Posted October 8, 2008
ITAC is the national association of Canada’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry. Our industry is a lead player in the knowledge economy and because of its unique role as an enabler is especially placed to appreciate the degree to which our future prosperity across all sectors is dependent upon a strategy for success in the knowledge economy.
Preparing a platform to appeal to a nation as diverse as ours is a challenging task. But as you take on this task in the national election campaign, we urge you to build a vision for a better nation not only for the present, enriched as it is with robust economic benefits accruing from our natural resource legacy, but also for the future. The future is uncertain. The resources that have enriched us historically may lose their importance. The only sure economic investment in the future is in knowledge, in ensuring that Canada can compete effectively in an economy driven by innovation and new ideas.
We hope you will address these issues in the current campaign. We would also be pleased to receive a response or comments or to provide any further information that may be of use
Posted May 15, 2013
Today marks the start of the nomination process for the 2013 Ingenious Awards program, a yearlong program. The call for entries closes on July 15, 2013. Award winners will be publicly announced at a gala dinner in Toronto on November 27, 2013 and their stories will be told in Backbone Magazine, on CIO TV, a new program at IT World Canada, and across Canada.
Posted May 9, 2013
May 9, 2013 (Ottawa, ON) – Wavefront, Canada’s Centre of Excellence for Wireless Commercialization and Research, today announces the initial results of its international market entry program, providing Canadian wireless companies with the support and funding needed to successfully enter new markets. Funded through the Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) program and in partnership with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), Wavefront facilitated nine trips abroad with 45 Canadian companies over the past two years. Many companies that have participated in Wavefront’s market entry program have identified immediate, qualified business leads, as well as longer-term business opportunities with tier one mobile operators and large multinational organizations.
Wavefront market linkage trips have reached high growth markets spanning Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South America, and industry segments including machine to machine (M2M), mobile media, and carrier solutions. In partnership with the Trade Commissioner Service, Wavefront identifies and validates prospective customers, partners and suppliers in countries of interest, and then brokers in-market introductions to Canadian firms, helping facilitate faster entry into these new markets.
“For many Canadian wireless companies, identifying and connecting with critical international partners is one of the largest barriers to growth,” says James Maynard, President and CEO, Wavefront. “Through the support of the GOA program, international trade commissioners and Export Development Canada (EDC), our market entry program has helped to address this issue, providing Canadian companies with inroads into new international markets. This is required to help Canada grow its share of the global wireless sector.”
Among the companies that have participated in Wavefront’s market entry program is Semios, a Vancouver-based company developing pheromone-based pest control solutions. Wavefront introduced the company to critical new business opportunities in Europe and South America. These meetings helped lead to accelerated commercialization opportunities for Semios, including the installation of multiple testing sites across both regions.
Michael Gilbert, Chief Scientific Officer and CEO of Semios states, “Excellent program. I wouldn’t dream of tackling these markets on my own at this stage. The DFAIT and Wavefront teams did an excellent job of providing introductions and validating potential partners.”
Wavefront further provided international market entry support to Toronto-based Push Science, a retail application developer. Push Science accompanied Wavefront on a market entry trip to Asia, which yielded 24 one-on-one meetings with a variety of potential partners, as well as networking opportunities and trade show components.
According to Artin Youssefian, CEO of Push Science, “We accompanied Wavefront on a market entry trip to Japan that generated more than 10 qualified leads – all of which we are now pursuing. It is one of the best trips we have ever participated in. Wavefront and the Trade Commissioner Service are invaluable partners and resources for Push Science.”
“Our government is committed to growing our economy and creating good, new, high-value jobs for hard-working Canadians,” said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. “Through our Economic Action Plan and targeted trade expansion efforts, we are helping our world-class industries compete and grow. The funding provided to Wavefront through our GOA program also helps our innovative ICT companies tap into new global markets.”
The positive outcomes generated by the companies that participated in its market entry program have helped to bolster the economic impact of Wavefront across Canada. On average, companies that have participated in Wavefront programs over the past four years have increased their foreign sales by more than 33% and revenues by almost 20%, and accelerated their time-to-market by four to six months. Wavefront is helping companies build a stronger wireless sector in Canada, which is helping build a stronger Canadian economy.
For more information about Wavefront’s market entry program please contact Geoff Ledingham, Wavefront Solutions Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wavefront is Canada’s Centre of Excellence for Wireless Commercialization and Research, accelerating the growth and success of wireless companies by connecting them with critical resources, partners and opportunities, to drive economic and social benefits for Canada. Wavefront products and services are available to wireless and non-wireless companies looking to leverage mobile technology. They include a comprehensive suite of accelerated commercialization and mentorship programs, international market linkages, state of the art wireless product development and testing infrastructure, and wireless training programs and events. These capabilities catalyze the growth and time to market for Canadian companies, enabling them to create more jobs, acquire new customers, and generate revenues faster. Achieving almost five-fold economic return on every dollar invested (measured in terms of GDP), Wavefront is helping to grow companies that grow a strong Canadian economy.
For more information and to join the Wavefront Community visit wavefrontac.com.
Allison Johnson, Communications Manager
Le programme d’entrée sur le marché international de Wavefront positionne les compagnies canadiennes sur la voie du succès dans les marchés mondiaux
Le 9 mai 2013 (Ottawa, ON) – Wavefront, le centre national d’excellence en commercialisation et en recherche du sans fil au Canada, annonce aujourd’hui les résultats initiaux de son programme d’entrée sur le marché international, qui offre aux entreprises sans fil canadiennes le soutien et le financement nécessaires pour pénétrer avec succès de nouveaux marchés. Financé par le programme Opportunités mondiales pour les associations (OMA) et en partenariat avec Affaires étrangères et Commerce international Canada (AECIC), Wavefront a participé à la réalisation de neuf voyages à l’étranger auxquels ont pris part 45 compagnies canadiennes au cours des deux dernières années. Plusieurs des compagnies qui ont participé au programme d’entrée sur le marché de Wavefront ont identifié des débouchés commerciaux admissibles et immédiats, ainsi que des occasions d’affaires à long terme avec des opérateurs de téléphonie mobile de première catégorie et de grandes compagnies internationales.
Les voyages de liaison avec le marché mondial de Wavefront ont pour objectif des marchés à forte croissance établis en Europe, au Moyen-Orient, en Afrique, en Asie et en Amérique du Sud, et des segments de l’industrie comme la technologie machine-machine (M2M), les médias mobiles et les exploitants de réseaux mobiles. En partenariat avec le Service des délégués commerciaux, Wavefront identifie et valide des clients, des partenaires et des fournisseurs potentiels dans les pays d’intérêt, puis facilite les introductions auprès des entreprises canadiennes, ce qui les aide à pénétrer plus rapidement ces nouveaux marchés.
« Pour plusieurs compagnies sans fil canadiennes, identifier des partenaires internationaux cruciaux et entrer en contact avec eux constitue l’un des principaux obstacles à leur croissance », déclare James Maynard, président et chef de la direction de Wavefront. « Grâce au soutien du programme OMA, des délégués commerciaux internationaux et d’Exportation et développement Canada (EDC), notre programme d’entrée sur le marché a permis de s’attaquer à ce problème, en fournissant aux compagnies canadiennes des voies d’accès à de nouveaux marchés internationaux. » Ceci est nécessaire pour que le Canada puisse augmenter sa part de marché dans le secteur sans fil mondial. »
Semios, une firme installée à Vancouver qui développe des solutions de contrôle des insectes et animaux nuisibles à l’aide de phéromones, fait partie des compagnies qui ont participé au programme d’entrée du marché de Wavefront. Wavefront a présenté cette entreprise à d’autres de l’Europe et de l’Asie qui représentaient de nouveaux débouchés cruciaux. Ces rencontres ont permis à Semios de concrétiser des occasions de commercialisation accélérées, incluant l’installation de plusieurs sites de mises à l’essai dans les deux régions.
Michael Gilbert, conseiller scientifique en chef et chef de la direction de Semios, déclare : « Excellent programme. Je ne pourrais rêver m’attaquer à ces marchés par moi-même au stade actuel. Les équipes de l’AECIC et de Wavefront ont réalisé un excellent travail pour nous présenter et valider des partenaires potentiels. »
Wavefront a aussi facilité l’entrée sur le marché international à Push Science, une entreprise de Toronto qui a développé une application destinée aux entreprises de vente au détail. Push Science a accompagné Wavefront lors d’un voyage d’entrée sur le marché en Asie, qui a suscité 24 rencontres privées avec une variété de partenaires potentiels, ainsi que des occasions de réseautage et des composants de foire commerciale.
Artin Youssefian, chef de direction de Push Science déclare : « Nous avons accompagné Wavefront lors d’un voyage d’entrée de marché au Japon, qui a généré plus de 10 débouchés commerciaux admissibles, que nous poursuivons tous à l’heure actuelle. C’est l’un des meilleurs voyages auxquels nous ayons participé. Wavefront et le Service des délégués commerciaux du Canada sont des partenaires et des ressources inestimables pour Push Science. »
« Notre gouvernement est déterminé à faire croître l’économie et à créer de nouveaux emplois, de qualité et de grande valeur pour les Canadiens et les Canadiennes qui ont du cœur à l’ouvrage », a déclaré l’Honorable Ed Fast, ministre du Commerce international et ministre de la porte d’entrée de l’Asie-Pacifique. « Par l’entremise de notre Plan d’action économique et des efforts ciblés d’expansion commerciale, nous aidons nos compagnies de classe mondiale à être concurrentielles et à croître. Le financement offert à Wavefront par le truchement du programme OMA aide aussi nos compagnies des TIC à se greffer aux nouveaux marchés mondiaux. »
Les résultats positifs générés par les compagnies qui ont participé à son programme d’entrée sur le marché ont contribué à renforcer l’impact économique de Wavefront à travers le Canada. Les compagnies qui ont participé aux programmes de Wavefront au cours des quatre dernières années ont, en moyenne, augmenté leurs ventes à l’étranger de plus de 33 pour cent et leurs revenus de près de 20 pour cent, et elles ont accéléré leurs délais de commercialisation de quatre à six mois. Wavefront aide les entreprises à bâtir au Canada un secteur sans fil plus vigoureux, contribuant par le fait même à bâtir une économie canadienne plus forte.
Pour en savoir plus sur le programme d’entrée sur le marché de Wavefront, veuillez contacter Geoff Lendingham, directeur des solutions chez Wavefront, à l’adresse email@example.com.
