Welcome to the inaugural edition of Canadian Innovation News, your window into the best of Canadian innovation. Our mission is to connect the world to Canadian innovators and to foster collaboration in the development of cutting-edge innovations and competitive solutions that enrich the future for all of us.
Canada is a large country geographically. We’re three times the size of India, a little bigger than China, almost the same size of all of Europe, more than half the size of South America and about one third the landmass of Africa. Yet by population, at about 35 million strong, we’re a small country. In order to connect and service citizens from disparate cultures and geographies, Canadians have had to innovate.
The 19th century saw the construction of railways, including the transcontinental railway built in the 1880s. The first successful braking system was developed in Canada, as was the rotary snowplough that made possible safe, reliable train travel in Canadian winters. One of the chief architects of the global system of time zones was
Sir Francis Fleming, a Canadian. Throughout the 20th century, Canada was a leader in the field of satellite communications, being the first country to establish its own communications system using a geostationary satellite (Anik).
The list goes on: from the discovery of insulin and the mapping of the brain’s visual cortex to the development of computerized weather forecasting systems and the discovery of stem cells.
This issue shines a spotlight on the research and innovation taking place in the eastern reaches of our vast country – Atlantic Canada. In emerging fields such as ocean science and technology, smart cities and cybersecurity, this region is working with partners across Canada—and globally—to build the critical mass of talent and infrastructure needed to tackle complex challenges. The Ocean Frontier Institute, for example, is working with 19 industry partners and eight international collaborators, including four of the top five global ocean institutes.
If we are to find viable and sustainable solutions to the world’s social and economic challenges,collaboration and cooperation among experts and stakeholders from different disciplines, industries, geographies and cultures is essential. Atlantic Canada has developed a unique approach to innovation, turning cooperation into a competitive advantage. Springboard Atlantic, a virtual technology transfer office for 19 universities and colleges in the region, matches the expertise in academia with the needs of industry and government. Together, they have built a dynamic, flexible and entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem.
You will see the same spirit of collaboration for competitive advantage throughout the stories you read in this issue. Cooperation and creativity are hallmarks of Canada’s approach to innovation. I invite you to explore the following pages and connect with the innovators developing the solutions for tomorrow.