High Tech Industry Calls for Creation of a Canadian Commercialization Fund
November 14, 2005

Ottawa, November 15, 2005…Canada's largest high-tech business association today called on the Federal Government to incorporate a Canadian Commercialization Fund (CCF), as the launch pad for a national program to support efforts to commercialize Canadian products and services.

Peter Cleveland, CATA Director and Executive in Residence at the University of Ottawa said, "If we are going to make a difference in moving the commercialization agenda forward in Canada we must advance one specific proposal or action that, if implemented, would have the greatest impact on increasing the rate of business growth."

The Canadian Commercialization Fund (CCF) creates a visible entity focussed solely on increasing the rate of commercialization. It would provide funding for mentoring activities, a screening process to avoid wasting tax dollars on ill-conceived ideas and create published data to measure success.

Proposal to the Government of Canada on Commercialization

  • Fund's Investment Requirement-- the Government of Canada incorporates The Canadian Commercialization Fund with initial funding of $50-75 million.

  • Governance-- the Board of Directors would report to Industry Canada, and be comprised of nine Directors (i.e., six prominent business people who actually successfully commercialized an idea, concept, product or service, one Industry Canada representative and one each from academia and research). The Board would also engage industry experts from time to time to evaluate grant requests and actively link to the global venture capital community.

  • Funds Available per Application-- the Board would entertain requests from businesses for grants of up to $50,000 to be used specifically for obtaining business advice and ongoing mentoring for the business leader -to assist in successfully commercializing products and services.

  • Fund Reporting Requirements-- the Board would publish a report annually that would advise Canadians on the number of new companies created in Canada, companies acquired by both Canadian and non- Canadian companies, companies created during the past five years, still in business, requests for grant funding, grants made and anonymous data on the commercialization progress of those companies receiving grants.

  • Reporting Requirements-- Companies receiving grants would report to the Fund on the advisor selected, advice and documents generated, value of the program and service in their quest for commercialization, any written business or other plans generated, and copies of invoices paid with the grant.

Cleveland added, "A business would only be eligible to receive the grant if it could demonstrate a viable opportunity, potential market acceptance, a well thought out product or service plan and potential for employment to increase the tax base."

"Our rate of productivity increase is tumbling," said CATA President John Reid. "In comparison with our largest global trading partner, each American worker outperforms a Canadian counterpart to an amount equal to a new car each year. Our inability to commercialize our research -- to turn our research into rewards -- is a big contributor to that gap. We need to adopt a total-war approach in building "Enterprise Canada" -- a nation obsessed with the goal of obtaining the rewards of creativity. The Creation of the Canadian Commercialization Fund is the first step."

Action Item::
CATA's recent paper on "Technology Commercialization and Wealth Creation" can be obtained by contacting cmalette@cata.ca CATA members only, please. For an overview of the industry's overall growth platform, refer to http://www.cata.ca/Media_and_Events/Press_Releases/cata_pr04140501.html

John Reid (johnreid@attglobal.net)
at 613-235-6550
or Peter Cleveland (CLEVP@emba.uottawa.ca)
at 613-613-564-3868