Community Leader and Innovation Champion, Claude Haw, President and CEO, OCRI, endorses the Innovation Nation,
June 23, 2009

Community Leader and Innovation Champion, Claude Haw, President and CEO, OCRI, endorses the Innovation Nation, calls for improvements to Canada's investment environment

June 23, 2009

Community Leader and Innovation Champion, Claude Haw, President and CEO, OCRI, endorses the Innovation Nation, calls for improvements to Canada's investment environment

Charles Haw

"The Canadian economy is challenged by an economic downturn and a strong dollar. We must focus on growing sustainable, successful, and globally competitive companies while the investment environment provides sufficient opportunities for companies to attract capital at various stages of growth. Investment at seed and early stages in Canada is limited at best, despite programs that assist with funding R&D and proof of concept phases. To address this critical situation we must adopt policies and processes that will help close the substantial financing gap faced by Canadian companies. Our primary focus areas must be commercializing innovative products, services, and solutions in the market; improving productivity; creating jobs; and raising Canada's profile as a nation that fosters globally competitive and successful enterprises." says Claude Haw, President and CEO, OCRI, in regards to achieving the core planks of the Innovation Nation Campaign.

"Setting the Gold Standard" - An Innovation Agenda for Growth Requires an Improved Investment Environment

CATAAlliance announced that Claude Haw, President and CEO, OCRI and recognized community leader, has endorsed the call for the adoption of the CATAAlliance Innovation Nation Platform, as a compelling model to improve the nation's competitiveness and prosperity.

Claude Haw joins a growing list of business and community leaders, including Terry Matthews, Chair of March Networks, Arvind Chhatbar, CEO & Chair, Enablence Technologies Inc . Dr. James Goodnight, CEO, SAS, Rod Bryden, President & CEO, Plasco Energy Group, Samantha S. Sannella, President & CEO, the Design Exchange, Rob Ashe, former President & CEO, Cognos, Lionel Hurtubise, former CEO & Chair, Ericsson Canada Inc., Dennis Melnbardis, Lead Partner, Communications & High Tech, Canadian Practice, Accenture, Micheàl J. Kelly, Dean of the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, the Hon. John Manley, former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, Dr. Charles Despins, President & CEO, Prompt, Mike S. Zafirovski, President & CEO, Nortel, Chris Fawcus, President & CEO, Aon Reed Stenhouse and, Dr. Marc Garneau, MP Westmount,Villle-Marie and Canada's first astronaut, to call for the adoption of the Innovation Nation Platform.

"The award of national prosperity will go to those countries that lead the world in the design, development, production and distribution of goods and services," says Mr. Haw, "These countries will attract and retain investment and talent. For nations to prosper they must become leading innovation nations; we all need to do our part to get there."

Claude Haw
President and CEO, OCRI

Claude Haw, B.Eng, P.Eng, has more than 30 years of experience in a variety of technical, general management and venture investing roles in the technology sector including Venture Coaches, Dragonwave, Newbridge Networks and Mitel Corporation. He has a wealth of experience in building successful technology companies in Canada from start-up to acquisition and IPO and has been actively involved with more than 30 technology companies over the past two decades. He is a charter member of TiE Ottawa, a global network of entrepreneurs and professionals, as well as a past board member of the Canadian Venture Capital Association (CVCA). Claude is also a founder of Mindtrust, an exclusive networking forum for technology company CEOs, and The Ottawa Network, an entrepreneurial group focused on enabling the next generation of technology companies in the National Capital Region. He has been a long-standing member of the organizing committee of the annual Ottawa Venture and Technology Summit (OVTS).

Claude holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Lakehead University, has completed the Canadian Securities Course and is a member of Professional Engineers of Ontario. He has been a guest lecturer at several universities generally speaking about entrepreneurship, business planning and venture investing. He is on the Advisory Committee of ENGAGE, an Ottawa-based philanthropic group, the Ottawa Cleantech Initiative and the Ottawa Sustainability Fund, a community-based environmental fund.

Prior to his role as President and CEO of OCRI, Claude was Managing Partner of Venture Coaches, a venture capital firm which he founded in 2000. He has been a principal in four investment funds over the past ten years. Venture Coaches invested in thirteen technology companies with three having been sold, one merged with another company and DragonWave, which was taken public on TSX and London AIM markets in 2007.

Previously, he held a number of executive positions at Newbridge, including Vice-President of Corporate Business Development. In this role he managed strategic investment programs, from start-up to exit, in more than 20 companies. As Vice-President and General Manager of the Newbridge ATMnet Business Unit, Claude grew the unit from inception to a $200-million-per-annum business. While at Newbridge, Claude managed a small investment fund, Severn Bridge Investments, which invested in 12 companies and returned more that three times invested capital. He also held senior management positions at Mitel Corporation and Leigh Instruments.

Innovation Nation Core Planks

Among the core planks in Innovation Nation are developing a national brand for Canada based on regional advantages, creating an industrial strategy based on strategic approaches to government procurement and global supply chains, adopting best innovation tax credit (SR&ED) practices, removing trade barriers as part of responding to the flat world and attracting and training and retaining the best talent.

CATAAlliance is also looking for measures that would advance executive leadership and promote the adoption of high technology tools in government and the private sector.

John Reid, CATAAlliance President, concluded, "We are living through an economic revolution created by technology, global interdependence and increasingly open markets" adding, "Canada is already a leader in many business sectors. But to maintain and grow this leadership, we have to expand our markets and be the best in the world. We are calling on all Canadians to work with us to create the necessary entrepreneurship, innovation, risk taking, and public policies for the Innovation Nation."


Executives interested in assisting CATA with its Innovation Nation Campaign and/or who have recommendations to add should contact CATA President John Reid at call 613-236-6550.

Please circulate the communiqué internally and also send to your business, media and community network of contacts as part of mobilization behind the Campaign.

Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance)
Tel: (613) 236-6550,