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Book Review

Innovation in Canada

Innovation in Canada

by Tom Brzustowski

Why we need more Innovation in Canada and what we must do to get it

Canada has a prosperity problem because we don’t create enough wealth. Business as usual is not a solution; we need to create more value in new ways - that’s innovation. But beyond innovation to solve our current problems, we must learn how to innovate in new ways to deal with whatever future pressures and opportunities arise from global demographics and climate change.

Innovation in Canada demystifies innovation and presents its many aspects in one big picture. The book proposes innovation in both goods and services as the means for increasing the value of what the Canadian economy produces. This will raise our prosperity and show up as improved productivity.

Written in plain language and illustrated with corporate data, the book underlines the essential roles of technology, entrepreneurship and commerce. It points out important differences between innovation in established firms and innovation in new ventures, whose time scales are shorter and whose needs are more urgent.

Innovation in Canadaproposes the elements of a supportive government innovation policy, and it outlines the different design principles for government assistance programs needed to provide effective support to the two different groups of innovative companies.

Tom Brzustowski is the RBC Professor at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa and Chair of the Board of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo. He also chairs the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Council of Canadian Academies. Brzustowski was president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) from 1995-2005. A professional engineer in Ontario, Brzustowski graduated with a B.A.Sc. in engineering physics from University of Toronto in 1958, and a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering from Princeton in 1963. He taught mechanical engineering for twenty-five years and also served a dozen years as Vice-President, Academic at the University of Waterloo. He then became Deputy Minister in the Government of Ontario for 1987-1995, first in the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and later in the Premier’s Council.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Part I Setting the stage
    • Chapter 1   Sketching The Big Picture
    • Chapter 2   The Case for More Innovation in Canada
    • Chapter 3   The Innovation System
    • Chapter 4   Wealth Creation, Value-added and The Language of Innovation
    • Chapter 5   Innovation and Productivity
  • Part II Where we are now
    • Chapter 6   From Gigaprojects to Small Potatoes – The Cost of Innovation
    • Chapter 7   Four Models of Industrial Innovation in Canada
    • Chapter 8   The Role of Post-secondary Education
    • Chapter 9   Innovation in Services
    • Chapter 10 Interactions for Innovations
    • Chapter 11 Innovations in Innovation
    • Chapter 12 What Company Data Show
  • Part III     What needs to be done
    • Chapter 13 An Innovation Policy for Canada
  • Index

You can purchase a copy of this book through or and
On peut commander ce livre soit chez ou chez et

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