Laurent Carbonneau, Council of Canadian Innovators for Hashtag Trending, the Weekend Edition

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The conversation with Laurent Carbonneau from the Council of Canadian Innovators is based on the recent report,  explores the challenges of innovation and productivity in Canada’s digital economy, particularly in relation to government procurement. It highlights the need for a shift in mindset and approach to leverage government purchasing power to drive innovation and support Canadian businesses.

We discuss the broken state of procurement in Canada, the cultural issues surrounding risk aversion, and the need for a balanced approach to innovation policy.  Laurent presents six recommendations from the Council of Canadian Innovators’ report on procuring public sector innovation in Canada.

We explore the importance of innovative procurement in government and the need for improved procurement practices in Canada. Laurent highlights two key recommendations from the report: the need for a dedicated innovation procurement fund and the development of innovative procurement standards. The conversation also touches on the challenges faced by Canadian companies in selling their products and services to the government, the role of expertise and collaboration in improving procurement, and the impact of procurement on Canada’s economic growth and standard of living.

Download the report at this link.

Takeaways

  • Canada is not succeeding in the digital economy due to a productivity gap and a lack of innovation.
  • The current government procurement system is broken and needs to be leveraged to drive innovation and productivity.
  • The government has focused on the supply side of innovation, funding universities and even corporate programs. While these are good programs, government needs to focus on the demand side of innovation.
  • One suggestion is to follow what other nations have done and implement an SME procurement target for innovation.
  • There is a need to address problems with over-specification, risk aversion, and a lack of focus on innovation in the procurement process.
  • The Finnish model of procurement, which provides funding and expertise, can be a valuable approach for government departments and agencies to pursue innovative projects.
  • Innovative procurement standards can serve as a flexible and powerful system of governance, allowing governments to improve the quality of dollars spent and solve public problems more effectively.
  • There is a need for improved procurement practices in the Canadian healthcare system to drive innovation and address existing challenges.
  • Collaboration between government, business, and academia is crucial for successful innovation procurement and industrial strategy.
  • Spending public money well is essential for maintaining broad prosperity and the social values of a country.

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