Innovation is at the centre of the current economic policy discourse in Canada. Innovation drives productivity and with it, standards of living. Innovation is the process of using ideas, typically in the form of intellectual property (IP), to offer new or improved products or services for the same or lower overall cost of production. This collection of essays, which were first published online in the spring of 2017, marshalls new thinking on innovation, and brings together a community of scholars and practitioners who offer fresh approaches to innovation in Canada, and Canada’s place in the world. The essays discuss the role that international trade plays in stimulating innovation, including the nature of trade agreements; consider domestic policy on innovation; and examine how global processes such as the World Trade Organization and the Group of Twenty might foster a climate in which the innovation strategies of smaller countries could be accommodated. An epilogue maps the key themes to emerge from the discussion and suggests a framework for an IP-centric innovation strategy. Rapid developments in technologies, often referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, are upending established structures in every part of the economy and society. As in other facets of international negotiations, the starting point in efforts to bring order to and shape the current technology-fuelled environment for the global good is national policies and postures.

Thematics