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The global economic recovery hangs in the balance. Although Canada has so far fared better than others, sustained economic growth in the long term requires a commitment to constructing an innovation pipeline that brings the best ideas and products to market, quickly and effectively. Investing in basic research and the people who do it is crucial to ensuring a steady supply of ideas for the innovation pipeline, and Canada has been improving in this regard. However we continue to struggle to translate ideas into effective solutions and products that create wealth and jobs. In effect, there are leaks in the innovation pipeline that prevent the best ideas from realizing their full economic potential.

This brief presents three ideas for mending the Canadian innovation pipeline. The government can stimulate innovation and shorten the time required for the best ideas and products to get to market through co-localization of education, research and business organizations in innovation clusters, provide jobs and incentivize innovation by rewarding Canadian businesses for hiring highly qualified Canadian graduates, and catalyze productivity by making data, especially that generated through publically funded research, freely available online. These actions are essential for building the knowledge economy on which Canada’s future economic growth depends.

The Partnership Group recommends that the Government:
• Promote the creation of innovation clusters to catalyze the generation and transfer of knowledge between the public and private sectors;
• That the Government implement incentives for businesses to hire Canadian advanced research graduates and reduce the level of tax credits for research and experimental development;
• That the Government develop a national policy on data accessibility and management that contains a commitment to long-term access and protects intellectual property.