesy of the CATA Alliance.  For additional information please visit their website https://cata.ca/ and our prior piece on their work.

Canadian Government Hesitation To Significantly Support The Technology Sector Will Cost Us All

The impact of COVID-19 on economies around the world has been massive. How governments are dealing with it varies widely. In Canada, there continue to be questions about whether the multitude of programs are reaching those in need, especially across the many business sectors.

The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) wrote to the Prime Minister on April 7 proposing a solution to swiftly move emergency assistance to established Canadian science and technology-centric firms. The plan is to work with the nation’s largest innovation program, the Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SRED) tax credit platform. This provides accountability and a feasible and swift pipeline to distribute a  $3.6 billion Resilience and Rebound Emergency (RRE) fund.

An existing delivery system reduces complexity. Using verifiable SRED data as a pre-qualifier to emergency assistance boosts accountability and reduces red tape overhead for both applicants and bureaucrats. Assistance is tagged to trusted firms that already have a minimum two-year track record and have met the scrutiny of the Canadian Revenue Agency. The fund would provide zero-interest, partially forgivable loans to the nation’s most innovative tech firms.

A success story that could do so much more

SR&ED is a government success story. The $4 billion program provides tax credits encouraging businesses to grow through their own investments into science and research.

The tax credit powers innovative companies. These company investments into science and research enable job and economic growth in tech, which sharply outpaces the overall Canadian economy.

This was the status of Canadian SRED science and technology-centric companies, before COVID-19:

  • 13,000, mostly small to medium-sized firms
  • 760,000 direct jobs and millions downstream jobs
  • $34.5 Billion in direct salaries
  • $188 Billion in revenues
  • The average SRED claimant has 8 years of successful claims

Tech deserves improved assistance

Billions of taxpayer dollars over many years helped build this technology powerhouse. Leaving these Canadian innovators behind is a broken promise to taxpayers.

Is this not a sector worth protecting? China recently confirmed it will invest US $1.4 trillion over the next six years to leapfrog ahead of the US in all the major technologies. While China makes tech a priority, Canada has left our best innovators and talent to largely fend for themselves.

Moving out of the starting blocks into the international race for economic recovery, all sectors will have a heavy reliance on technology to compete.

Layoffs in tech continue, just like many other sectors, but once gone, getting that rare valuable tech talent back won’t be easy. The world is in a fiercely competitive battle for tech talent, the International Monetary Fund forecasts a global shortfall of 85 million tech workers in the next decade. In historic economic downturns, Canada’s tech sector has been abandoned

CATA was encouraged when the government used another funding program, doubling up the annual Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) budget as an emergency pipeline to deliver funds to 1,000 firms. A similar approach was used for other business and innovation programs, but for some reason, Canada’s largest innovation program has been left behind and forgotten.

The super success story – the SRED program has not been mentioned by government leaders as part of the assistance strategy. The government’s well-intended assistance programs are helping some, but many of the programs announced have a low uptake from technology and small businesses. A more comprehensive and inclusive emergency liquidity and capital emergency assistance approach is needed. A CATA survey of business leaders in late April and early May revealed key facts:

  • Only 18% feel current government programs are adequate to keep critical teams together for 12-18 months
  • 88% say they would apply for the RRE fund and 89% believe such funding would carry them through the next 12 months
  • 69% say funding would prevent layoffs
  • 97% of companies have been negatively impacted by COVID-19

Government is not listening

From our discussions with government officials, the government is communicating they have adequately looked after the tech sector. They are not listening to what business owners are saying.

Tech is not like the auto industry.

Tech is not like the oil & gas industry.

Tech is not like forestry or fishing.

Dan Breznitz, co-director of the Innovation Policy lab at the University of Toronto, spoke to theCanadian Press on May 20 and forecast global trade in raw commodities will decline as COVID-19 makes it more difficult to move people and goods. He said Canada’s vaunted resource-based industries, “Will have a problem just selling wood and unprocessed oil.” He added, Canada must rebuild its capacity to produce sophisticated goods through innovation.

