This is a joint project between the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) and the Innovation Policy Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy.
Why we’re doing this project
Innovation is a core ingredient in the prosperity and well-being of a community. New or improved services, products, and processes––and the business and social benefits they generate––shape economic performance, as well as individual and community well-being. As many reports and scorecards have revealed, however, Canada’s innovation performance is lacklustre when compared to our international peers. Improving Canada’s innovation performance requires a clear understanding of the various opportunities, capacities, activities, and structural conditions that comprise the innovation ecosystem.
At the same time, economists and policymakers are realizing that a focus on innovation and economic growth alone can create large disparities between various demographics and income levels. In fact, there is increasing evidence that inequality of opportunity and resources “obstructs, subverts, and distorts” innovation and growth by preventing the development and effective use of skills, knowledge and creativity. While innovation can generate substantial economic and social benefits––often those benefits are captured by a select few rather than more equitably distributed among groups and regions. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis have highlighted and exacerbated these disparities, giving us both the opportunity and the obligation to enhance equity in economic participation and distribution. This is needed both to foster a more inclusive and equitable economy and to improve innovation performance itself.