The Conference Board of Canada's innovation report card is a 'gold standard' for measuring innovation performance in Canada. Our national innovation performance is often compared with 15 international peer countries within the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the leading global authority. The OECD recently recommended the inclusion of measures related to business capabilities and environmental factors for a more accurate picture of innovation performance.

To put the OECD's theory into practice, Alberta Innovates partnered with the Conference Board of Canada, along with four national partners, to form an advisory group and develop the Capabilities-Centred Innovation Framework (CCIF), published online in September 2021. To our knowledge, the CCIF framework is the first national-level application of the OECD recommendations.

Dr. Sunil Rajput, Director of Research (Health Innovation), is a member of the CCIF project advisory group. He believes that the new framework will help identify strengths and weaknesses related to business innovation performance. Understanding these factors informs decision-makers on how to create opportunities or influence businesses to overcome challenges and build on strengths, ultimately leading to sustainable benefits and economic growth for Canadian citizens.

Alberta Innovates proactively led the way by piloting the framework with a sample of its clients to validate the measures for small and medium-sized businesses. Preliminary results were as expected, with both strengths and weaknesses identified. The findings also highlight the important role Alberta Innovates plays in serving clients to identify and overcome barriers.

Alberta Innovates' involvement in projects like the CCIF enables an opportunity to represent Alberta's interests and constructively influence national-level policy for the benefit of all Canadians.

"Innovation is a vital response to unmet needs, global crises, and/or instabilities.  Accurately measuring innovation enables jurisdictions to effectively respond and change their approach by building or using resources to meet the needs of their innovation community and their citizens," Rajput says.

The detailed CCIF Report is available for download.

The OECD 2018 guidelines are available for download.