Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Sub-program 1.1.3: Innovation Capacity Building

Description

Innovation Capacity Building strengthens the innovation system in the West by supporting efforts of research and not-for-profit institutions to commercialize knowledge-based products, processes and services. It also supports relevant skills training for highly qualified personnel. Transfer payments in support of this sub-program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program.

 

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Actual Spending
2014-15
Difference
(actual minus planned)
11,440,941 22,869,242 11,428,301

Note: Actual spending is higher than planned primarily due to more project approvals than anticipated under this sub-program following comparative analysis of all proposals received.

 

Human Resources (FTEs)
2014–15
Planned
2014–15
Actual
2014–15
Difference
(actual minus planned)
9 9 0

 

Performance Results
Expected Result Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Initial Technology Development - basic technological components are integrated for testing and validation in a simulated (laboratory) environment Value of applied research and development undertaken up to three years after the funding period $10 million $2.9 million
Intermediate Technology Development - prototypes are ready for demonstration in an operational setting Number of prototypes ready for demonstration in operational environment 70 1,874
Highly Qualified People (HQP) - create a pool of HQP to support the commercialization of knowledge-based products, processes and services Number of HQP trained 500 396

 

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

WD tracks three indicators to capture the impact of the Innovation Capacity Building sub-program: value of applied research and development undertaken up to three years after the funding period; number of prototypes ready for demonstration in operational environment; and number of HQP trained.

WD exceeded its target for one of the three performance indicators related to the Innovation Capacity Building sub-program (see Performance Results table above). The result for the value of applied research and development undertaken was below target owing to a number of projects that were still completing installation of the requisite equipment at the end of the reporting period. These projects are expected to deliver results in line with targets in subsequent reporting periods. The result for number of prototypes ready for demonstration substantially exceeded the target because of a number of recipients leveraging WD's investments to attract additional partners, which allowed for an expanded scope of services. The result for number of HQP trained was slightly below target because WD's projects tend to be multi-year in nature and results are sometimes realised or reported later than anticipated.

In addition to funding projects supporting Innovation Capacity Building, WD also convened events and spearheaded initiatives that brought together key western stakeholders from industry, post-secondary institutions, major research facilities and government to discuss innovation policy, strengthen the innovation marketplace and support commercial opportunities. Examples of such initiatives include an Energy Innovation Roundtable in Calgary in conjunction with Natural Resources Canada, and regular and ad-hoc meetings with the National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program, the BC Innovation Council, Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, Innovation Saskatchewan, Canadian Lightsource, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation, the major western universities, western provincial ministries, and other federal departments with mandates to support innovation, among others.