We hear the word “innovation” regularly in discussions about the role of universities, and in particular in Canada where there is said to be an “innovation gap” in the economy. Building on a previous piece, in this blog post I raise the rivalry between Edison and Tesla, since those two figures are oft-cited in the discussion of how scientific advances happen and how they’re turned into commercial success. What is the key to “discovery”, and how can we best facilitate it? Can we move beyond these categories (invention, innovation) and find a more helpful way of thinking about how knowledge becomes “economised” in this way (turned into marketable objects)?
This post takes a look at the report produced by a government panel led by Tom Jenkins, placing the report in the context of decades of Canadian government policy and critiques about “lack of innovation” and the low level of research done by Canadian industry.