By Namir Anani, president and CEO, ICTC

A nation’s capacity to innovate is a fundamental driver for economic growth and social prosperity. Turning a novel idea into commercial or social value is what enables new businesses to emerge, communities to thrive, and economies to sustain a competitive advantage. It is also key for enhancing the standard of living and wellbeing of a nation, a position that Canada has favorably enjoyed for many years as one of the world’s best countries to live and do business in.

Today, the digitization of the economy and society is the primary focus of our time. Digital technologies are now integral to any high-performing innovation driven economy. The world however faces changing economic outlooks amidst shifting social, trade, and environmental prospects. Productivity measures alone cannot guarantee success in this global economy, and the need to innovate, start new businesses, grow companies, and create meaningful employment prospects remain vital for any nation. The Government of Canada has recently embarked on an important innovation agenda with the emphasis on creating a nation of innovators where digital technology is the fundamental premise.

Gauging Canada’s progress in its digital innovation journey on yearly basis will be key for identifying any future policy and program interventions for all stakeholders including policymakers, educators, industry, and investors. While there are many internationally acknowledged benchmarks for evaluating the innovation potential of a nation such as R&D expenditure, venture capital investments, talent and education, and many others, ICTC will be looking at constructing a relevant and comprehensive digital innovation measure that reflects Canada’s goals of enabling an inclusive and globally competitive economy.

Over the next several months, ICTC will be producing white papers and consulting on the specific parameters that go into building this national digital innovation indicator. This will be guided by four key factors: Innovative Climate Index, Innovative Capacity Index; Innovation Outcomes/Impact Index; Innovation Confidence Index.

As Canada continues to heighten its digital advantage on the world stage, there’s a compelling need to measure our progress relevant to our ambitions of enabling an inclusive and globally competitive leader in the digital economy.

ICTC President and CEO, Namir Anani