Canada Can Address a Critical Gap in the Canadian Innovation System Through the Creation of a Canadian Innovation Testbed

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Submitted by CANARIE Inc. 2010-07-09 10:38:00 EDT

Theme: Innovation Using Digital Technologies
Idea Status: +31 | Total Votes: 37 | Comments: 12

A Canadian Innovaton Testbed, which would emulate real-world conditions and would allow Industry, SMEs, researchers, digital content creators and those who are part of the Canadian innovation system to develop and test out prototypes, concepts, products and services is the missing link in the Canadian innovation system. This would be a critial enabler of accelerated ICT product and service commercialization.


DavidMM — 2010-07-09 18:46:21 EDT wrote

I believe this would be a fantastic opportunity for Canada and it would open opportunities to focus academic, research a forming ICT companies around building prosperous new ICT capacity in Canada. There are comparator activities occurring in the EU (FIRE) and the USA (GENI) and elsewhere but this idea from CANARIE goes one step ahead by bringing in SME's, early stage ICT companies alongside Academia. I totally commend this approach. DavidMM

gary.seveny — 2010-07-09 20:35:33 EDT wrote

As a retired banker, my interest in this is the greater certainty of the innovative outcomes. Meaning, the risk side is mitigated and the certainty and resultant revenue opportunities are improved many fold. It is time that the haphazard aspects of innovation are methodically tested and evolved to a higher level of excellence we all strive to achieve in new products and software. I encourage this approach and believe that where it currently exists in Europe and USA can even be embelished and improved upon. The wheel is already constructed, let's adopt and roll it out! Gary Seveny

jasonnolan — 2010-07-10 07:59:23 EDT wrote

I think we need to refocus industry and researchers to centre attention on users… the producers/consumers of content to be created by digital innovation. Too often we arrive last to the game because our focus is on economic players who are over-burdened by administration and innovation stifling protocols. Innovation is chaotic and indeterminate, unable to be time-lined or competitively funded. It comes from open-ended seeding and careful watching to see what sprouts. It comes from avoiding anything that resonates with existing innovations, and looking for undiscovered territory. Expect 95% + failure for 5% success.

The industry and researchers involved have the wisdom and understanding to know how to take innovation forward, but they are not innovators, any more. The innovators don't know what to do with their innovations. There is a need for a test-bed synergy, but one where the roles are not confused, and industry does not try to drive innovation. Just as industry's focus is mass and archival media, researchers focus on new and experimental media, the innovation that will drive the economy comes from the creation of what will be come new and experimental media. The innovation will come from the users of existing technologies who see and think about them in new ways. Innovation will come from the youngest users who are not already inculcated into normative uses and expectations. Innovation will come through sociable technologies that reflect how users move through physical, social and conceptual spaces, not through the creation of technologies we must adapt to. Gone is the day when users must conform to innovations. Innovations must generate from and through the users. And without a strong test bed that is observant and open minded, innovation will be overlooked and attention will be misdirected to pseudo-innovation; following the crest of the wave. We need to be looking for the slight turbulence to nurture it into the wave. IMHO of course.

PS: consulting with young 'innovators' is often disappointing when government and industry people seem to be just teaching them how to 'think' like government and industry people… killing innovative thinking on the vine. — 2010-07-10 08:10:10 EDT wrote

As a researcher, one of the major obstacles in testing your ideas is the lack of infrastructure that captures real life settings. A Canadian Innovation Testbed would be a great opportunity for researchers and SMEs across Canada and will channel many of the local initiatives into a more meaningful and efficient approach. It is a great idea and I fully support it.

barrywellman — 2010-07-10 21:55:34 EDT wrote

Too much of Canadian ICT development is ad hoc. We can't outspend the US, but we can be more agile and more integrated. I fully support the idea of a testbed for a smart, networked society.

Serge.Rochette — 2010-07-12 08:04:11 EDT wrote

I fully support the idea.

jdale — 2010-07-12 09:39:40 EDT wrote

An innovation testbed that emulates real-world conditions would be a great catalyst to increase industry/academic collaboration. The innovation testbed would encourage companies to make research investments in Canada. To ensure industry adoption and support it should be developed as a partnership between researchers and innovation based businesses.

cbachalo — 2010-07-12 10:15:14 EDT wrote

I believe this concept of a Canadian Innovaton Testbed would help provide the Canadian ICT industry the competitive edge it needs to succeed in the global ICT market and help establish Canada as a world leader in ICT.

rboutaba — 2010-07-13 13:32:52 EDT wrote

I fully support this initiative. A Canadian Innovation Testbed will provide a long awaited opportunity for Canadian researchers to conduct real-world experiments in similar or better conditions to those available in the US and the European Community.

kverner — 2010-07-13 16:34:19 EDT wrote

This is a wonderful idea. CANARIE could play a tremendous leadership role and work with the optical regional advanced networks across the nation to enable regional points of presence for such an activity.

pc — 2010-07-13 17:49:06 EDT wrote

One of the most important aspects of the digital economy will be the transportation of information. This will be done by networks. Canada has been a leader of telecommunications technology in the past, and despite some hiccups due to mismanaging at the business level, Canada still has the know-how to develop the technologies of the future. However, the world grows larger and more complex and such research and development cannot be carried out without significant infrastructure that can expose the issues that come about with large scale systems. Both industry and researchers can benefit significantly from a large-scale testbed such as the one proposed.

rrankin — 2010-07-13 18:57:53 EDTEDT wrote

Canada has some of the world's most advanced networks. This provides a foundation for transforming business practices into a digital economy. A test-bed platform for developing new ideas would remove barriers to entry that small and large businesses must overcome to make their vision a reality. At the same time, the field of science informatics has grown exponentially over the past decade, leading to a paradigm shift in how experimental data is shared, managed, and analyzed. A test-bed platform would facilitate the development of systems that are capable of accessing the huge data volumes coming from large-scale experiments.

I fully support the proposed idea


The public consultation period ended on July 13, 2010, at which time this website was closed to additional comments and submissions.

Between May 10 and July 13, more than 2010 Canadian individuals and organizations registered to share their ideas and submissions. You can read their contributions—and the comments from other users—in the Submissions Area and the Idea Forum.

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