À propos de Wavefront
Wavefront est un centre national d’excellence en commercialisation et en recherche qui accélère la croissance et le succès des entreprises sans fil en les reliant à des ressources essentielles, des partenaires et des occasions, afin d’encourager les avantages économiques et sociaux pour le Canada. Les produits et services de Wavefront sont à la disposition des entreprises sans fil et filaires qui cherchent à exploiter la technologie mobile. Ils comprennent une gamme complète de programmes d’accélération de la commercialisation et de mentorat, des liens avec les marchés internationaux, une infrastructure de développement de produit et de test sans fil de pointe, ainsi que des programmes de formation sans fil et des événements. Ces capacités catalysent la croissance et les délais de commercialisation pour les entreprises canadiennes, leur permettant de créer plus d’emplois, d’acquérir de nouveaux clients et de générer des revenus rapidement. En réalisant un retour économique sur chaque dollar investi presque quintuplé (mesuré en termes de PIB), Wavefront contribue à la croissance des entreprises développant une économie canadienne forte.
Pour plus de renseignements et pour faire partie de la communauté Wavefront, visitez le site wavefrontac.com.
Directrice des communications, Wavefront
Posted May 7, 2013
Ontario recognizes that employers play a critical role in our economic success. For many employers, newcomers to Ontario are a valuable source of skilled labour. If you are an Ontario employer having difficulty finding the workers you need, Opportunities Ontario may be the program for you.
What is it?
Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program is an immigration program through which Ontario nominates individuals and their families for permanent resident status based on a pre-approved job offer in the province. The Government of Ontario established Opportunities Ontario to help employers succeed in the global competition for talent. Opportunities Ontario has a target of 1,000 nominations in 2013.
How do employers participate?
This program allows employers to:
Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program is designed in part to assist employers who are having difficulty recruiting qualified, skilled workers in Ontario. Applications from employers who are seeking positions for foreign workers residing abroad, or foreign workers who are visiting Canada, will receive priority processing if those employers have tried to recruit Canadian citizens or permanent residents located in Ontario for those positions before applying to the program. Approved employers can recruit foreign workers through the General Category and international students through the International Student Category.
Posted May 7, 2013
The Government of Canada is committed to investing in innovative clean energy technologies that create high-quality jobs, generate new economic opportunities and protect the environment.
To this end, on May 3, 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced support of more than $82 million through Natural Resources Canada’s ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII) for 55 innovative projects across Canada. Of these, 15 will be pre-commercialization demonstration projects to test the feasibility of various technologies, and 40 will be research and development projects to address knowledge gaps and bring technologies from the conceptual stage to the ready-to-be-tested stage of development.
For all projects, funding provided by NRCan will be allocated from the date of signature of contribution agreements until March 31, 2016, the project end date.
Since 2006, the Government of Canada has taken action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a more sustainable environment through more than $10 billion in investments in green infrastructure, energy efficiency, clean energy technologies and the production of cleaner energy and cleaner fuels.
Posted May 2, 2013
Click here to read the full news release.
For more information on the Ingenious Awards Program, please read contact Lynda Leonard (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Posted May 1, 2013
To view the white paper, click on this link: The Issue - The Importance of Global Workers in Canada’s ICT Industry.
Other white papers on topics such as the importance of SR&ED to ICT R&D, Canada’s network infrastructure, and building stronger tech companies in Canada, can be found on our Research page.
Posted April 29, 2013
The turnout for the April 23rd CCIO Breakfast Series at the Arcadian Court in downtown Toronto was indicative of the growing importance of its subject matter - The critical issues and opportunities facing Ontario's CIOs and their agencies with a particular focus on innovation – as over 250 industry executives were in attendance.
Moreover, the panel led by David Nicholl, Corporate Chief Information and Information Technology Officer of the Government of Ontario, and including Soussan Tabari, CIO, Community Services Cluster , Renee Laforet, Technical Project Director, Social Services Solutions Modernization, Ministry of Community and Social Services , Marty Gallas, Corporate Chief, Infrastructure Technology Services , and Howard Bertrand, Acting CIO, Labour and Transportation Cluster, provided these attendees with an opportunity to debate critical issues and opportunities facing Ontario CIOs and their agencies thanks to a new interactive panel format. Attendees also received a follow-up presentation outlining upcoming priorities and vendor opportunities.
Thanks again to the host sponsor, Bell Canada, which was represented by David Treiber, ITAC Ontario Chair and Director, Sales OPS, Bell Business Markets. David moderated the discussion and attendees were given an exclusive opportunity to ask burning questions of the panelists. Thanks also to our event sponsors: Adobe Systems , Fivel Systems, NorthgateArinso and TELUS.
Please check the ITAC website for the announcement of our fall CCIO Breakfast as we look forward to seeing you there. Also please contact Denise Shortt (email@example.com) to find out more about this event.
"I really appreciate the dialogue at the ITAC CCIO Breakfasts. It lets us share where the Ontario government is going with companies and they, in turn, can offer us their best solutions." - David Nicholl, Corporate Chief Information and Information Technology Officer of the Government of Ontario
Posted April 18, 2013
On June 1, 2013, federal government tenders (tender notices and bid solicitation documents), currently on MERX, will move to a Government of Canada Web site, Buyandsell.gc.ca/tenders. No subscription required, free and anonymous single window access to federal government tenders and procurement data are some of the benefits of the new site.
We encourage you to visit Buyandsell.gc.ca/tenders now to get familiar with the helpful search engine as well as view the Calendar of Events after April 19 to register for an information session about the new site. Your OSME Regional Office or the national InfoLine (1-800-811-1148) would be pleased to answer any of your questions.
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO SUPPLIERS!
Le 1er juin 2013, les appels d’offres du gouvernement (avis d’appels d’offres et demandes de soumissions) actuellement sur MERX seront transférés sur Achatsetventes.gc.ca/appels-d-offres, un site Web du gouvernement du Canada. Quelques-uns des avantages du nouveau site sont : aucun abonnement n’est requis et les utilisateurs auront gratuitement un accès anonyme unique aux appels d’offres du gouvernement fédéral et aux données sur les achats.
Nous vous encourageons à visiter Achatsetventes.gc.ca/appels-d-offres dès maintenant afin de vous familiariser avec le moteur de recherche utile. Vous pouvez visiter notre Calendrier des événements après le 19 avril pour vous inscrire à une des séances d’information sur le nouveau site.Les agents au BPME – Bureaux régionaux ou à la LigneInfo nationale (1-800-811-1148) se feront un plaisir de répondre à vos questions.
Posted April 18, 2013
Posted April 18, 2013
Click here to see the interview.
Karna Gupta is currently in Manitoba to support the Information Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba (ICTAM) in the promotion of its recently released strategy document - An Economic Development Stratefy for Manitoba's ICT Sector. This document is the result of a survey of more than 200 members and industry stakeholders in Manitoba.
Posted April 9, 2013
Please see SSC's announcement, and the links to the Orders-in-Council below:
Announcement from the President and COO of SSC / Annonce de la présidente et chef de l'exploitation de SPC
Le français suit le texte anglais
We are pleased to inform you, that as part of Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government has provided Shared Services Canada (SSC) with the authority to procure hardware and software, including security software, for end-user devices, on behalf of the Government of Canada. Our client base for this initiative extends to 106 federal departments and agencies, including the 43 partner organizations we currently serve.
This new area of standardization and consolidation will bring efficiencies and savings, while strengthening the security of government information technology (IT) on an enterprise basis. It is part of the Government’s overall strategy to achieve better value for money with respect to IT and builds on SSC’s mandate to modernize and transform the Government’s email systems, data centres and networks.
I invite you to review the two Orders-in-Council (OIC) published on this subject (2013-0366 and 2013-0368). Over the next few months, SSC will be working with departments and agencies to establish processes and procurement strategies for greater consolidation in the future. In the meantime, business continuity remains our priority.
We look forward to discussing this initiative in further detail at our next meeting in June.
Liseanne Forand Grant Westcott
President Chief Operating Officer
Nous sommes heureux de vous informer que, dans le cadre du Plan d'action économique 2013, le gouvernement a conféré, à Services partagés Canada (SPC), les pouvoirs d’acheter, au nom du gouvernement du Canada, le matériel et les logiciels connexes, y compris des logiciels de protection pour les appareils des utilisateurs finaux. Dans le cadre de cette nouvelle initiative, notre clientèle s'est élargie pour atteindre 106 ministères et organismes, y compris les 43 organisations partenaires que nous desservons déjà.
Il s'agit ici d'un nouveau volet de normalisation et de regroupement pour SPC qui permettra de produire un meilleur rendement et de réaliser des économies, tout en renforçant la sécurité des technologies de l'information (TI) du gouvernement à l'échelle de l'entreprise. Cela s'inscrit dans la stratégie globale du gouvernement d'optimiser les ressources de TI, et s'appuie sur notre mandat qui est de moderniser et de transformer les services de courriel, de même que les centres de données et les réseaux de télécommunications du gouvernement.
Je vous invite à examiner les deux décrets en conseil publiés à ce sujet (2013-0366 et 2013-0368) Au cours des prochains mois, SPC collaborera avec les ministères et organismes à l'élaboration de processus et de stratégies d'approvisionnement visant à atteindre un regroupement accru à l'avenir. Entre-temps, la continuité opérationnelle demeure notre priorité.
Nous sommes enthousiastes d’explorer avec vous en détail cette initiative lors de notre prochaine réunion qui se tiendra en juin.
Liseanne Forand Grant Westcott
Présidente Chef de l'exploitation
Posted April 2, 2013
Ernst & Young is calling on Canadians to nominate local entrepreneurs from across the country who demonstrate outstanding vision, leadership, financial success and social responsibility. So help shine the spotlight on Canada’s most inspiring entrepreneurial stories and the bright minds behind them by sending Ernst & Young your nominations for this globally recognized award.
Please Note: All nominations are completed online and the online form can be saved and returned to later if needed.
Posted March 22, 2013
Ottawa, Ontario: March 22, 2013. The Budget tabled by Finance Minister Flaherty today contains promising aspirations for better outcomes from public investments in skills development and training and a new approach to achieve these outcomes that directly engages workers and employers. The Government has made a $500m allocation for the creation of the Canada Job Grant. This grant provides up to $15,000 per person – with $5k provided by the Federal Government and matching amounts from the provincial government and the employer – to access the training required in high demand fields including ICT.
“ITAC has advocated the need for a national talent strategy that engages all stakeholders in the formation of a strong labour market in all our consultations on Canada’s digital economy strategy,” said Karna Gupta, President and CEO of ITAC. “This is innovative public policy and a very positive step in that direction”.
The Budget also acknowledges the vital role that new graduates play in the formation of a sound knowledge-based labour force. The ICT industry was an early adopter of intern and co-op programs and will benefit from a new $70 million allocation to support an additional 5,000 paid interns. The Budget also allocates $19 million for the promotion of education in high demand fields such as science technology, engineering and mathematics.
