Innovation Index reinforces Ontario's position as innovation leader in Canada

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Innovation Index reinforces Ontario's position as innovation leader in Canada

TORONTO, Dec. 5 /CNW/ - Ontario is performing from a base of strength in its transition to a knowledge-based economy, according to the executive summary of the Ontario Innovation Index released today by the Ontario Science and Innovation Council (OSIC).
"This report shows that Ontario has a lot to offer the international marketplace - a high quality of life, appealing tax incentives, advanced technologies and a skilled workforce," said Associate Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation David Turnbull.
The report measures all aspects of the province's innovation system, from community awareness and support for science and technology, to levels of investment to support its infrastructure. It also looks at Ontario's incentives for commercialization and growth, innovative performance and innovation outcomes.
"The purpose of the index is to provide us with an ongoing portrait of Ontario's innovation environment," said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, chair, Ontario Science and Innovation Council. "This allows the province to compare itself to other jurisdictions that are also leaders in science and innovation. We hope this will be a useful tool for government, academia and the private sector to gauge Ontario's strengths and key areas for improvement."
The index shows that Ontario operates from a base of strength - through tax cuts, educational opportunities, investments in research and development, and a number of programs that help finance science and technology initiatives. The province can improve its performance in areas such as venture capital investments, shortages of qualified science teachers and information transfers from universities to the private sector and high technology exports.
OSIC was created in June 2000, with a mandate to provide government with strategic advice on science and technology policy, and how to make Ontario more competitive. The council's membership comprises individuals who are successful in developing and practising innovative ideas.
"Our government is working to help Ontario in its quest to be at the forefront of science and technology," said Turnbull.
On November 5, the province held its first international summit on innovation, Ontario's Innovation Challenge, Bright Ideas - Brighter Futures. The summit provided a forum for the province's industry clusters to learn best practices from Ontario leaders in innovation and experts from around the world. The challenges Ontario faces in the knowledge economy were also addressed by the release of the report of the Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress by Roger Martin, chair of the task force and dean of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.
The task force measured Ontario's performance in comparison to other provinces and U.S. states, and made recommendations in some key areas. It is an independent group designed to benchmark and measure Ontario's economic performance.
Both the Ontario Innovation Index executive summary and the task force report are available on the Ministry of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation's Web site at www.ontario-canada.com.

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For more information visit www.ontario-canada.com
For further information: Stephanie Lu, Associate Minister's Office, (416) 325-1244