Allow me a sound-bite response to Barrie McKenna’s recent piece in the Globe and Mail titled “Ottawa needs to put innovation high on its resolutions list”:
Canada has embarrassingly low R&D spending because it’s a resource-based, branch-plant economy. Resource-based companies have little incentive to value-add to their exports, and companies that open branches here do most of their R&D in their home jurisdictions – mostly the US.
Thing is, Canada has too few large companies – let alone multinationals – headquartered here, and those that exist are in more conservative sectors where R&D spending is deprioritized. Make it easier to create and grow large companies in Canada and you’ll fix the innovation problem.