Technology
May 7, 2012

Supporting a knowledge economy

CGE Vol.14 No.1 January 2008

Richard Dicerni is deputy minister, Industry Canada. He spoke with editor-in-chief Paul Crookall.

Canada’s science and technology strategy, released last spring, is intended to build an entrepreneurial advantage, a knowledge advantage and a people advantage. More specifically we are:

  • Focusing on excellence: We want to emphasize that we should be stretching ourselves to be the best in the rest of the world and that we can do this by constantly dialing up our game on excellence.
  • Establishing priorities: A key way to get there is to identify areas of focus, such as the environment, energy, health, and ICTs and develop these areas further.
  • Fostering partnerships: There is a need to continue expanding the bridges that exist among universities, governments and the private sector. We do not have the monopoly on wisdom; moreover a lot of the initiatives come from a higher degree of synergy of these players.
  • Enhancing accountability: It is also important that there be more focus on results and enhanced accountability. The UK has taken many steps in this direction that are worthy of analysis.
  • Improving commercialization: All governments in Canada, and across the OECD countries more generally, are focusing on improving linkages between research activities and the marketplace. We need to do more in this area.

One of the questions that we are looking into is why Canada’s private sector contributes, relatively speaking, less than the private sectors of other OECD countries to the overall R&D effort in the country. We have therefore asked the Council of Canadian Academies to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the issue.

Another initiative we have taken in this regard is to involve the private sector directly in identifying future centres of excellence in commercialization and research. The government asked Perrin Beatty, currently president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and formerly president of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, to chair the Private Sector Advisory Board to review and advise on the applications for new centers.

Some say that Government doesn’t do enough purchasing from small and medium enterprises, particularly ones that are on the leading edge, and that such procurement would support commercialization.

 

This is an interesting and complex issue that has surfaced in most of the roundtables we have had across the country on the S&T strategy. While there can be benefits by directing purchases to small and medium-sized enterprises, one cannot ignore the principle of value for money; as the chief accounting officer in the department, I am quite sensitive to this factor. Having said that, it is an issue that would benefit from further exploration and we will be seeking views from interested parties on this matter.

Is one problem because we do not see ourselves as able to commercialize?

I don’t accept that hypothesis, because if that were the case, I, along with millions of other people worldwide, would not be using Blackberries; when I fly to Toronto, I wouldn’t be flying on a Bombardier CRJ. If you look at innovation, if you look at new products and processes, you’ll find many Canadians and Canadian companies. I believe we need to continue fostering partnerships and greater synergies between the research communities and the private and public sectors.

Unlike service agencies that deal with individual clients, one at a time, your mandate is society-wide, dealing with large organizations. How do you integrate government goals and private sector goals?

Canadians want Canada to be as prosperous as possible and for its firms to be as competitive as possible in a globalized economic environment. Over the last 10-15 years, the role of the state has significantly evolved. In the same context, the role and mission of Industry Canada has also evolved. Our focus has shifted from specific programs by sector to the enablers of success in the global knowledge-based economy – world-class research and training in Canadian universities, marketplace framework policies that promote innovation and competition, and policies and programs that enable businesses to innovate and grow.

Those are the three components of Industry Canada’s mandate that act to support Canada’s economic prosperity: foundational investments in universities, science and technology to create new knowledge and equip Canadians with the skills and training required to compete in the global knowledge-based economy, ensuring that we develop and administer in the optimum way economic framework policies, and that we anchor and support business innovation and productivity – because businesses are the organizations that create wealth, and generate jobs. These objectives converge towards the same end: to meet societal needs and to improve the wealth, wellness and wellbeing of Canadians.

The Minister recently said that a new Foreign Investment Review Agency was not on the agenda.

I would like to make three points on this very important matter. First, Canada seeks out and welcomes foreign direct investments (FDI). Most studies including a recent one by Statistics Canada confirm the benefits of FDI. Second, the minister has emphasized that the government has no intentions of reintroducing a foreign investment review agency. Third, the minister recently issued guidelines that will be used when reviewing potential future investments by state-owned enterprises. He noted that the review process under the Investment Canada Act in those cases would pay particular attention to matters such as governance transparency and commercial practices of the potential investor.

Managing Industry Canada, with its many mandates, must be very challenging?

