By Av Utukuri
Being heavily involved in innovation and commercialisation, earlier this year I had a study commissioned through Leger and Leger to try to clearly understand what Canadians really feel about their place in the history of great innovation, and what they think are the greatest challenges facing Canadian innovation in the 21st Century.
Data collection for this study was conducted between March 4th and March 8th, 2009 and the survey was conducted using a national random sample of 1,508 people.
The results were interesting, if not entirely unsurprising – to me at least.
The study showed that 76% of Canadians believe their nation’s people to be innovative, with 19% saying they are very innovative. Sadly, young Canadians ages 18 to 34 are less likely than those 35 to 64 to see Canadians as being very innovative (13% vs. 22%).
The study also showed that, when it comes to marketing new product ideas, many people claimed that direction is their biggest challenge; they indicated that they simply wouldn’t know where to start. For other inventors, those who have considered marketing their ideas, finding the financial resources is, they said, the most challenging thing of all.
It turns out that 59% of Canadians claim to have had product ideas and 14% have actually considered marketing their ideas at some time.
So all-in-all we seem to be a pretty innovative lot, but knowing where to turn for help and, particularly, being able to secure funds to move an idea forward, seem to be the major obstacles faced by Canadian innovators, which has always been my view of the landscape.
The full survey results can be found at: http://www.nytric.com/pdf/innovation_study.pdf
Av Utukuri is a graduate from University of Toronto’s Engineering Science program, specializing in Electrical Engineering. For the past 12 years, he has researched, developed, and commercialized many products in diverse industries. Av is presently the lead judge and lead sponsor (through Nytric) in Canadian Business Magazine’s Great Canadian Inventor competition.