The R&D intensive ICT industry has anticipated that this Budget might contain further developments on the theme of innovation following last year’s dramatic changes to the SR&ED program and the expressions of the Government’s intent to shift more resources from tax-based incentives for R&D to direct programs supporting R&D. The Budget announced a modest new pilot program ($20 million over 3 years) that picks up an idea presented in the Jenkins Panel Report. The pilot, to be administered by IRAP, provides vouchers to SMEs to help them pay for research, technology and business developments services that will help them commercialize their innovations.
A number of major investments in direct industrial support (primarily to aerospace and defence, sustainable technology and genomics) were announced in the Budget. Of key interest to the ICT industry is a new Advanced Manufacturing Fund of $200 million over five years. To be administered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, the fund will support investments by firms in activities that create new and innovative products or production methods. A consultation process will determine appropriate funding parameters.
There were very few specific measures regarding the SR&ED program in this budget and certainly no reversal on the changes introduced in 2012. The Government has decided not to intervene to regulate contingency fees charged by third party SR&ED filers. Instead it plans to invest in outreach to assist new claimants in familiarizing themselves with the program. The Budget also proposes to tighten up on the processing of SR&ED claims and proposes new penalties for incomplete or inaccurate claims.
“Our industry is deeply concerned with the health of the innovation ecosystem, including measures to incent research and development," Mr. Gupta said. “We will continue to press for measures that lead to the best outcomes in terms of R&D investment and high value job creation.”
For further information, please contact:
Senior Vice President, ITAC
(613) 238-4822 ext. 223
Posted March 21, 2013
One of our members, Magor Communications Corp., recently received $500,000 from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) as part of Government of Canada investments of up to $3.67 million to support six start-up technology development companies in the Ottawa area. Magor said the latest federal support will create 12 new jobs and has attracted $1 million in other venture capital funding. Click here to read the Government of Canada release.
Posted March 20, 2013
Click on the link above to learn more about this new fund.
Posted March 12, 2013
ITAC members, today, advised the federal Government to consider more flexible contracting terms as part of its Smart Procurement initiatives.
That message was delivered by ITAC members during the third in our Executive Briefing Series. Today's session featured an address by Pablo Sobrino, the Associate Assistant Deputy in Acquisitions Branch at Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). Mr. Sobrino said one of the key elements of its strategy is to work together with suppliers early in the procurement process.
ITAC supports this type of early engagement. Members also reinforced the messages that:
Posted March 7, 2013
Ottawa, March 7, 2013—The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, today announced new measures that the Government is taking to increase competition in the wireless sector, providing Canadians with more choices and access to the latest technology at better prices.
"Canadian families work hard for their money, and our government wants them to keep more of it," said Minister Paradis. "Through better use of existing cellphone towers and by taking action to promote at least four wireless providers in every region of the country, our government is making it possible for all Canadians to have access to world-classwireless service they can afford, no matter where they live."
Through increased competition in every region, the Government is working to provide more choices at better prices to Canadian consumers. This will be achieved by:
"Wireless services are changing our families, our work, and our economy," said Minister Paradis. "Our government's priority is to provide greater wireless coverage at better rates for consumers."
The Government also released the Commercial Mobile Spectrum Outlook study, ahead of the 700 and 2500 MHz spectrum auctions. This study outlines the Government's plan to make spectrum available to meet the consumer demand of a growing digital economy and ensure that Canadians have access to next generation services and technologies. Canadians are world leaders in Internet use, and the government is putting a plan in place to ensure companies can continue to grow and meet the needs of Canadians in all parts of the country.
The following backgrounders on each measure announced today are available:
For more detailed information on each measure, please consult the following documents on Industry Canada's website:
For further information (media only), please contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Christian Paradis
Minister of Industry
Posted March 6, 2013
Accoding to Backbone magazine, here are ten associations that make a difference for Canada’s tech sector:
WCIT 2012 also got a mention as one of the three best tech and business conferences held in Canada.
Posted March 5, 2013
March 8th - 12th will find Canadian startup founders and tech enthusiasts heading to the annual SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas for a long weekend of panels, keynotes and peer-to-peer networking over southern hospitality. But those looking for a little Canadian hospitality south of the border won’t have to look far - in fact, they’ll just have to cross the street.
While most SXSW action happens at the Austin Convention Center, the Consulate General of Canada Dallas have their own interactive event in the works for Sunday March 10th at the Hilton Downtown Austin, located conveniently in the SXSW Startup Village, across the way from the Convention Center. The Smart Canadians Lounge will not only feature a day of uniquely Canadian panels from some of Canada’s most innovative companies but will end as every day at SXSW does - with a mixer and free drinks.
During the day, programming will include trend-talks, pitch sessions, a networking lounge, B2B connections and solo presentations by Canadian entrepreneurs, big thinkers and notable doers in the digital interactive industry. Panelists include ITAC Health discussing trends on Health-to-Go, Wavefront on mobile innovations, PO-MO talking dynamic display with augmented reality, KNGFU Numerik, on new story telling with Canadian broadcasters and the Banff Centre hosting a pitch panel on media dissemination.
Following the panel, SXSW attendees can drop in and chill with notable Canadians in the startup industry, including TechVibe’s Canadian Angel of the year (CEO and Cofounder of Clarity.fm, Dan Martell) at the Smart Canadians Drinks Party. This event will include demos from participating companies and is hosted by Trade & Invest British Columbia in celebration of the program contributors.
Panels will run from 9:00am to 5:00pm in the Smart Canadians lounge, located on the 4th floor, Room 400/402 of the Hilton followed by the Smart Canadians Drinks Party at 6:00pm. The event is open to everyone attending SXSW and is not exclusive to Canadians. Interested SXSW attendees can register now to check out one or more of the panels. For up-to-date details, follow @CanadaConnects on Twitter or check out the schedule below:
ITAC Health | Digital Health Changes Everything - Mobile Applications | 9:30AM
This panel of innovate Canadian thought leaders provides a glimpse into the power of digital health and the innovations enabling changes to come. The ITAC Health and its members work with healthcare stakeholders to improve the health of Canadians and the efficiency of the Canadian healthcare system through the implementation of information and communications technologies. More information at ITAC.ca
The Banff Centre | The “Made in Banff” Digital Media Pitch Session | 11:00AM
Great idea for an interactive project? If your project displays an exceptional interactive content idea and an original media dissemination strategy - come pitch it to the “Made in Banff” digital media creative pitch session at SXSW. Successful participant will be awarded a Banff Centre-hosted Creation Residency. The Banff Centre is a globally respected arts, cultural and educational institution located in Banff, Alberta, Canada. The Centre provides resources for collaboration and applied research at the postgraduate level in more than a dozen art forms. More information at BanffCentre.ca
Wavefront | Mobile Innovations Presented by Wavefront | 12:30PM
This panel offers insight from mobile innovators in the Canadian wireless ecosystem. Learn about the market, the depth of talent and the industry support making Canada the heart of wireless innovation. Wavefront is a not-for-profit National Centre of Excellence accelerating the growth and success of wireless companies in Canada by connecting them with critical resources, partners and opportunities, to drive economic and social benefits for Canada. More information at Wavefrontac.com
KNGFU | Trend Talk on New Story Telling With Canadian Broadcasters | 3:30PM
In this session, explore how storytelling crosses platforms and view proposed case studies of projects such as Le Judas, Zieuter and United-States of Africa. They will showcase how interactive strategies increase user engagement and extend viewing with audience interaction on multiple platforms. KNGFU Numerik is a diverse team of digital culture specialists who love interactive media and who master the art of storytelling with creativity and technical innovations. More info at KNGFU.com
PO-MO | Dynamic Display with Augmented Reality | ALL DAY (DEMO LOUNGE)
Experience unique interactive floor and wall installations merge the real and virtual worlds. PO-MO integrates IR cameras, RFID and custom microcontrollers to create immersive, audience controlled experiences. Spaces are transformed for events and promotions using interactive projections on buildings, augmented reality display solutions, gesture controlled displays and dynamic lighting design. More info at POMO. com out one or more of the panels.
Posted March 4, 2013
For some time ITAC has raised concerns about the comparatively weak protection available for Canadian companies facing hostile takeovers. We have discussed this with issue with policy makers and securities commission officials and produced a white paper on the topic. The Globe and Mail recently reported that the Canadian Securities Administrators (the umbrella group for provincial regulators) will soon release a new plan with measures for better protection for public consultation. For more information on this issue please contact Lynda Leonard (firstname.lastname@example.org) .
Posted March 4, 2013
Posted March 4, 2013
Citizenship and Immigration Canada and HRSDC have jointly launched a review of the Temporary Foreign Worker program. ITAC participated in a roundtable discussion with Ministers Kenney and Finley and other stakeholders on February 27 and will be filing a written submission on TFWP. ITAC members can review the background material below and provide input or suggestions to Lynda Leonard (email@example.com).
Posted March 1, 2013
Last June as tribute to our departing Chair Doug McCuaig, ITAC endowed a special award at Doug’s alma mater, the Ivey School of Business at Western University. The award was to support the studies of a student with a particular interest in how ICT impacts business strategies. The ITAC Award recipient is Jennifer Hay-Roe. She is a Dean’s Honours List student with a number of other awards and accomplishments to her credit. She has focused her studies on how technology assists in providing solutions to business problems. During her four year program she acquired valuable work experience at IBM. When she graduates Jennifer will join General Electric. The future is in good hands.
Posted February 27, 2013
E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams today and it is growing at three times the rate of municipal waste globally. Read about how EPSC is taking on the Canada's e-waste challenge here.
Posted February 20, 2013
SMEs matter to Canada and to ITAC. In fact, 65% of ITAC's membership are SMEs and it is devoted to serving its SME community by doing all that it can to promote the health and growth of all Canadian SMEs. Click here for the study.
Posted February 13, 2013
Benoît Long, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister with Shared Services Canada (SSC) addressed a group of more than 100 IT executives on "Shared Services Canada: The Transformation So Far" yesterday. As you may know the SSC was created in 2011 to reduce costs and improve services by consolidating email, data centre and telecommunications services across the Federal government. Mr. Long , who is responsible for Transformation, Service Strategy and Design, provided a perspective on the just how large the transformation is and how the SCC is handling it so far. He noted the importance of consulting the private sector on its plans and recognized the contribution by ITAC in this regard.
Posted February 12, 2013
This report will help the Conservative government craft a defence industrial policy for Canada that harnesses military and security budgets in the service of jobs and economic growth. It advises the Federal government to adopt a Canada-first procurement strategy to help level the playing field for Canadian companies who find themselves competing globally for business against foreign companies who have strong support from their respective governments
Posted February 4, 2013
Thanks to everyone who attended the Reception. Download John Ruffolo’s speech here.
