Manufacturers call on Federal Government to Ramp up Innovation/Commercialization in Budget

Toronto, February 28, 2017

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) along with its strategic partners, today released Fostering Innovation, Commercialization, and New Product Development, the third of five reports that provide detailed analysis and recommendations stemming from CME’s Industrie 2030 initiative aimed at doubling manufacturing output by 2030.

Manufacturing Matters:

  • Directly and indirectly accounts for 30 per cent of economic output and 27 per cent of all employment
  • Directly responsible for $650 billion in output and more than two-thirds of all exports
  • Directly responsible for nearly 45 per cent of all Canadian private sector R&D

“Commercializing new or improved goods is the key to developing new business lines, attracting investment and new production mandates and expanding the range of goods produced in Canada,” stated Mathew Wilson, Senior Vice President at CME. “For Canada to sustainably grow its economy, it needs to enable the manufacturing sector, by focusing on innovation and commercialization. We risk falling behind other countries with whom we compete and trade.

According to Statistics Canada, the number of manufacturers who reported at least one innovation dropped from nearly 50 per cent in 2007 to less than 44 per cent by 2014, while the number of manufacturers reporting no innovations more than doubled from less than 19 per cent to nearly 39 per cent. To ramp up innovation and commercialization in Canada, we recommend:

  • Strengthen and expand the Scientific Research and Experimental Development program;
  • Implement a Patent Box system to reward product commercialization in Canada;
  • Create a manufacturing commercialization investment fund to provide risk-sharing supports;
  • Expand funding for industry-driven programs aimed at post-secondary partnerships; and
  • Leverage government procurement to foster R&D.

“The future of Canadian manufacturing is dependent on the willingness to embrace innovation and technology that companies need to remain competitive on a global scale,” said Mike Gillespie, National Manufacturing Leader at BDO Canada. “It’s vital that our government provide the necessary supports and incentives, and that manufacturers take full advantage of available government programs and incentives to offset the cost of these initiatives.”

“Canada has a long track record of focusing efforts on primary research and creating intellectual property, and a much lower rate of success in leveraging those ideas for commercial success,” added Wilson. “The upcoming federal budget is the perfect time to begin to implement these suggestions from Canadian manufacturers on how to boost innovation and commercialization, to grow the manufacturing sector and the entire economy.”

To read the report, visit:

About Industrie 2030
Through its Industrie 2030 initiative, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) – Canada’s leading trade and industry association and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada -consulted more than 1,250 leading industry executives and conducted detailed research to define specific recommendations to overcome challenges and create a roadmap for the future of manufacturing, to strengthen its footprint across the country, and to drive growth, innovation, wealth creation and jobs.

Core recommendations include:

  • Building a strong labour pool and skilled workforce;
    Accelerating adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies;
  • Fostering innovation, commercialization and new product development;
  • Creating a competitive business environment in Canada; and
  • Increasing access to domestic ‎and foreign markets.

Our strategic partners have helped CME throughout this process by defining the agenda and supporting the research and consultation exercise. Like CME, they believe that a strong Canada can and must have a strong manufacturing sector at its heart. From business associations to manufacturers to key service providers, these groups have been instrumental in creating this report and in supporting the growth of manufacturing in Canada. A special thanks to BDO, RBC, Food and Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), KPMG, Export Development Canada (EDC), Salesforce Bombardier, Tenaris, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Microsoft, Canada and Xerox.

This report is the third detailed report of the five core recommendations. Earlier reports, including the summary analysis and recommendations are available at


Since 1871, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has been helping manufacturers grow at home and, compete around the world. Our focus is to ensure manufacturers are recognized as engines for growth in the economy, with Canada acknowledged as both a global leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing and a global leader in exporting. CME is a member-driven association that directly represents more than 2,500 leading companies who account for an estimated 82 per cent of manufacturing output and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports.


Stefi Proulx
Director of Communications & Branding
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
(613) 292-6070