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The Talent Imperative in a Global Context policy brief sheds light on the changing face of the digital labour market in Canada and highlights the importance of enabling a strong talent supply to enable businesses to compete and grow in scale and scope. Canada’s Innovation Agenda will need to address the technology talent gap to better leverage the impending hyper-connected and smart economy enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT).
Inspiring Unfettered Innovation
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Canada’s place in an era of global digital trade
Introduction: Navigating the Digital Innovation Economy
In an environment of abundant and divergent policy advice of what should or should not be adopted as part of a robust digital innovation economy, having a clear understanding of the opportunities and unintended consequences will be vital in making timely and informed decisions.
Digital transformation continues to radically change the face of business in Canada and around the world. Spurred by strong business to business and business to consumers appetite, digital disruption is being felt in the banking, media, transportation, manufacturing, health, retail, and many other sectors. This reshaping of traditional markets is also challenging every aspect of incumbent firms in an increasingly global and competitive landscape.
This is evidenced by the advent of the sharing economy and other unfettered innovations that are increasingly being empowered by everyday entrepreneurs. The increased pervasiveness and impact of the Internet and hyper-connectivity on the global economy is also a subject of great interest of many governments around the world. Fostering open and inclusive Internet policy is seen as paving the way for economic and social well-being.
The accelerated wave of business transformation in Canada, however, comes against a backdrop of a sluggish global economy, and soft commodity prices. Despite a weaker Canadian dollar, Canada’s trade deficit has not seen significant improvements, resulting in only modest GDP growth for the last three quarters. Additionally, amidst the recent Brexit fallout in Europe and the looming presidential elections in the US, trade expansion may also prove to be challenging. Positioning Canada in a global market place will be key in the coming years.
Canada’s digital economy currently contributes around $74 billion per year or 5% of GDP, and employs around 1.15 million Canadians. As technology continues to permeate every sector of the economy, the cumulative contribution will be a strong driving force behind our nation’s economic growth and prosperity.
While the conditions that underpin an innovative digital economy are somewhat universal around the world, ICTC believes that economic innovation must be combined with social innovation to provide a true measure of prosperity.
ICTC will be exploring, over the course of this year, a range of key policy measures that contribute to a successful ecosystem of innovation, these will include: the talent imperative (entrepreneurial & workforce), advanced digital infrastructure and services at competitive pricing, open internet, Canadian skills in a digital world, strong fiscal and financial measures, access to international markets, vibrant R&D base, consumer trust and security online, as well as many others.
With the recent successful launch of the Innovation Agenda by the federal government, ICTC will seek to provide an understanding of how each part of the digital innovation ecosystem works and how different aspects contribute towards Canada’s standing in a global environment.
Keep your finger on the pulse of what Canada is doing to advance the digital economy agenda. ICTC will share key thought leadership, initiatives, events and developments in Canada’s quest to be an innovative, productive and competitive nation.