Posted January 29, 2013
ITAC made the recommendations at a meeting of the Shared Services Canada Procurement Benchmarks Advisory Committee PBAC) on January 25th, 2013. The proposal was presented by ITAC member Debbie Robertson of HP, and the meeting was chaired by Gina Rallis, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services.
See the presentation and other meeting documents here:
Posted January 25, 2013
A big thank you to Paul Cooper, Business Lead, Public and Large Institutions, Dell Canada for being so generous with his time and expertise as Ontario Board Chair for the past three years. We are truly grateful.
On January 23, 2013 ITAC elected David Treiber, Director, Sales – OPS of Bell Canada’s Bell Business Markets as Ontario Chair for 2013. David is joined on the Ontario Executive by 1st Vice-Chair Lisa Carroll, VP Consulting Services Government Sector – Ontario for CGI Group Inc.; 2nd Vice-Chair Bill MacDonald, President of Marksal Inc.; John Breakey, CEO of GeNUIT Inc. and ITAC President & CEO Karna Gupta. Congratulations! In addition, the Ontario Board has been renewed with many new directors and we look forward to working with them to ensure an even more successful Ontario ICT industry.
Posted January 24, 2013
PROFIT is Canada’s leading media brand dedicated to entrepreneurial business. For 30 years, Canadian entrepreneurs and senior managers across a vast array of economic sectors have remained loyal to PROFIT because it’s a timely and reliable source of actionable information that helps them achieve business success and get the recognition they deserve for generating positive economic and social change. PROFIT’s rankings and awards program create great opportunities for entrepreneurs to build their businesses—and for B2B enterprises to make profitable connections with the entrepreneurial community.
Read the full report here.
Posted January 16, 2013
PWGSC has established a Supplier Advisory Committee (SAC) to consult industry on procurement issues and best practices. The first meeting held today was attended by representatives from a wide range of industry Associations, including ITAC.
PWGSC is asking for industry input on:
PWGSC will soon release a study on the participation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in federal procurement.
ITAC's President and CEO, Karna Gupta, welcomed this opportunity to consult with Government and urged the PWGSC to engage suppliers early and throughout the procurement process. He also recommended that Government could achieve greater efficiency in procurement by adopting terms more consistent with business practices.
PWGSC agenda and presentations:
For more information, or to provide comments, please contact Cindy Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted January 15, 2013
Speaking at this year's first ITAC Executive Briefing Series in Ottawa, the CIO of the Government of Canada, Corinne Charette, stated that the role of Departmental CIOs within the Federal government has changed and will continue to do so. The role has become more challenging as a result of the fundamental transformation in how the Government of Canada manages its information technology (IT) infrastructure. Now that the management of infrastructure services has been transferred to Shared Services Canada, Charette says that CIOs must focus on increasing challenges due to:
Charette noted that, next month, the Government will start an inventory review of all applications, with the intent to develop a risk management strategy for core applications. She also announced that Treasury Board has begun a comprehensive talent management strategy to recruit and develop Governmental CIOs. Ms. Charette's presentations can be accessed here: English and French.
Stay tuned for registration information on the next ITAC Executive Briefing on February 12th, featuring Benoit Long, the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Transformation, Service Strategy and Design at Shared Services Canada.
ITAC would like to again thank our sponsors for the event: Compugen, HP and NorthgateArinso.
Posted January 14, 2013
The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) released a report last year on the Apps Economy in Canada. It explores:
Read the full report here.
Posted January 14, 2013
In the 2012 Budget the federal government announced its intention to deploy $400 million to strengthen the venture capital industry in Canada. It then conducted consultations on how best to use this money. On January 14 the Prime Minister announced the action plan resulting from that consultation. It will deploy $250 million for new, large, private sector led funds of funds, up to $100 million to recaptialize existing large private sector led funds of funds with provincial government participation, and up to $50 million in 3 to 5 already existing venture capital funds. Read the Prime Minister’s announcement here. ITAC’s submission in the consultation process can be found here.
Posted January 10, 2013
Women in Canada continue to be underrepresented in senior leadership across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Because gender equality was enshrined constitutionally in 1985, a widespread assumption exists that Canadian women’s equality continues to improve steadily and therefore measures to advance women are no longer necessary. Cross-sectoral data, however, confirm persistent patterns of women’s underrepresentation in top leadership positions and, in fact, reveal that advancement results as well as the strategies used to address this gender gap have stalled in many fields.
The findings of the Deloitte study reveal marked variations in women’s representation in senior leadership roles across sectors, the persistence in the workplace of gendered expectations about leadership and generational shifts in ideas about leadership and work/family integration. These results indicate a need for new, multi-pronged strategies to end women’s underrepresentation in senior leadership. Read the full study here.
For further information about this study please contact Lynda Leonard - email@example.com.
PS: In 2009, ITAC’s Board of Directors launched a major initiative to address this challenge in Canada and continues to work with its members and the Canadian Women in Communications (CWC) to make progress in this important area. Find out more about the ITAC/CWC Speakers Series: Women in Corporate Leadership here.
Posted January 2, 2013
What will the digital universe look like in 2020? Get some some insights here courtesy of the International Data Corporation (IDC).
Posted December 24, 2012
We are living in an era of increased global competition and the continuing aftermath of the financial crisis and global recession. Economic globalization has at once undermined traditional strengths and presented new opportunities. Ontario has some important advantages when it comes to positioning itself to benefit from these economic shifts, but it also has some difficult challenges to overcome.
Ontario’s Jobs and Prosperity Council was formed to provide advice on what actions are needed for the province to seize new opportunities. The Council consists of 14 experienced leaders from business, labour and other sectors. All of the members volunteered their time to contribute to a shared vision for action.Read the report “Advantage Ontario” here.
Posted December 19, 2012
On December 19, Karna Gupta was invited to join a number of other senior executives from Canadian business at recent roundtable convened by Finance Minister James Flaherty to provide input to the preparation of the next Federal Budget. The participants engaged in a discussion of a broad range of economic issues including the availability of capital, policy support for innovation and commercialization, productivity and technology deployment and measures to ensure a rich Canadian talent pool and reduced youth unemployment.
Detailed briefings were given by senior officials from the Department of Finance which contained relevant information about Canada’s current economic circumstances as well as issues and specific questions for discussion. Thereafter, the attendees were divided into break-out groups which were then followed by a plenary session with Minister Flaherty.
Material for the pre-budget consultations were as follows:
For more information, please contact Linda Oliver (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Posted December 19, 2012
Building on the discussion regarding cloud computing at the launch of the IT Infrastructure Roundtable on November 22, 2012, this meeting was the first of three interactive meetings regarding Shared Services Canada (SSC) and Cloud Computing. At the meeting the SSC identified what it needs responses on, mapped out where it wants to go in terms of cloud computing and asked industry for help. The next meeting is scheduled for January 18, 2013.
The experts in the Cloud Computing space that represented ITAC at the meeting were:
Here are the reading materials that were provided for the meeting:
For further information please contact Linda Oliver (email@example.com)
Posted December 18, 2012
A Potpourri of BC PST Transitional Issues
As we await the final piece of the BC PST puzzle in the form of the BC PST (“PST”) Regulations and transitional legislation, the BC Ministry (“Ministry”) continues to release information useful to taxpayers that are preparing to transition from the BC HST to the PST. Information regarding the PST transitional rules was released in PST Notice 2012-010, with the general rules focussed on PST applying at the earlier of when consideration for a taxable good, software, or service becomes due, or is paid without having become due. The rules for determining when an amount becomes due, as well as many of the exceptions to the general rule, are largely modelled on the GST/HST, with special rules reserved for certain scenarios such as goods used by a contractor in supplying and affixing, or installing, affixed machinery or improvements to real property. With regard to such goods, except where an exemption applies, if PST is not otherwise payable by a contractor under the general transitional rules, PST will be payable if the goods that are purchased, brought or sent into BC for use cease to be personal property at common law after March 31, 2013 – therefore the timing of when the goods are used to improve real property overrides the general transitional rule.
Registration issues are covered in newly released Bulletin PST 001, which identifies January 2, 2013 as the start date for the registration process. Under the BC PST Act (“Act”), which received Royal Assent on May 31, 2012, a vendor who sells taxable tangible personal property (“TPP”), software or a service in BC at a retail sale, will be required to register. A vendor is defined to include a person, other than a small seller (a defined term, one of the requirements of which is ≤ $10,000 in gross retail sales in the prior year) who in the ordinary course of business in BC sells or provides TPP to a purchaser at a retail sale in BC, or offers to do so. Lessors of taxable TPP, and certain real property contractors and direct sellers, will also be required to register under the Act, as will persons that are located in Canada but outside BC, and solicit orders in BC for the sale of taxable TPP or software by advertising or other means, and cause the TPP or software to be delivered in BC.
Where registration is required, the taxpayer must apply anew, as the old BC Social Service Tax registration number does not continue into the new system. As part of the administrative improvements promised by the government, certain E-services will be available, including online registration provided the applicant has a BN number, and online remittance of amounts owing. Similarly to existing GST/HST filing requirements, electronic filing of BC PST returns and payments will be mandatory for businesses that have total Canadian sales or leases in excess of $1.5 million annually. Filing frequency - monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual - will be determined based on the estimated PST to be collected on sales and leases in BC, and can be adjusted by the Ministry based on actual collections.
BC Finance Bulletin “Common Questions about Returning to PST” covers options for obtaining rulings from, and one-on-one consultations with, Ministry tax specialists on the PST. It also outlines the option of a ‘books and records’ review that the Ministry is offering taxpayers, starting on April 1, 2013. According to the Ministry, the review is not an audit but rather, a general overview of the taxpayer’s accounting process to ensure that the taxpayer’s systems have been set up to properly collect, report, remit, and pay the tax. If under-collection or remittance is found, an immediate assessment will not be raised, however, the Bulletin states that “the business will have the opportunity to correct the mistakes on their next return” failing which, “the errors will be subject to an assessment on a subsequent audit with the application of any applicable penalty and interest”. Taxpayers should therefore understand that the books and records review offers a way to ensure compliance in the transition period, but is not an option to avoid an assessment where errors are found on audit. BC has indicated that audits under the PST will generally begin April 2014 to allow taxpayers time to comply.
Posted December 12, 2012
The Government of Canada is committed to greening its supply chain. Public Works and Government Services of Canada (PWGSC) is currently gathering information so that it can consider appropriate environmental evaluation criteria and/or contractual requirements for future software procurements by the Government.
Consequently, it is seeking input via a Request for Information (RFI)on software procurement requirements to assist the Government in achieving its green policy. This RFI contains questions related to green procurement for software including whether software suppliers could meet certification requirements such as ISO 14001 or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). It also requests information on environmental programs implemented by suppliers, as well as in their data centres and supply chains.
ITAC members are therefore strongly encouraged to respond to PWGSC's Letter of Interest to ensure they can meet future green requirements.
