About this Report
In Canada, a rising share of economic growth and prosperity is being driven by intangible assets and investments, such as data, digital services, brands, design, marketing, and firm-specific training—and a declining share by tangible assets, such as buildings, machinery, equipment, and product inventories.
Firms and countries investing in intangibles are experiencing faster growth and substantial productivity improvements—a critical development at a time when long-term prospects for growth are stagnating and one that Canada cannot afford to miss. Although intangibles are on the rise in Canada, we lag many peer countries on the pace and scale of our intangible shift. Canadian businesses in all sectors would benefit from greater investment in a variety of intangibles, but too few are seizing the opportunities.
This foundational report provides an introduction to intangibles, including their significance and the issues they raise, for policymakers, business leaders, and other stakeholders. It also launches our Intangible Shift research series, which will examine, in detail, key challenges and opportunities associated with the shift towards an intangible economy. Our aim is to provide decision makers across Canada’s public and private sectors with clarity on how the rules of the economy are changing and to identify key policy and business strategy changes that can help position Canada for success.
Those who understand the new economics of intangibles will be better positioned to design effective policies and business strategies. Canada’s future competitiveness, and the well-being of individuals and communities, depends critically on how well businesses and policymakers manage the intangible shift.
Read this report to help you:
- Understand what the intangible economy is and what makes it unique
- Learn about the size of Canada’s intangible economy, how investments in intangibles contribute to economic growth, and how this has changed over time
- Identify key areas of strength and weakness in Canada’s intangible economy
- Identify key policy areas that require further insight and action