Effective Commercialization of Innovation in Canada: Participation Call
March 23, 2011

Effective Commercialization of Innovation in Canada:Participation Call



Date: March 23, 2011
Attn: Canada's Innovation Community
Re: Understanding of Commercialization of Innovation Practices and Their Effectiveness for Canada
From: John Reid, CEO, CATAAlliance (www.cata.ca) jreid@cata.ca

Dear Industry and Government Executives Concerned with Effectiveness of Canadian Innovation,

Why do only a handful of innovations make it to market?

Canada's leading high-tech organization, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA), has partnered with the University of Waterloo and the Ontario Institute of Technology, to study commercialization of innovation in Canada - including: preferred practices, applied government support programs and methods to enhance overall effectiveness in the global economy.

Interested executives are being invited to participate in several ways: be part of a Survey, give in-depth views in an interview, or invest in the Study to obtain unique information.

Commercialization is under attack in Canada: the recent Global Competitiveness Report (World Economic Forum 2007) pointed to Canada's drop 16th from 3rd in 2001 - a change primarily attributed to weaknesses in innovation execution to market. Indeed, the performance of Canadian firms in commercializing innovation is a more essential economic factor than quantity of innovation if a large part of it is left sterile in the labs.

This study is meant to bring more light to the commercialization process which has been less studied to date given the fact that most countries survey companies in terms of "innovations produced" and number of patents assigned, whereas it is well known that few innovations actually make it to market and produce sizable economic results. Our study will proceed with a firm-level survey to collect data on pertinent commercialization activities and to provide support for the development of policies and practices leading to better commercialization of innovation into the global markets. The survey will be followed by in-depth interviews with representative firms and government organizations involved in innovation promotion and support.

"A true Innovation Nation is one that knows both how to generate valuable ideas in all walks of life and then manages to turn them into tangible commercial realities and market successes", said Dr. Sorin Cohn, CATA Program Executive." University of Waterloo and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology have the knowledge of understanding the processes required for successful innovations and will collaborate with CATA to bring to light the most effective programs and practices used by Canadian industry in commercializing innovation in the global markets of today."

The study has a broad scope, extending analysis of innovation commercialization from the traditional product sectors to also include the service sectors, which are becoming more and more significant economically and which also depend on innovation to achieve competitive growth. The study will be used to identify (i) technology and strategy fit in the organization, (ii) types of business practices used in commercialization activities, (iii) types of products, processes and services being commercialized, (iv) the use of government support programs, (v) the use of intellectual property protection, and (vi) the types of financial support used to catalyze commercialization.

"University of Ontario Institute of Technology is welcoming CATA's efforts and the University of Waterloo participation in pioneering a study of economic impacts of innovation that does not limit itself to counting patents and published research papers, but goes to the core of what innovation represents for Canada", said Prof. Jennifer Percival from UOIT. "Product innovation and new product commercialization receive the bulk of attention from researchers and policy makers. However, service innovations (whether production processes, marketing innovations, or organizational innovation) are just as important," said Prof. Brian Cozzarin from University of Waterloo, "and the work done by University of Ontario Institute of Technology in understanding the importance of service innovation in the Knowledge Economy as well as CATA's drive for more effective use of advanced technology will help Canada position itself better globally."

The results will help Canadian Innovation Executives - in Industry as well as in Government - to benchmark their organizations' success in commercialization of innovation and to develop better practices and programs for ensuring competitiveness on the global scale.

We are calling for your support of this study in order to achieve a better understanding of innovation commercialization status in Canada, its issues and the opportunities leading to an effective environment for accelerating the economic and social impacts of industry, academia and government driven innovation activities in Canada.

Please Download a Short Version of the Prospectus for Support of the Study on Commercialization of Innovation

+++ How Can You Participate & Support the Commercialization of Innovation Study +++

A. If your organization wishes to participate in the upcoming survey, please contact Dr. Sorin Cohn;

B. If your organization wishes to influence the study activities and ensure coverage of aspects of importance to your organization and economic sector, please contact either Dr. Brian Cozzarin, Dr. J. Percival or Dr. S. Cohn for providing your input and arranging for in-depth interviews subsequent to the survey.

C. If your organization wishes to take advantage of this study for the promotion of its goals and the collection of unique information, you are encouraged to become a sponsor of the study, which will ensure benefits specific to your organization. Please contact Dr. Sorin Cohn to register your sponsorship and enable the corresponding benefits.

Yours sincerely,

John Reid,
CEO, CATAAlliance