This RFI can be found in the Letter of Interest. To see the Letter of Interest, click here for English or French.
For more information, or to comment, please contact Cindy Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted December 8, 2012
ITIR Procurement Benchmarking Advisory Committee:
This Committee is at the early stages of determining what the appropriate measures will be and what effectiveness looks like. Gina Rallis reviewed the presentations presented at the meeting and asked PWC to comment on the work they have done so far on benchmarking. Ivan Milan of PWC gave a high level review of his report on benchmarking and indicated that he had, as part of background work, done case studies and reviewed what other jurisdictions are doing. Gina Rallis asked all members to forward topics they would like on the agenda for the next meeting which will be held on January 18, 2013 at 9:30 am.
Innovative Canadian Enterprises Advisory Committee:
Brad Sweeney reviewed the presentations provided and asked for input from members to get agreement on or to suggest changes to the Terms of Reference. Following a lively discussion, Brad informed everyone that the emphasis is on future looking innovation and not products that exist currently. Moreover, the focus should be on how people use the technology rather than the technology itself. SSC wants to access the innovative ideas and companies in Canada and attendees were asked to provide ideas that could be used to create an inventory of the critical problems and challenges that are impeding innovation in Canada. Brad wants to have a list of critical problems and challenges (that the ICT industry thinks SSC should be aware of) for the next committee meeting.
ITAC was represented by Aaron Brooks, Manager of Innovation, Softchoice on the Innovative Canadian Enterprises Advisory Committee. Linda Oliver, Vice President, ITAC was, on behalf of Karna Gupta, the ITAC representative on the ITIR Procurement Benchmarking Advisory Committee. Both of these committees are an opportunity for ITAC members to provide input. For more information, please contact Linda Oliver - email@example.com.
The documents for both sessions are as follows:
Agenda - Innovative Canadian Enterprises Advisory Committee
Terms of Reference - Innovative Canadian Enterprises Committee (English)
Terms of Reference - Innovative Canadian Enterprises Committee (French)
Agenda - Industry Technology Infrastructure Roundtable Procurement Benchmarks Advisory Committee (English)
Agenda - Industry Technology Infrastructure Roundtable Procurement Benchmarks Advisory Committee (French)
Presentation - Information Technology Infrastructure Roundtable Procurement Benchmarks Advisory Committee (English)
Presentation - Information Technology Infrastructure Roundtable Procurement Benchmarks Advisory Committee (French)
Presentation - Information Technology Infrastructure Roundtable Procurement Benchmarks Advisory Committee_SSC Procurement Review
Terms of Reference - Information Technology Procurement Benchmarks Advisory Group (English)
Terms of Reference - Information Technology Procurement Benchmarks Advisory Group (French)
Posted November 29, 2012
ITAC had the honour of hosting a presentation ceremony on November 22nd at Centre Block, Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario for the following recipients of the Diamond Jubilee Medal:
ITAC thanks Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk and Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Diane Finley for making this event even more special by presenting the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal to the worthy recipients who are all from the ITAC community.
Thanks also go to Senator Donald Oliver Deputy Speaker of the Senate who participated in the ceremony and sponsored ITAC as visitors on Parliament Hill.
The event was attended by friends and family of the recipients and several ITAC staff. Photograph of the evening are available here.
“ITAC is a community of people first and companies second. In fact, ITAC depends on the contributions and leadership of its people – staff, members and volunteers - to continue to grow and achieve its goals. The significance of the contributions made is immense. This year we are pleased to acknowledge some of these individuals through the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal program. I congratulate all recipients on receiving this award and thank you for your contribution to ITAC.” - Karna Gupta, President and CEO, ITAC
Posted November 27, 2012
Last week the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, and Minister responsible for Shared Services Canada, launched the Information Technology Infrastructure Roundtable (ITIR)which brings together Government and representatives of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector on a regular basis to help shape the Government of Canada's IT transformation agenda. Participants in this roundtable include leading members of the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, the Canadian Business Information Technology Network, Invest Ottawa, the Canadian Information Technology Providers Association and Communitech, as well as academics and other experts. See documentation from the meeting below.
"Shared Services Canada (SSC) is the single biggest initiative that the federal government has undertaken to become a knowledgeable enterprise buyer of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). This is enabling it to begin the transformation from being a consumer of ICT to being an investor in ICT. Last week's meeting reaffirmed that the SSC is the right organization to drive this transformation," says Karna Gupta, President and CEO, ITAC. "Minister Ambrose also confirmed her direction to SSC to consult widely with industry, use best practice and achieve best value for money spent by government. ITAC members are working closely with SSC staff on a daily basis to achieve this and we are committed to continue this work with SSC as they move forward with their plans to consolidate buying for Email Data Centres and networks. This is in the interest of the SSC, the ITAC community and Canadians who are the end customers of government services."
Shared Services Canada was created on August 4, 2011 with the mandate to deliver email, data centre and network/telecom services to 43 Government of Canada institutions representing 95% of the federal IT infrastructure spending. Its goals are to reduce costs, improve security, maximize efficiencies, and minimize risks.
Posted November 23, 2012
Shared Services Canada (SSC) is introducing an electronic bid submission process (EBS). EBS allows suppliers to submit bids or proposals, and supporting documentation online via MERX, Canada's public tendering service. The system includes safeguards to ensure the security and authenticity of the material being transferred. SSC says the advantages will include lower preparation cost, shorter turnaround time, and elimination of errors when used with forms. Please see the presentation for more detail.
SSC is currently running a proof of concept, by providing the option for Suppliers to electronically submit their responses to a Request for Information on Local Internet Access Services. The Request for Information seeks supplier input on a proposed bid to purchase commercially available Internet services across Canada. It can be found at www.merx.com.
For more information, please contact Cindy Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted November 22, 2012
In his presentation, Mr. Gupta stated that Canada's principles-based approach to privacy regulation adapts well to protect personal information in this rapidly changing industry. He noted that the social media industry has driven innovation in a number of related sectors such as data analytics, cloud computing and smart phones. These ICT developments show tremendous potential for growth, and to improve productivity in Canada. As part of an overall Digital Economy Strategy, Mr. Gupta also stressed the importance of digital literacy programs to help Canadians use these new digital tools in a safe and effective manner.
See Mr. Gupta's speaking notes here.
For more information, please contact Cindy Baker at email@example.com.
Posted November 9, 2012
Total research spending for Canada's Top 100 R&D Corporations jumped by 6.1% to $10.9 billion in Fiscal 2011, up from $10.3 billion in Fiscal 2010. This result reverses a 5-year decline in R&D spending. Research In Motion Limited retained its hold on first place in the national ranking, spending $1.54 billion on research in Fiscal 2011, a 10.8% improvement over Fiscal 2010. Bombardier Inc. jumped 8 positions in the ranking to second place overall with a 27.0% increase and total R&D spending of $1.34 billion.
$100 Million Club
Twenty-four companies qualified for Research Infosource's elite $100 Million Club - firms that reported $100 million or more in research spending in Fiscal 2011. Together these companies spent $8.14 billion in Fiscal 2011, accounting for 74% of total Top 100 spending, up from $7.59 billion the year before.
Gainers and Losers
The 10 leading firms in R&D spending growth in Fiscal 2011 all increased their spending by 55.0% or more. The largest gainer was Celestica, which recorded a 341.7% gain in R&D spending. Martinrea International posted an impressive increase of 225.7% in its R&D spending, followed by Canadian Solar (178.4%), Neo Material Technologies (135.6%) and Dorel Industries (127.2%) rounding out the Top 5. Overall, 63 companies posted increases in their research spending compared with 37 firms where R&D spending remained the same or dropped in Fiscal 2011.
Thirteen Top 100 companies in Alberta increased their R&D spending by 33.4% to a total of $824.8 million, far in excess of the 6.1% national R&D spending increase. Eleven B.C. companies on the list expanded their spending by 14.3% to $596.3 million, while 48 Ontario firms managed only a 5.4% R&D spending growth, totaling $5.66 billion. In spite of some large individual increases, 25 Quebec companies managed only a combined 1.4% total R&D spending increase, to $3.77 billion in Fiscal 2011.
Thirteen Top 100 performers in the Communications/Telecom Equipment sector spent a total of $2.48 billion on research in Fiscal 2011, accounting for 23% of the total. However, 5 Aerospace firms were not far behind, spending a total of $2.01 billion or 18% of Top 100 R&D spending. Twenty-one Pharmaceuticals/Biotechnology firms spent a total of $1.27 billion in Fiscal 2011, down from $1.39 billion in Fiscal 2010, a significant drop of -8.3%. All ICT sectors combined accounted for 46% of the Top 100 total, which indicates the importance of the sector in gauging overall Canada's R&D performance.
For further information:
Posted November 6, 2012
Ottawa – The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, today highlighted a proposed new licence for the Government’s Open Data Portal that will make it easier to download and reuse government data during an address at the Government Technology Exhibition and Conference in Ottawa.
“The opportunities that open data offers to spur innovation, fuel growth, and improve people’s lives, is truly exciting,” said Minister Clement. “We want to make it as easy as possible for Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators to turn government data into user-friendly applications.”
The Government is asking for feedback and comments on the proposed new licence until January 2013 at data.gc.ca. The licence, which is modeled on international best practices, offers unrestricted reuse of Government information, and will facilitate collaboration with other government data portals around the world.
It is expected to come into effect in the spring.
Minister Clement also highlighted plans to move to a new open data portal featuring significantly improved search capabilities and enhanced interactive tools. It will be based on a version of the Open Government Platform, which was designed to promote transparency and greater citizen engagement by releasing government data to the public through a freely available, open source platform.
“We are on the cusp of a remarkable evolution in the use of government data and this new portal underscores our Government’s commitment to the growing open data movement around the world,” said Minister Clement.
The Minister also promoted the Web Experience Toolkit. “The toolkit is a Government of Canada success story that provides great efficiencies through the building and sharing of website components that many organizations can use, instead of developing their own.” added Minister Clement
The toolkit is a code library that helps federal departments and agencies, other levels of government, and organizations build websites that are accessible, usable, and interoperable.
— 30 —
For more information, contact:
Acting Press Secretary
Office of the President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for FedNor
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
If there is a discrepancy between any printed version and the electronic version of this news release, the electronic version will prevail.
TTY (telecommunications device for the hearing impaired) – 613-957-9090
Follow us on Twitter: @TBS_Canada
Posted November 5, 2012
TinyEYE Therapy Services, an established global leader in providing Speech-Language Services, was recently recognized for Private Sector Excellence by the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA). For this prestigious global award, WITSA evaluated nominees based on global impact, market penetration and innovation. TinyEYE was selected because of their achievements in using information and communications technology to benefit societies, governments, individuals and educational institutions.
