MONTRÉAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2012) - The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), today discussed the importance of innovation, the importance of adopting of new technologies and the need for added investment in new machinery and equipment to increase the competitiveness of Canada's manufacturing sector. Minister Paradis delivered his remarks to business leaders from the manufacturing sector at Expoplast 2012 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
"Innovation drives growth. It improves productivity. It raises our living standards. It's the best way for Canada to compete with countries around the world and to create jobs and growth," said Minister Paradis. "By making it easier for companies to innovate, our government is creating the right conditions for them to seize new opportunities in existing and emerging markets and to remain globally competitive."
Minister Paradis outlined the Harper Government's initiatives to spur innovation, including its commitment of more than $1 billion over five years to directly support research and development by:
- Doubling the budget of the National Research Council of Canada's (NRC) Industrial Research Assistance Program;
- Refocusing the NRC on demand-driven, business-oriented research; and
- Providing funding for venture capital activities, including $400 million to increase private sector investments in early-stage risk capital.
"The future success of Canadian manufacturing is dependent on the sector's ability to be globally competitive," the Minister said. "Today's manufacturing is about smarter factories driven by digital technologies. New processes, such as additive manufacturing and digitization, are changing how products get made and how businesses are run."
The Harper Government has established an economic environment and set up measures, enabling manufacturers to adopt the latest technologies, invest in new machinery and develop new materials and processes to customize products by combining technologies.
Canada's manufacturing sector directly contributes almost 13 percent to the GDP and employs close to 1.8 million Canadians, more than 95 percent of whom are in full-time jobs.