Industry Canada is multi-faceted and complex department especially when one considers its diverse portfolio of agencies and councils. There is, however, one shared overarching objective – to enhance Canada’s prosperity for the benefit of all Canadians by:

  • supporting and enhancing the knowledge economy;
  • developing the optimal framework policies and administering them efficiently and effectively; and,
  • providing policy and program support where appropriate to businesses.

These three strategic thrusts also provide an integrative framework for the department and it’s portfolio.

Looking at 2008, what are your major challenges?

At Industry Canada we need to enhance the connections with the external community, to be in regular contact with industry and universities across the country, to maintain a dialogue with individuals from Bay Street to the OECD. Transformative change is occurring at a very fast pace across the country and around the world. Our capacity to continue to provide sound policy advice is dependent in part on our capacity to improve our outreach. It is also dependent on our capacity to retain and recruit talented, creative and dedicated employees. This means focusing more time on human resources management.

Some observers have commented that you would make a good private sector CEO.

There are a number of similarities between the required skill set of a CEO and of a DM. These include having a strategic vision for the organization, a focus on talent management especially on senior management, a sense of urgency, a capacity to read the broader external environment and

About this author

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

Technology
 
In the private sector, the cloud is now the new normal...
 
Governments around the world are increasingly relying on cloud-based IT services...
 
For a few years now, there’s been a throwaway metaphor bounced...
 
In late March the ONS detailed the occupations in the UK...
 
Very soon, two of the world’s largest privately-held companies will go...
 
In this episode, J. Richard Jones talks with Jason Hermitage, Vice...
 
As the labour market shifts from full-time work toward short-term and...
 
In the past 18 months or so, new governments have taken...
 
Disruption, for the most part, always used to be seen as...
 
Could robot doctors be on the horizon? A study published February...
 
February 20, 2019, Aurora, ON – Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE)...
 
According to a 2018 study led by Dr. Michael McGuire, Senior...
 
When Mark Zuckerberg checked out of Harvard for California’s Silicon Valley,...
 
People already know the world is digital and that the best...
 
While most of my focus here is on IT and digitization...
 
When data.gov launched in May of 2009, the site seemed to...
 
We have been hearing quite a lot about superclusters. The Government...
 
My observation is people often take the view, “no one else...
 
Canadian Government Executive is pleased to announce its latest podcast –...
 
It is time to reboot democracy. This year, the French constitution,...
 
One of the benefits of living in a federation is that...
 
Urban officials dream of a future of “smart cities” that use...
 
On October 17, Fujitsu Canada, Inc. announced the ScanSnap iX1500, a...
 
We risk missing out on the potential “Artificial Intelligence” has to...
 
Tornado warnings broadcast a few weeks ago in Eastern Ontario and...
 
Artificial Intelligence is creating a great stir across many industries today....
 
A decade ago as a Presidential candidate, then-Senator Obama was asked...
 
The well-publicized scrap between Canada’s Auditor General and the Clerk of...
 
Cloud technology is a game changer! Successful implementation in both the...
 
Automated software applications (“bots”) have been weaponized to unduly sway public...
 
Governments everywhere are announcing new strategies for artificial intelligence. From France, which has...
 
Risk management is top-of-mind for many organizations and executives. It seems...
 
Digital government transformation is a massive opportunity. Advanced technologies allow governments...
 
As governments have sought to go digital, one of the most...
 
In July 2017, a local company unveiled a “virtual statue” on...
 
Talk of robots in the labour market usually focuses on their...
 
I was hosting a meeting recently when I received an urgent...
 
Cultivating more intelligent government has long been a hallmark of public...
 
Most articles you’ll read within the pages of Canadian Government Executive...
 
We are excited to share with you the latest issue of...
 
Federal efforts to increase the use of data to inform and...
 
Almost every day, I read about a new driverless car or...
 
Transforming the way services are provided by governments to match the...
 
Earlier this year the Canadian government took a crucial step by...
 
Emerging technologies are getting faster and smarter. Cognitive capabilities, robotics and...
 
For over two days at the end of January this year,...
 
Today, many connect with their banks, private companies, and friends in...
 
Canadian Government Executive is honoured to have Michael Wernick, Clerk of...
 
The adoption of new technologies provides many opportunities, poses unique challenges...
 
Does your organization have a very narrow view of what digital...
 
With businesses and government agencies increasingly operating in a highly information-based...
 
Blockchain. There’s probably no other technology trend in recent years that...
 
Over the last two years, an ever-growing number of organizations around...
 