An estimated 300,000 children in the world currently have no access to therapy due to geographical, social, and economic conditions. TinyEYE believes that children should have equal access to quality speech therapy, regardless of these limitations. Its goal is to reach these children and leave no child behind by delivering the highest valued solutions in the most cost effective way. TinyEYE's vision is to be the number one advocate in the world for children finding their voice.
Greg Sutton, Chief Executive Officer of TinyEYE Therapy Services
Posted November 4, 2012
The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program, administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), is committed to placing a continued emphasis on the needs of Canadian businesses, particularly with respect to reducing their compliance burden, ensuring awareness of the SR&ED program, and enhancing accessibility to the program.
In March 2012, the Federal Budget proposed administrative improvements to the SR&ED tax incentive program, one of which was the enhancement of the online ESAT available since 2008.
In addition to helping you determine if the work you have done has the potential of satisfying the requirements of the SR&ED Program, the enhanced ESAT will also help you better understand the SR&ED policy on the eligibility of work and to determine how it applies in the context of your business in a practical way. The enhanced ESAT could also help you complete the technical project descriptions in the Form T661 Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Expenditures Claim.
Your suggestions and recommendations
In order to ensure that the enhanced ESAT meets your needs, the CRA is asking for your feedback. When submitting your suggestions and recommendations, you may consider the following questions:
If you are interested in submitting suggestions and recommendations, you are invited to send them to the CRA using the following email address (SRED_Policy-Politiques_RSDE@cra-arc.gc.ca) by November 30, 2012.
In order to ensure that the enhanced ESAT meets your needs, the CRA is also looking for volunteers to test a pilot version of the tool. Volunteers will be asked to provide specific feedback by answering a questionnaire. CRA representatives may also request a meeting or a teleconference to discuss your feedback. It is estimated that this testing would require approximately one working day for one individual.
If you are interested in participating in the pilot project, you are invited to contact us at the following email address (SRED_Policy-Politiques_RSDE@cra-arc.gc.ca). Please include your company’s name, address, phone number and the email address of a contact person.
Votre contribution à l'outil en ligne d'auto-évaluation de l'admissibilité (OAÉA)
Le programme de la recherche scientifique et du développement expérimental (RS&DE), administré par l’Agence du revenu du Canada (ARC), est constamment à l’écoute des besoins des entreprises canadiennes, notamment en réduisant leur fardeau en matière d’observation, en les sensibilisant au programme de la RS&DE et en facilitant l’accès à celui-ci.
En plus de vous aider à déterminer si le travail que vous avez entrepris est susceptible de satisfaire aux exigences du programme de la RS&DE, l’OAÉA amélioré vous permettra aussi de mieux comprendre la politique de la RS&DE sur l’admissibilité des travaux et de déterminer comment, concrètement, elle s’applique dans le contexte de votre entreprise. L’OAÉA amélioré pourra aussi vous aider à remplir la section sur la description technique des projets dans le Formulaire T661 Demande pour les dépenses de recherche scientifique et de développement expérimental (RS&DE).
Vos suggestions et recommandations
Afin de s’assurer que l’OAÉA amélioré répond à vos besoins, l’ARC cherche à obtenir votre rétroaction. Votre rétroaction peut toucher aux points suivants :
Pour soumettre votre rétroaction, ou pour toute autre suggestion ou recommandation, vous êtes invités à communiquer avec l’ARC en utilisant l’adresse courriel suivante (SRED_Policy-Politiques_RSDE@cra-arc.gc.ca) avant le 30 novembre 2012.
Toujours dans le but de s’assurer que l’OAÉA amélioré répond à vos besoins, l’ARC cherche également des volontaires pour faire l’essai d’une version pilote de l’outil. Les volontaires devront fournir leur rétroaction en remplissant un questionnaire. Il est possible que des représentants de l’ARC communiquent avec vous afin d’organiser une rencontre ou une téléconférence pour discuter de votre rétroaction. Nous estimons qu’une personne devra consacrer environ une journée de travail à l’essai de l’outil.
Si vous êtes intéressés à participer au projet pilote, nous vous invitons à communiquer avec nous à l’adresse courriel suivante (SRED_Policy-Politiques_RSDE@cra-arc.gc.ca). Veuillez inclure dans votre message le nom de votre entreprise, son adresse, le numéro de téléphone et l’adresse courriel d’une personne contact.
Posted October 31, 2012
As you may know the Government of Canada has embarked on an IT modernization initiative to reduce operating costs and upgrade its ageing technical infrastructure. Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) commissioned this report in recognition of the important role that small IT companies play in helping government departments provide innovative and reliable services to Canadians.This "How-to" report, entitled Shared Services Canada, IT Modernization and Emerging Market Opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises, offers small IT providers specific and realistic recommendations to help them succeed in the new business environment created by the IT modernization program.
Read the full report here by clicking on this link: http://market-works.ca/osme-report.html.
For more information, please contact: Cindy Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Posted October 30, 2012
The inaugural meeting of SSC's Architecture Framework Advisory Committee was held October 11th to seek industry advice on the Government's plans to transform its ICT enterprise architecture. Industry participants with expertise in network and data centre architecture were identified by ITAC and other associations. SSC is asking industry experts to "explore, weigh options and make recommendations" on how best to consolidate technology platforms to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. See SSC's presentation here in English or French.
ITAC has been actively engaged with SSC, and supports its consultative approach. Please note there will be opportunity for discussion on this and other issues at ITAC's Public Sector Business Committee meetings (next one November 27, 2012).
For more information, or to provide input, please contact Linda Oliver at email@example.com.
Posted October 29, 2012
For more information, please click on these links:
Posted October 25, 2012
WCIT 2012: Leadership in action
WCIT wraps up in Montreal
WCIT: Attracting tech women - and keeping them
World tech congress hits Montreal
WITC: Youth Award winners shine
RDI Économie - Entrevue François Morin
Posted October 24, 2012
Montréal, Quebec — The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, unveiled plans today to revamp the Government's Open Data portal during an address at the World Congress on Information Technology in Montréal.
The plan is for an improved portal housing government-collected data that can be freely downloaded, which would feature significantly improved search capabilities and enhanced interactive tools.
"We are on the cusp of some truly exciting opportunities and this new portal underscores our Government's commitment to the growing open data movement around the world," said Minister Clement. "Our Government's plan to move to an improved platform is a result of open, international collaboration that not only strengthens best practices among governments, but bolsters transparency and citizen engagement."
The Open Data Portal was originally launched as a pilot project in March 2011, as part of the Open Government initiative. Since then, some 273,000 datasets from 21 participating agencies have been uploaded to the portal, generating about one million user sessions.
The new portal is expected to be ready in the spring of 2013. In the meantime, the current portal was re-launched today with new content and links to government applications as well as to provincial and municipal open data portals across Canada.
The new content includes a request for feedback on a new Open Government licence that will provide for unrestricted commercial and non-commercial re-use of Government information and is consistent with international best practices.
— 30 —
For more information, contact:
Acting Press Secretary
Office of the President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for FedNor
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Posted October 22, 2012
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, delivered the welcoming remarks at the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT 2012) this morning at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. Click on the adjacent link to view these remarks.
WCIT 2012 will take place over the next three days and will focus on the theme of "ONE Vision for a Global Digital Society". It will feature numerous high-profile speakers and has attacted over 1200 delegates from more than 60 countries, including representatives from industry, governments, academia, and civil society.
Posted October 19, 2012
Thanks to Merchlar, Augmented Reality (AR) is going to be available at WCIT 2012.
This AR is going to allow 50 plus Canadian technology companies to present their innovations and technological capabilities via a Digital River to anyone at WCIT 2012 who has a smart phone or tablet.
As with all things digital, an app is required and it can be found on the app store for iPhone, iPad and Android using the following links:
Once downloaded, all that is needed is to point the smart phone or tablet’s front camera at the target image to activate the augmented reality experience. Please keep the whole image in view to avoid losing sight of the content.
AR has been called the eighth mass medium, after print, recordings, cinema, radio, television, Internet and mobile phones. It is essentially a live view of a physical, real-world environment (that we live in) augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as video, sound or graphics. Typically, an AR environment has digital information transposed onto a real-world view.
According to a recent article in Reuters, the AR industry, a collection of smartphone apps generating less than $2 million in 2010, is now on the verge of becoming a real business potentially worth $1.5 billion in 2015.
Merchlar is an award-winning, fast-rising, Montreal-based company in the AR Industry and its clients include Ubisoft, Sidlee, and Alliance Films. Merchlar delivers AR and interactive solutions for seamless two-way communication between your brand and consumers. In so doing, it enables consumers to go from seeing your business to experiencing your business. See how here.
For more information please contact:
Lynda Leonard firstname.lastname@example.org
Wayne Hendry email@example.com
Posted October 18, 2012
World Congress on Information Technology in Montréal
OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will deliver the welcoming remarks at the World Congress on Information Technology, on Monday, October 22, 2012, at 8:15 a.m, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
Click here for full text version online.
Congrès mondial des technologies de l’information à Montréal
OTTAWA — Son Excellence le très honorable David Johnston, gouverneur général du Canada, prononcera le discours de bienvenue au Congrès mondial des technologies de l’information le lundi 22 octobre 2012 à 8 h 15 au Palais des congrès de Montréal.
Cliquez ici pour la version complète en ligne.
Avis de confidentialité
Posted October 11, 2012
By taking advantage of all that the cloud has to offer, Canada can position itself as a true global economic player.
Canada has long been a natural-resource-based economy. We remain, to a large extent, “hewers of wood and drawers of water.” Because we’ve enjoyed a stable trade relationship with our neighbours to the south, we’ve historically lacked the urgency to diversify. We’ve focused on exporting raw goods to great success. What’s long been missing is the added value that is essential to creating globally competitive businesses.
Adding value is the key to our prosperity. Companies with higher value-added processes produce more innovative, more complex, and ultimately more desirable products and services. This increases a company’s profits and the wages they pay their employees, which ultimately drives growth in GDP.
The only tried and true way to create more value-added and globally competitive businesses is through innovation. And the cloud offers us an unprecedented opportunity.
Stuck in the past
Sadly, the innovation that is so vital in creating more valuable companies is an area in which Canada has lagged. According to the World Economic Forum’s latest report, Canada slipped two spots and now ranks 14th in global competitiveness. What’s more, we fell six places to 15th in terms of innovation and business sophistication.
Should we be surprised? As a country, we invest substantially less in machinery and equipment than many of our global peers, especially the U.S. Despite a stronger dollar, this gap has continued to widen since 2010. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the area of software investment. According to the Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress, U.S. companies spend roughly 40 per cent more on software than their Canadian counterparts. We may purchase the basic systems and hardware infrastructure to run our businesses, but it is through software that new opportunities for innovation and creating competitive advantage are realized.
