SFU hosts dialogues on the future of innovation in Canada

Cultivating innovation across Canada will take the collective input of experts and the general public alike. With that in mind, all ideas were on the table as SFU hosted a pair of events last week, focused on developing a national innovation strategy.

Key stakeholders took part in the discussion at a private meeting on September 8, followed by a public forum on Canada’s Innovation Agenda, convened by SFU Innovates, SFU Public Square and Sarah Lubik, SFU’s Director of Entrepreneurship. Lubik is one of 10 Innovation Leaders working to promote the agenda and bring stakeholders together across the country.

Similar events are also happening in other Canadian cities. In Vancouver, the private roundtable events were held at VentureLabs® at Harbour Centre, while the public event in the evening at the Centre for Dialogue drew a capacity crowd. BC Tech Association, Futurpreneur Canada and Tech Vancouver were among event supporters.

The private event drew diverse expertise and views from thought leaders in social innovation, First Nations, education and entrepreneurship as they discussed how Canada can achieve its potential to create economic and social value through innovation. The public event sparked lively discussion on the value of growing innovation and how to get involved.

“Innovation is not something the government does alone; it takes the entire country, universities, businesses and the community to work together toward a shared vision, preferably an ambitious one,” says Lubik.

“By creating and supporting an entrepreneurial, creative and socially innovative culture in our society, we have the opportunity to set the country on a firm path towards long-term economic growth, a higher quality of life for everyone and a substantial positive impact in the world.”


sara lubik_8

The Government of Canada’s inclusive Innovation Agenda was announced in June by a coalition of federal ministries, including Innovation, Science and Economic Development; Science; and Small Business and Tourism. Its goal is to build Canada as a global centre for innovation.

The initiative is seeking input from people across the country on how Canadians can take action in several key areas:

  • Building an entrepreneurial and creative society;
  • Advancing global science excellence and world-leading partnerships;
  • Growing companies and accelerating clean growth;
  • Competing in a digital world; and
  • Easing how we do business.

“Canada needs a bold, coordinated strategy on innovation that delivers results for all Canadians,” says the Hon. Navdeep Bains, Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “We need to move forward with fresh ideas and a joint action plan that will make innovation a national priority and put Canada on a firm path to long-term economic growth.”

The public is encouraged to engage in the national discussion and development of the Innovation Agenda. Ideas and feedback can be shared on the initiative’s interactive website: canada.ca/innovation