Canadian Government Executive is excited to announce the agenda for TechGov...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE) is pleased to announce its first batch...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE) is pleased to welcome Microsoft as its Platinum Sponsor for...
 
What would it mean for tax professionals to boost their tax...
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones is joined...
 
In this episode, J. Richard Jones talks about the appointment of...
 
In the wake of the WannaCry outbreak, corporate executives, IT professionals,...
 
The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA Alliance) is Canada’s One Voice...
 
Cybersecurity professionals have sounded the alarm for years, and they are...
 
CBC deserves full credit for exposing the presence of IMSI catchers...
 
Over the decades, technology has been grafted into governments around the...
 
Criminals have reportedly threatened to take over 250 million Apple accounts...
 
Risk is always present in any undertaking, no matter the size...
 
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with its 28 independent member countries...
 
Cost overruns have become institutionalized in the federal government, according to...
 
The latest issue of Canadian Government Executive is currently available. Some...
 
Bill Gates once said that “Technology is just a tool. In...
 
The last few months have showed a complex and potentially ominous...
 
While the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump is being buffeted...
 
When Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message”...
 
After shifting its focus away from manufacturing smartphones, BlackBerry  announced yesterday that...
 
As we draw closer to the end of 2016, Google, the...
 
The owner of Ottawa’s The Joy of Gluten Free bakery is not...
 
What would tomorrow’s cybersecurity look like? That’s an intriguing question to...
 
Cyber-attacks threaten Canadian individuals and companies every minute of every hour....
 
David Graham, Member of Parliament for Laurentides–Labelle, is on a mission...
 
Even as talks between the government and federal workers affected problems...
 
At last the the nostalgic fun of the CNE decends upon...
 
Just as the federal government has begun consultations on cyber security,...
 
Canadian healthcare organizations and businesses in the financial industry are the...
 
July 27 was pay day some federal public workers that finally...
 
The Phoenix payroll systems long-running technical glitches which have plagued public...
 
IBM Cloud is the first cloud provider to use Intel TXT...
 
The local electric vehicle industry just got a boost from Ontario...
 
The IBM cloud is introducing a new feature to securely backup...
 
Deploying and managing data centers is not just complicated – it’s...
 
The latest report from The Conference Board of Canada comes bearing...
 
Many technology industry and healthcare insiders believe cloud technology focused on...
 
There’s a fine line between confidence and naivety – a line...
 
In a little more than a year, Canadian banks and lending...
 
Digitizing certain aspects of the hiring process appeals to both employers...
 
The challenge is clear: a fast-paced industry pressures organizations to simultaneously...
 
Computer software company Adobe, has migrated more than 11 million pages...
 
In this episode we will explore new opportunities that have surfaced...
 
The agency responsible for safeguarding the Pentagon and several other buildings...
 
Companies and governments continue to bemoan Shadow IT. Many respond by...
 
By Jason Zhang  The best way to cost effectively manage the retention...
 
Government agencies, international businesses, as well as, European organizations that comply...
 
LAS VEGAS – Global cloud provider E MC Corp. , has launched a...
 
Some public servants will have to request their departments for emergency...
 
Copyright owners have struggled to protect their intellectual property since the...
 
Here’s some bad news for organizations contemplating projects that have something...
 
The adoption last year by the Canada Border Services Agency of...
 
A research project at that explores the design and feasibility of...
 
Two years ago, Bixi, a not-for-profit, para-municipal bicycle-share firm of the...
 
In January, the BBC and BuzzFeed jointly released an exposé on...
 
Years and years ago when I was unemployed, being able to...
 
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today begins a public...
 
Associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the king of Saudi Arabia,...
 
If the government intends to push economy-boosting measures, Canadian business leaders...
 
The Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Lab is...
 
IT organizations, especially those in healthcare facilities and government institutions that...
 
It appears it was not just the Mounties that were affected...
 
Shared Services Canada appears to be in trouble again – this...
 
The Ontario government and telecom gear maker Huawei Canada yesterday announced...
 
Over the last decade we have seen many changes in the...
 
As the battle between the FBI and Apple continues to escalate,...
 
Faced with plummeting crude oil prices and the worldwide move to...
 
While Dwight D. Eisenhower’s famous remark that “Plans are nothing, planning...
 
The idea of converged infrastructure and converged systems in the datacentre...
 