Enabling global scale
The good news is Canada has a well-educated and technically savvy population and one of the highest rates of internet connectivity in the world.
While the majority of our businesses are small – with less than 100 employees – today, that matters less and less. A decade ago, lack of scale was a significant hindrance in competing with larger, more established companies. But with disruptive technologies like the cloud, small organizations can now access the tools and capabilities to punch above their weight. This new era of computing now favours the agile and creative, and that bodes well for Canada.
As a nation of small businesses, the cloud offers Canadian companies the opportunity to access powerful, game-changing applications without the need for capital-intensive infrastructure or staffing investments. Software and extra computing muscle can be consumed “as a service,” allowing new tools and processes to be deployed quickly, without the long, costly implementation cycles of days gone by. Just as the internet gave every business the ability to project a “big company” feel by having their own website, the cloud allows even the smallest companies to project “big company” capabilities through the use of software and infrastructure-as-a-service computing. The potential for productivity gains and to create more sophisticated, innovative businesses is unprecedented.
Why we need to move forward
As competition intensifies in the Canadian market and beyond, businesses that don’t make the necessary investments in technology and human capital will be left behind. Our best and brightest will be leading the companies that have demonstrated their commitment to creating new platforms for innovation. Whether that is here in Canada or elsewhere depends on our willingness to embrace and integrate new technologies to build smarter, more value-added businesses.
Currently, our government is making great strides to ensure there is an increased market for our resources. We are strengthening our ties globally through free-trade agreements in Asia, which will help relieve our dependency on U.S. consumption. But it is time for us to expand beyond this dependency and become more competitive in new industries. We owe it to ourselves, and to future Canadians, to reach to the cloud, building a value-added economy that closes the productivity gap and positions Canada as a true global economic player.
Posted October 4, 2012
Ontario recently received the final report from Ontario's Expert Roundtable on Immigration, which outlines 32 recommendations that will inform Ontario's first immigration strategy. The expert roundtable was asked to address issues of immigrant selection, settlement and integration, and examine how immigration can best support Ontario's economic and labour market growth. ITAC embarked upon a “meet, greet and inform” campaign, above and beyond its ongoing advocacy efforts, to ensure that our member’s issues were front and center in the recommendations. The activities of this four-month campaign included several face to face 1-2 day sessions and numerous calls with all the Experts, the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation, relevant Government Departments. and invited speakers.
The report found that immigration is critical to Ontario's economic success. According to the report, for the province to prosper and remain globally competitive, Ontario needs more skilled immigrants. The province also must ensure that effective programs and services are available to help improve settlement and integration for all immigrants.
You can read the Toronto Star's article on this report here.
Posted September 12, 2012
There has been a flurry of submissions to Finance Canada throughout the summer regarding various aspects of the Federal 2012 Budget. The Budget announced a broad array of changes to the SR&ED tax credit for R&D investment. The legislation introducing these changes has been circulated for comment from interested parties by September 12. The Budget also raised concerns about third party tax filers for SR&ED claimants and has initiated a consultative process on that issue. ITAC Tax and Finance Forum Chair Karen Atkinson will participate in the consultation later in September.
The Budget also expressed the Government’s intention to address the chronic shortage of venture capital in Canada with $400 million allocation. ITAC’s submission on how this money should be used can be found here. Finally, in preparation for Budget 2013, ITAC has filed a submission with Finance Canada regarding measures it would like to see put in place, which can be found here. For further information please contact Lynda Leonard.
Posted August 21, 2012
The ICT industry is the most research and development intensive (R&D) sector in the Canadian economy accounting for 35% of Canadian private sector R&D. R&D is a vital activity for the ICT industry as innovation is central to its progress.
Recent changes proposed for the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit to encourage R&D investment will have a costly impact on the performance of R&D in Canada, especially for some of Canada’s largest R&D performers. These changes are scheduled to begin in 2013 and the ICT industry is seeking a deeper understanding among policy makers of the implications of these changes as it needs more time to adjust to these changes before they take place.
For more information on the importance of SR&ED to Canada's ICT Industry, please download ITAC's latest "The Issue".
Posted August 20, 2012
ITAC and other Association executives attended a session to hear SSC's plans for the quarterly consultation meetings with the ICT industry. The SSC provided information on the framework and process for the ITIR including the fact that it will set up four Advisory Committees to advise the SSC on priority areas: Architecture Framework, Innovative Canadian Enterprises, Procurement Benchmarks, and “Smart” Sourcing.
The Advisory Committee on Architecture framework will be the first to launch. Shared Services Canada will seek input on a Government of Canada IT architecture framework which would support standardization, interoperability and innovation. It would also be asked to identify best practices in adopting reference architectures, standards and security in the ICT industry in Canada.
If you would like further information, contact Cindy Baker, Director, Government Relations, ITAC (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Posted August 13, 2012
This presentation provides the results of a survey of ITAC members (June 13, 2012 – July 3, 2012) conducted on the impact on Innovation Investment by the 2012 Budget.
Posted August 7, 2012
This year’s edition of the Annual Review is dedicated to the small army of committed men and women who volunteer their time and effort to work on ITAC’s committees and forums to build a better ICT environment for everyone. It also provides a grass-roots view of ITAC’s work, accomplishments, and the tasks that still lay ahead of it. Enjoy!
A Growing Thirst for Skills and Talent
Helping Government Become Model ICT Users
Putting the Pro in Procurement
Public Sector Business in Ontario
Representation on Taxation
Developing Better Healthcare
Microsytems, Macro Effects
Driving Big Opportunities with Small and Medium Enterprises
Digital Commerce and Cyber Security
ITAC Staff Directory
Posted August 2, 2012
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue, today launched consultations regarding the impact that contingency fees may have on the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentive program.
This follows on the Government’s commitment in Economic Action Plan 2012 to study contingency fees charged by tax preparers for SR&ED claims.
“The SR&ED tax incentive program is the single largest federal program supporting business research and development in Canada, providing more than $3.6 billion in tax assistance in 2011,” said Minister Flaherty. “The feedback from this consultation will be important in ensuring that the program continues to benefit Canadian businesses and the economy.”
“The Canada Revenue Agency, which administers the SR&ED tax incentive program, will work closely with the Department of Finance throughout this consultation process,” said Minister Shea. “We continue to strive to make improvements to the administration of the SR&ED program and look forward to hearing from taxpayers and tax preparers on any initiatives that could allow us to make further progress.”
The consultations seek input from stakeholders to better understand:
The attached document provides guidance for the consultation.
Stakeholders are invited to provide comments by October 1, 2012 to SRED-Consultations-RSDE@fin.gc.ca or:
Department of Finance
140 O’Connor Street
For further information, media may contact:
Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Office of the Minister of Finance
Department of Finance
Posted July 27, 2012
ITAC Venture Capital Submission
What are the key challenges facing high growth firms in Canada in accessing the capital they need to innovate? What are the unique challenges confronting early or late stage companies or those in different industry sectors?
ITAC is the voice of the Canadian information and communications technology industry. The industry is the most mature of Canada’s knowledge-based sectors and is the most research and development intensive industry in the economy. R&D cycles in our industry range from a few months to many years from product inception to market entry and revenue creation. This relatively long gestation period characterizes ICT ventures as high-risk with the potential of high reward deferred over what can be a long period of time. Typically ventures created to introduce a new ICT product or services are not built on loan financing. Financing in ICT generally begins with a ‘friends and family’ round supplemented over the innovation by rounds of funding derived from angel investors, venture capital firms or a combination of both. As a company evolves into revenue production and profit, it must continue to feed its R&D engines to maintain competitiveness while investing in operational functions such as sales and marketing. Its continual demands for capital to fuel growth will precipitate additional funding rounds and potentially even a drive to take the company public with an initial public offering. The pathway from start-up to publicly traded company is fraught with challenges that make the chances of building a large Canadian company capable of competing or leading in the global marketplace slim indeed. Many of these challenges stem from the acute dependence on venture capital financing.
The venture capital industry in Canada is relatively small, immature in comparison to other jurisdictions and also comparatively risk-averse. Additionally the venture capital industry itself has faced serious challenges since 2000 and is only now beginning to recover from a serious decline in deal flow. In sum, venture capital is essential for the growth and success of companies yet it is difficult for even the most seasoned ICT entrepreneurs to find the capital they need in Canada. This results in a number of conditions which inhibit growth.
Firms are chronically underfunded. The scarcity of capital leads many start-ups to reduce their targets. Underfunding means subsequent rounds follow at shorter and shorter intervals. This persistent quest for funding is a drain on executive capacity. Many entrepreneurs exhaust themselves or sacrifice other dimensions of business development in this financing ‘hamster wheel’. Underfunding leaves firms more vulnerable to acquisition or, worse, failure.
Firms that cannot find Canadian financing are forced to seek financing in other jurisdictions. Generally speaking, foreign investment in Canadian companies is perceived as a positive thing. But many promising Canadian start-ups have learned that many foreign investors like to keep a close eye on their investments. Many companies have been required to relocate their ventures from Canada closer to the source of their funding. This is generally a one-way journey with the innovation and enterprise of the start-up founders frequently lost to Canada. As a result, Canada becomes a feeder system for the international hunt for talent and loses economic growth opportunities.
With so few VC options in Canada, it is particularly difficult for Canadian companies to find investors who align with the company’s objectives for growth and can set objectives beyond the typical 3-7 year investment timeline and an artificial ROI requirement which may not reflect the economic realities of the time. Most VCs in Canada have little or no operational experience with knowledge-based firms. As a result, few are in a position to help young companies grow their businesses. Investees in the ICT community discern the difference between money and ‘smart money’. Smart money is venture capital that comes with other assets that facilitate company growth. These include executive and governance expertise and access to key customers and markets. ‘Smart money’ also comes with a willingness to align with the long range growth plans of the founders. Not all entrepreneurs create technology ventures with a view toward early liquidity. Many, particularly those more seasoned, aspire to create a large global venture or to develop a truly transformative technology. In a tight VC market, entrepreneurs on that path find it particularly challenging to find ‘smart money’. If we are to build robust knowledge-based sectors in Canada, we need to increase our supply of VCs prepared to invest for long-term growth.
Canadian firms frequently pay too high a price for capital. In an environment where capital is scare, firms frequently are forced to make less than optimal decisions about the terms of their funding, ceding more control for the money than comparable firms in other jurisdictions. This leads to more rapid dilution and contributes to earlier exits than might be possible in a healthier capital environment. ITAC believes that this is one of the factors that has led to the accelerating rate of mergers and acquisitions in ICT. The challenges that companies face are further exacerbated the further away they are from the locus of venture capital which is primarily Bay Street, Toronto. Growing a technology venture is not for the faint of heart. Those who do so in Atlantic Canada or the West are particularly brave.
