CATAAlliance: Mission, Mandate & Successes: Canada's One Voice for Innovation Lobby Group

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http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Canadian-Advanced-Technology-Alliance-CATA-37239/about
The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance) is Canada's One Voice for Innovation Lobby Group, crowdsourcing ideas and guidance from more than 24 thousand opt in members in moderated social networks in Canada and key global markets. (No Tech Firm Left Behind)

Mission


CATA’s mission is to move Canada to 1st place or an A grade in Innovation and Competitiveness. We do so under the rubric of the Competitive Innovation Nation Campaign with Core Planks and a Working Agenda for Advocacy Initiatives.


Success Measurement


Organizations such as the Conference Board of Canada provide a yearly review of Canada’s ranking for innovation and competitiveness. Thus we are able to track progress across key indicators.


Goals


Our first goal is to cultivate our considerable strengths and eliminate every barrier to inhibiting their full contribution to competitiveness, a goal that is vital to realize the improvements that will let Canada rank amongst the highest performers as an innovation based economy.


Our second goal is to amplify the voices of tech executives, innovators and entrepreneurs to create a more connected, informed and influential community.


Methodology


CATA’s business model relies extensively on very large social networks and powerful traditional and new media resources to identify and crowdsource issues, obtain guidance and mobilize for change. We also rely on small team of champions with a research component to add weight to all advocacy messaging.


Business Model


CATAAlliance, is a not for profit organization, a model similar to a political party, the party of Canadian innovation and high tech industries. Our Platform is built from Core Policy Planks linked to Specific Recommendations which will ensure success for Canada in the global economy.


Core Policy Planks


  • Developing a Competitive Innovation Nation, National Brand for Canada based on Regional Advantages;

  • Creating a new Strategy for industry that perceives and exploits parallel physical, digital and intangible value streams, linked to strategic approaches to the growth of our innovative businesses through effective commercialization of products and services, supply chains, exports, increased international mandates, expansion of social enterprise and government procurement;

  • Responding to the Flat World of global competition with the removal of trade barriers, streaming of regulatory and labour practices and the provision of support to equal the playing field for Canadian competitors and investment in the infrastructure needed to preserve and expand market strength;

  • Simplifying Canada's tax system to eliminate structural disconnects that discourage the full development and growth of our innovation businesses to the benefit of Canada, simplify access to incentives and reduce compliance costs and investment delays due to uncertainty;

  • Determining the best practice aspects of Canada's SR&ED tax incentive program and barriers in the tax system to the exploitation of innovation. The ultimate aim being to focus them to create the environment that promotes the commercialization of our innovations and the growth of firms to their full potential;

  • Addressing the current problem facing growth-oriented Canadian firms: the attraction, retention and development of the management and leadership talent needed to direct the growth of current and emerging companies in Canada's technology sector;

  • Fostering executive leadership, including a commitment to lifetime learning, Mentorship and Diversity;

  • Developing through Mentorship the IT capability of women and encouraging women to join the technology market and enrol in technology-related studies;

  • Creating best practices and exportable technologies for Public Safety and National Security with an eye to protecting privacy, including fostering the growth of the advanced security sector; and,

  • Advancing measures to speed ICT adoption by the public and private sectors, particularly for small to mid sized (SME) businesses.

Working Agenda


Here is what we are working on now as priorities:


First, (now successfully completed) the elected government should consolidate the Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Minister of Industry into a Minister of Science, Technology and Business Innovation. The new Minister should work with the Minister of Finance to determine which aspects of the fiscal regime represent best practices and which are less so and how to best integrate them into a coherent, complementary system of support aimed at promoting business innovation. Second, a more effective approach to SR&ED Dispute Resolution and the management of reviews should be instituted, paving the way for a more effective SR&ED incentive program, as one of the keys to driving Canadian innovation excellence.


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


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


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


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


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


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


Specific Advocacy Initiatives


Special advocacy templates frame specific Advocacy Initiatives; there is always a strong research and video messaging component engaging community leaders who speak to the various issues.


Desired outcomes are clearly defined, thus success can be measured. For example, we lobbied for a new Innovation Ministry and the new government announced the new Ministry.

A list of Successes so Far


Certificate 116, Crowdfunding adoption, Cloud First for Canada, Reversal of Reverse Auctions, Canadian Test Beds, Broadband for Public Safety, Creation of a new Innovation Ministry...


As we receive feedback and direction from the community, recommendations are continuously updated and then communicated to decision makers as part of ongoing advocacy. View CATANet TV, a collection of 300 interviews with Innovation executives who provide direct insight into the issues and concerns facing our community.


We operate in real time and are first in to embrace new technologies.


Contact: CATA CEO, John Reid (No Tech Firm Left Behind) at jreid@cata.ca



© 2013 Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance. All rights reserved.