The Institute for Advancing Prosperity has identified five key policy areas in Urban Planning, Education, Labour Policy, Innovative Industry, and Intellectual Property, that our team is best suited to address, though in the long-term, through talent-focused development, we aim to increase our policy remit to cover all areas of relevance for Canadians.
SR&ED, defined by the CRA as Scientific Research and Experimental Development, is a tax incentive program that enables Canadian corporations to increase the level of their technological development. The key to claiming SR&ED is the technological uncertainty: if your company is solving a technological problem in a systematic way that leads to a technological advancement, you are eligible to receive compensation for expenditures made on the R&D project: Wages, Sub-contractor fees, and material expenditures are all eligible for refunds. Any company that produces some product (Foods, parts, software, etc.) can be eligible for SR&ED, and most companies do not know about this tax credit because of poor communications in the government. The Institute for advancing prosperity has identified this grant as a high-value program for the government of Canada, Canadian corporations and Canadian citizens alike.
The IAP has a large network of research fellows, many of whom are from technical fields and hold degrees in higher education. We will assist any company in preparation of their SR&ED claim and maximize the returns that they will receive. Get in touch with us and we will help you assess what kind of technology you provide for the county, and what the government owes you.
Robotics clubs have been popping up all over Canada to provide students extracurricular access to technology education, but their profit margins remain low, given the costs of maintaining such a program, and the low relative sign up rates. We are working with local robotics clubs in the Greater Toronto Area to understand what is needed to entice students to join their programs, and what could help them scale more rapidly. Our organisation wants to expand access to technology education by cooperating with robotics clubs to run free workshops for students, and develop incentives for students to sign up. More widely, data literacy, and understanding of what technologies such as Artificial Intelligence are, and how they work, is essential for a well adjusted workforce. We aim to expand the existing robotics clubs infrastructure into a new STEAM curriculum that is well suited to preparing students for their future. Developing accreditation paths for online learning, and working with educational technology startups, such as those which are developing personalised learning services, are means by which we seek to achieve this longer term goal of student preparation. Through this we aim to work with local governments to encourage them to support new paths to learning the skills that will be needed in the future, and develop schemes to increase the innovativeness and efficacy of these approaches.
Many students leaving high school today are unaware of the practical translation of the education that they have received. This culture of academic study for 12 years with limited workplace experience lowers the drives of students to become entrepreneurs and business leaders. We aim to work with young entrepreneurs and local school boards to develop conferences and workshops to showcase not only the innovations made by young people, but the means by which young people can start their own companies. The aim of this project is to make entrepreneurship a feasible ambition for high school students, and provide them better guidance on the skills that they should value going forward. This will provide students with greater confidence and trust in their economic future, and foster a culture of innovation throughout Canada.
Rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Blockchain technology have led to fears about mass technological unemployment. While the transition to a more advanced society will be difficult, the benefits of innovation far outweigh the costs. The cultural discourse surrounding new technologies has born little resemblance to the academic research on the impacts of coming technologies, and the one’s, such as Big Data and the Platform Economy, which have already started to transform our lives. To develop the national conversation on the impacts of new technologies and how to best leverage their potential, we are working with data scientists and engineers who are developing these new technologies. By aiding them in the communication of their ideas, and identifying their potential societal impact, we are able to better inform the relevant parties of what is needed to take advantage of the opportunities they create with minimal side effects.
Innovations already brought out about the platform economy have changed the nature of work in the most significant way since the Second World War, and are looking to accelerate into new areas. Platformisation, the process by which industries are replaced by open market places, puts strain on current labour laws, which are not well-suited to understand this complex interaction between business and users. Labour policy must acknowledge these changing nature of contracts, and allow more flexibility in work arrangements in order to allow this trial-and-error innovation to be brought about. Aggregating our findings from all other policy areas, our research team aims to develop an action plan for provincial and federal governments to develop forward-thinking labour policies.
We believe that young and innovative companies lack a representative voice in the political scene, as they lack the means to organise as effectively as homogenous industry interests or large corporations. We aim to open a dialogue between startup founders, policy makers, and the public at large by working with young companies to understand their barriers to growth. In addition, many startups are developing ideas that, if adopted, would have profound implications for the economy and society, and need to be working with public engagement organisations to help disseminate information about their potential impact. Compiling data about which policies are currently harming innovation, and which potential policies could improve the Canadian landscape, would aid our research team in developing clear recommendations for the government at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels.
Canada’s oligopoly in telecommunications, with three major players: Rogers, Bell, and Telus, controlling over 90% of the wireless market domestically. Policies meant to constrain the power of large players have in fact enhanced their market power by adding barriers to entry for smaller firms to scale. The evidence supports that this has had a negative impact on innovation, since new technologies can only be adopted through the channels of the Big Three, and has increased costs— Canada has the most expensive internet in the OECD relative to internet speeds. Our research team aims to highlight the barriers to competition in Canadian telecoms, and work with smaller telecommunications firm to improve scale, thereby lowering costs and increasing the quality of service for all. Access to quality telecommunications is an essential feature of economic mobility, and without it, many will not be able to benefit from the advances that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring.
In order to encourage research and development of the next generation of transformative technologies, a strong intellectual property (IP) framework in which patent rights are adequately specified and enforced is necessary. Especially in key areas such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence, where the technical details of discovery are of high value, lacking a strong patent system results in reduced transparency and cooperation between industry. The more worried researchers and companies are of others copying their developments, the less they invest in future research, and the more effort they expend on maintaining secrecy of what they currently maintain. At the same time, a balancing act is necessary to ensure that patent laws are not so burdensome that competitors are unable to enter the market, and effectively grant monopolies to patent holders. This careful consideration of the economic impact of patents must be taken into account in law and in enforcement.