Who then will lead the rebound? Technology.

Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Vic Fedeli knows what is at stake. In an interview on May 7 with Communitech, he stated, “We’ll need the tech sector to guide us through how we can [manufacture] in a way more efficient manner.”

CATA’s call for a simple, fast, accountable funding program has received positive feedback from some federal officials. Plus economists, like Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres;  accountants like Danny Ladouceur who as a partner at RSM Canada handles the largest SRED portfolio in the country; entrepreneurs like Bruce Croxon and over 2,800 signatures on a CATA petition.

The ability of the tech sector to be strong when the economy rebounds will be compromised if companies are closed, staff gone and great ideas sold off at bargain-basement prices all because of insufficient support. Make no mistake the buying up of tech firms is underway. The Financial Post reports that takeovers are now happening at the fastest pace in years.  Yet the gravity and urgency are being missed by the government.

If taxpayers are worried about the loans, a portion will have to be paid back by the companies, the remaining money would be repaid in otherwise lost payroll tax alone within four years.

The problem is not going away, nor is CATA.  We ask that after two months, the government makes a decision. Lack of meaningful assistance equals no new jobs and a questionable future.

A pretty easy equation everyone can understand. Will the government figure it out in time?

We hope so.

If you would like to get involved with the CATA campaign contact CATA’s CEO directly suzanne.grant@cata.ca

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About the Author of “Canadian Government Hesitation To Significantly Support The Technology Sector Will Cost Us All”:

Suzanne Grant is CEO of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, representing small to medium sized technology based firms.  She is a military veteran with a communications engineering and intelligence background. She has 30 years of entrepreneurial experience include founding firms and doing business in 17 nations.

 

 

June 9, 2020

CATA Memo – Save Canada’s Way of Life. Funding for science and technology centric businesses. #economy

Original Article

ASK –  Don’t abandon Canada’s future. Protect one of Canada’s best opportunities for financial recovery. Implement the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance Resilience and Rebound Emergency Fund to save 13,000 science and research based small and medium businesses and millions of jobs. 

Technology – Canada’s post COVID19 economy catalyst. Advanced technologies and ICT sectors were outpacing the economy and jobs growth at almost twice the national average. Demand for future economy products and services, science, research and technology talent and their innovations will continue.

We could lose our financial catalysts in tech, the drivers of the economy without immediate action.  Only 18% of technology company owners surveyed were confident the existing funding is accessible and enough for business survival. Large US firms are targeting Canadian talent and companies to fund their own prosperity. #HistoryDoesntHaveToRepeat #LostForever

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Be part of the next big thing 

The world is moving into a digital transformation, in part boosted by COVID19.  Artificial intelligence and smart cities will lead the way. We are already seeing education, cloud, remote, medical and health technologies and financial technologies thriving in the pandemic.

Canada has the technology and talent to continue as world class tech leaders in the future, if we can keep our technology entrepreneurs and innovators connected with their businesses now. The good news is most of this work can be done from home during social distancing. We can work on Canada’s comeback and future balance sheet recovery today. 

ABOUT the CATA RR Fund & Alternative Eligibility Formula

The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance proposed Resilience and Rebound (RR) Fund addresses tech companies left behind under current programs.  These vital Canadian companies are the future, invest their own money in research and science, and can lead Canada out of this economic crisis. They have passed rigorous scrutiny of Canadian Revenue Agency Auditors as successful participants of the Research, Science and Experimental Development tax credit program. The companies are known by the Federal Government,  trusted and strong.

One possible fund delivery mechanism could be as a partially forgivable loan, right sized as a multiple of a SR&ED claim,  delivered through Canada Revenue Agency, like the efficient CERB program. The same eligibility data could prequalify applicants for other existing programs as well. This is a fast, accountable, and simple data driven, digital solution with low administrative overheads for all parties.