With the inexorable expansion of internet, and the advent of highly...
 
“I don’t think that backdoors into encryption is going to increase...
 
Do you think you are paying too much for your cellular...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE) is excited to announce that the...
 
The CEO of Google Sundar Pichai has come out in support...
 
A new study released yesterday, Securing the C-Suite, Cybersecurity Perspectives from...
 
Application, operating system, and device logs contain essential security information, but...
 
More than 3,000 lawyers working for the Department of Justice Canada received over $50 million...
 
As Canadians prepare to fill up their tax forms this year...
 
OMX , known for disrupting supply chain management primarily in the defence...
 
Open source was established around the ethos of sharing and collaboration....
 
VMware is zeroing in on DevOps and day-to-day concerns of IT...
 
One of Canada’s largest telecom players and a global tech giant...
 
The bloodletting at once-mighty Canadian mobile tech giant, BlackBerry continues as...
 
Earlier this week, OpenText introduced its Election Tracker ’16 . The Web-based tool allows election...
 
The latest Auditor General’s report on Shared Services Canada (SSC) and...
 
It was a sad day for taxi operators in Edmonton Wednesday...
 
Uber Canada is prepared to work under city regulations, however, current...
 
In December last year, a privately owned aerial drone crashed into...
 
Many women entrepreneurs in Canada struggle to access capital, technology, networks...
 
Yesterday, Ontario Supreme Court Justice John Sproat ruled that the Peel...
 
Microsoft, on Tuesday, ended support for older versions of Internet Explorer...
 
By: Patrice Dutil The MindLab meets every expectation you might have...
 
As the adoption rate of big data technologies among Canadian companies...
 
By Gregory Richards A recent study by McKinsey Global Institute suggests...
 
Written by Jason McNaught It took approximately 18 years for carbon...
 
The good news is that the Government of Canada recognizes the...
 
Tip #1: Combining government departments and changing them into “themes” wouldn’t...
 
Last week Alexandra Sweny wrote about the MTLWiFi project [http://itincanadaonline.ca/index.php/mobility/1240-when-you-re-downtown], an...
 
When you haven’t built warships in decades and must wrestle with...
 
It’s time to sound the alert about the rise of robots....
 
Westminster governments are interesting because so much of what happens in...
 
It all started when I observed some managers using a calculator...
 
By the end of July 2013, the Canadian government aims to...
 
Have you ever asked if you’re in the right job or...
 
Computing is now no longer done primarily on computers.Technology now floats...
 
Budget cuts to safety services undermine value for cost in the...
 
Memes exemplify how internet silliness leads to doubt about its advantages...
 
When confronted with concerns about technology, do you ever dismiss these...
 
Open data and Canada’s technological future were the topics of Minister...
 
commentEmail””:””ceo@work911.com”” Related posts: The digital bypass
 
The greatest strength of web 2.0 is its user accessibility, but...
 
Technology, and specifically open data, may be the most promising lead...
 
Gone are the days when managing a data centre meant focusing...
 
During the month of October tens of millions of viewers will...
 
For Egyptians and Mexicans, this past summer showcased the imperfections of...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.5 May 2007 Hollywood’s version of the "IT guy"...
 
CGE Vol.14 No.1 January 2008 In an effort to be lean...
 
CGE Vol.14 No.1 January 2008 Richard Dicerni is deputy minister, Industry...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.6 June 2007 Ken Cochrane was on the stump...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.4 April 2007 There are, in the specialized world...
 
Ontario’s innovative Traveller’s Road Information Portal – known as TRIP –...
 
This is old news, but still relevant, because government still isn’t...
 
La récente campagne électorale américaine nous a permis d’assister à une...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.7 September 2007 It’s been 20 years since we...
 
Quote of the week “At the Queensland Police Service, we will...
 
Quote of the week “It’s hard to know exactly where we...
 
“I wanted freedom and fulfillment for everyone in the (Edmonton) IT...
 
Quote of the week “Networking is not about hunting. It is...
 
Ottawa – A leading Internet authority is joining the call for...
 
Les récentes constatations d’un poids lourd de la recherche, la société...
 
The evangels of e-government can’t be pleased with some recent findings...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.7 September 2007 Most likely, you’ve been wondering about...
 
A combination of new technology and new processes is changing the...
 
If 2012 marks the surpassing of compact disks by digital music,...
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
In the private sector, the cloud is now the new normal...