CIPA announces 2006 awards finalists

A surge of innovation is transforming Canadian business and society as organizations achieve leadership in their sectors, seemingly overnight, by applying IT in ways the world has not seen before.

The Canadian Information Productivity Awards (CIPA) has announced the strongest group of award finalists in its 14-year history, revealing advances in productivity and efficiency across Canada’s economy.

Among the record 65 finalists are organizations that have applied information technology to: achieve a leap forward in airport security; respond to health care emergencies such as the SARS crisis; transform the delivery of university courses and educational administration; change the business model for supplying goods and services in the construction industry; protect corporate information from disaster and make it easy to find and analyze; create educational games to teach children and their parents about Internet safety; make Canadian heritage items more visible to the world; revolutionize processes in the dry-cleaning industry to ignite productivity; improve efficiency in the financial services industry by eliminating millions of printed pages each month.

“Canada is a growing hub for innovation,” said CIPA president and CEO Norm Kirkpatrick. “These entries reveal a textbook of information on how the adoption of IT technologies and strategies leads to much stronger, globally competitive organizations in both the private and public sectors.”

Doug McCuaig, senior vice-president and GM, Greater Toronto Area and Atlantic Canada for CGI, managing sponsor of CIPA, urged Canadian senior executives to take note of the solutions to be revealed at the Gala Banquet and emulate the management strategies that created them.

“In this competitive global environment, Canadian organizations need to focus on building innovation and increasing productivity,” McCuaig said. “Becoming a CIPA finalist is a demonstration of what can be done with vision and determination.”

McCuaig noted that Canadian business must be aware of the dangers of losing ground in areas critical for international competitiveness.

The Conference Board of Canada stated in its latest Performance and Potential report that Canadian economic performance fell to 12th place among industrial countries in 2005 from third place just two years previously, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has pegged Canada’s productivity growth at 18th among 24 countries.

“We must celebrate the achievements of those organizations that contradict these findings so that we can inspire others to emulate their performance,” McCuaig said. “This will contribute to building a culture of innovation and competitiveness in Canada that will ensure our continued economic prosperity.”

CIPA will announce its selection of 2006 award winners from among the finalists at the CIPA Gala Banquet on Nov. 1.