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Sharpening Canada's Skills Advantage

Understanding the skills needed for innovation

Shift Insights in partnership with Mitacs, the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy released the first report in the Skills for Innovation series, entitled Sharpening Canada’s Skills Advantage. For this report we took a unique approach to understand skills for innovation. The innovation literature has long recognized that there are different kinds of innovations, and different stages of innovation. However, the skills literature continues to focus on catch-all skills that all companies need to innovate. Recognizing that we need more granular insights to truly understand and address the kinds of skills needed to innovate, we developed a novel survey approach leveraging Mitacs' existing survey infrastructure which consistently taps into some of Canada's leading innovators through their Elevate and Accelerate programs. Using the results of our survey we seek to understand the specific skills that we need to develop in order to address this gap and complete the full suite of activities and tasks that comprise the continuum of innovation. This and future reports in the Skills for Innovation Series will generate insights to help educators, businesses, students, workers, and others build better strategies for developing recruiting and harnessing talent for innovation success.

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