Working capital to fuel transformative technologies or technologies with a hardware component is in particularly short supply. Firms in the ICT space have found that venture capital firms are averse to providing working capital for hardware inventories and also companies with longer than usual development cycles.
What barriers do Canadian and international investors face in participating in venture capital markets?
As the voice of the ICT industry, ITAC is better qualified to comment on challenges faced by investee firms than by investors. However, our community contains many entrepreneur investors who have channeled personal wealth into promising technology ventures. While this activity is an important part of the investment ecosystem, there is virtually no encouragement or support for it. This has prompted ITAC to advocate measures such as angel tax credits or flow through shares which we believe would increase the volume of this vital activity.
Emerging markets particularly in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East will increasingly play important parts in the growth and success of Canadian companies. Typically, Canadian VC firms are not well connected in these markets. Venture Capitalists who do function internationally are affected by the strength of the Canadian brand. Canada has many exciting technology ventures and can punch above its weight in terms of global ICT. But more needs to be done to promote and showcase Canadian ventures internationally and to strengthen our national brand.
In delivering the $400 million announced in the Economic Action Plan 2012, what models of venture capital support should the government consider in order to encourage private sector participating and investment? Should a priority be placed on attracting corporate strategic investors, foreign venture capital participation, or some other form of private sector investment?
Two basic principles must guide the development of a support model. First, the model must be designed for maximum leverage. By the estimate of many industry observers, the $400 million identified for this purpose represents about one-eighth of what is required to restore the Canadian venture capital climate to health. Clearly a focus on return and leveragability must be paramount. A one-time only investment of $400 million will have very little impact on Canada’s ability to grow 21st century businesses, especially knowledge-based ventures. So the model must be sound enough to attract private sector partners in sufficient numbers to maximize the impact of this investment.
But at the same time, we must resist the temptation to create an instrument that looks and functions like every other fund or financial institution in the marketplace. The infusion of $400 million of public money is an artificial device in the free venture capital market. It must therefore be designed to fulfill other objectives than those that guide private sector fund creation or we risk replicating, with significant public funding, market inefficiencies that currently exist. To avoid this, the model must have explicitly expressed objectives beyond simple return on investment.
For example, there is a well-recognized shortage of what we have described as smart capital – capital that comes with alignment on the growth strategy, augmentation of executive capacity and access to markets and supply chains. These characteristics must be built into the model.
Currently there is also an aversion to investment in long term transformative technology – exactly the kinds of technologies that have built global leaders in Canadian technology in all sectors including ICT. The current bias in ICT funding is toward the shorter development cycles in software particularly in the fast paced application software. A fund of the nature currently under consideration must be prepared to go where market-oriented funds do not.
Similarly, a fund of this nature should be unapologetic about non-financial objectives. It must not exist exclusively to make entrepreneurs and investors rich though that is a critical sustainability factor. But a fund of this nature should have a clear and explicitly expressed capacity building objective. It should aim to fund and build enterprises and sectoral growth.
Additionally a fund of this nature should aim to address and equalize other disparities in the Canadian landscape. Companies in Atlantic and Western Canada face higher hurdles in their search for capital than those in central Canada. Companies led by women are similarly disadvantaged.
The model should also aim for operational differentiation from other funds. It should be positioned and staffed for swift decision making. It should have a growth strategy carefully gated by the achievement of specific key performance indicators. The fund should also be equipped with a strong communications arm. Canadian companies in our sector are significantly undervalued in comparison to U.S. competitors. Powerful communications about exciting Canadian investment opportunities can propel investment interest in Canadian technology ventures in the institutional and retail as well as the VC space. Proceeds from financing exits should be reinvested in the fund to ensure sustainability.
In terms of prioritizing potential partners, we note that many leading technology companies in ICT have recognized the virtues of investing in Canadian ventures. We believe that this activity could be expanded with appropriate encouragement and incentives. These should also include broader communication and promotion of Canada’s highly competitive corporate tax rate. Foreign venture capital is a rich vein of funding to tap but, as mentioned before, foreign investment at the enterprise level frequently leads to dislocation and loss of the innovation, the talent and the growth opportunities. Participation of the Canadian Government in a fund with foreign investors should explicitly mitigate against this.
Consideration might also be given to new ways to attract domestic retail investors. The most rapid growth in our sector occurred when retail instruments played a much bigger role than they do today. Our experiments with those instruments are not viewed as successful. However, that should not preclude the examination of alternative measures to encourage retail investment.
Does Canada have the right mix of large-scale and small-scale funds? Should a portion of public support target any particular stage of company development?
These are highly disputed questions. Emerging companies believe there is a shortage of early stage capital. Established companies insist that late stage financing is in short supply. Logic dictates, however, that without sufficient early stage funding, there won’t be enough established companies to require later stage funding. Empirically establishing the gaps in the Canadian venture capital environment is a critical first step in the creation of this fund. Once the gaps are identified, this new initiative must be ready to operate in areas of the marketplace where current private sector funds do not.
What criteria should the Government consider in allocating the new resources to support venture capital in order to meet the objectives outlined above?
ITAC believes the criteria should be as follows:
Posted July 23, 2012
Response to the Email Transformation Initiative Request for Information
Solicitation No. 2B0KB-123327/B
Contact: Cindy Baker
Director, Government Relations
220 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 5Z9
Phone: 613-606-1860, Email: email@example.com
July 23, 2012
The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) is pleased to provide this submission in response to the Shared Services Canada’s Letter of Interest on its Email Transformation Initiative. ITAC supports the Government’s plan to consolidate IT services to achieve improved service, security and cost savings.
ITAC is the voice of the Canadian information and communications technologies (ICT) industry. ITAC represents a diverse ICT community spanning telecommunications and internet services, ICT consulting services, hardware, microelectronics, software and electronic content. ITAC's community of companies accounts for more than 70 per cent of the 572,000 jobs, $140.5 billion in revenue, $6.0 billion in R&D investment, $31.4 billion in exports and $11.4 billion in capital expenditures that the ICT industry contributes annually to the Canadian economy. ITAC is a prominent advocate for the expansion of Canada's innovative capacity and for stronger productivity across all sectors through the strategic use of technology.
ITAC recognizes that many of our members will respond directly to the Letter of Interest with detailed and specific comments on the questions posed therein. As such, our comments will focus on only those general themes related to industry concerns and our Association’s priorities. We would like to thank you for this opportunity to provide input, and applaud SSC for the collaborative approach it is taking on this initiative.
Theme 3: Security Requirements
ITAC fully supports the Shared Service Canada’s commitment to improving security as it consolidates its Email Solution. As outlined in the RFI, Email is a “known major threat vector”, and there are serious concerns about the impact of cyber threats on the ability to protect personal data and Canada’s national security.
Clearly, the Government of Canada has a duty to take measures to protect confidential and personal information. Fundamentally, an effective way to do this is to implement a comprehensive and ongoing IT security program, based on the principles outlined in the ITSG-33 draft document, being developed by Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC). The RFI notes, on page 15, that email security has traditionally been addressed on an individual departmental or agency basis. However, it is imperative that the type of lifecycle approach outlined in ITSG-33, containing information security controls for the technical, operational and management sectors, be fully adopted by all Departments using the consolidated Email solution. We will leave it to members to comment on the questions regarding specific security measures and the business model for implementing them. Overall, the implementation of a consolidated, lifecycle program will have a significant impact on the Government’s ability to safeguard confidential data.
Theme 8: Small to Medium Enterprise Socio-Economic Considerations
ITAC supports the development of innovative SMEs that can support Canadian federal initiatives. Sixty-five per cent of our members are SMEs and 60% are Canadian-owned. Our larger members work with SMEs across Canada to provide IT solutions to the Government of Canada, provincial and municipal governments. SC can encourage partnership between highly-skilled, experienced firms and innovative Canadian SMEs to develop the business and relationship models that support innovation. SSC can build this requirement into the procurement process. As an example, large organizations acting as the prime supplier for a large procurement, such as Email Transformation, can be required to use SMEs in the service delivery by, for example, committing that a certain percentage of the overall contract value be delivered through Canadian SMEs. Another option is to provide rated points for Bidders that propose to use Canadian SMEs in the performance of the Contract.
Theme 10: Proposed Procurement Approach:
ITAC supports the Collaborative Procurement Solution, as proposed by Shared Services Canada (Q44). A win-win relationship occurs when the objectives and the strategy for procurement are clear and realistic for both sides. This can be achieved through early, ongoing and effective engagement with industry. The “win-win” happens when the final procurement reflects the results of a thorough consultation. A collaborative culture, such as this, will ultimately lead to improved partnerships, greater innovation, and successful results.
As well, ITAC agrees with the recommendations of the Jenkins report in that SSC should seek to define the desired outcome of a procurement and allow industry to respond with solutions, supported by recommended performance measures and benefits realization criteria (Q45). Moreover, the evaluation of bids should be based on overall value. The procurement process must focus on the problem to be solved, rather than prescribing detailed specifications. The Email Transformation initiative is an opportunity for Shared Services Canada and the Government of Canada to evolve to a new services paradigm.
With regard to Questions 53 to 55, we encourage Shared Services Canada to pay particular attention to the terms and conditions to be included as part of the RFP and the resulting contract process. Given the size and scope of this procurement, the adoption of contractual requirements which are contrary to commercial agreements and corporate governance laws, could have the effect of limiting the number of quality bids received.
A key example of this is the proposal for unlimited liability to minimize the risk of a security or privacy breach due to vendor negligence and due to a vendor being compelled by a foreign nation to hand over email information owned by the Government of Canada. ITAC and its members clearly take very seriously the need to protect confidential and personal information owned by the Government of Canada. As well, we fully agree that the Contractor must adhere to all security requirements in the contract and, if they do not, be subject to related remedies (to be discussed during the RFP refinement phase). However, the concept of unlimited liability is problematic in today’s corporate governance environment. It is not possible for a company to purchase insurance for uncapped liability. As such, corporate officers would not be permitted to sign off on unlimited corporate exposure in an environment where future techniques for cyber attacks can not necessarily be foreseen, and the limits to the use of the U.S. Patriot Act have yet to be tested.
ITAC has previously worked with PWGSC and Treasury Board Secretariat and achieved an agreement for a limitation on liability in IM/IT projects. Under that agreement, the Contractors would not be held liable for special, indirect or consequential damages, or for liability for damages of third parties, except in limited and specified circumstances. As well, it was agreed that first party liability for direct damages would be capped in the Contract. We will leave it to potential Bidders to propose details and a cap that would be appropriate for this procurement and in the current corporate environment.
In general, to achieve the most success, an enterprise purchasing model for the Government of Canada should align as much as possible with commercial enterprise agreements and practices. We recommend that a detailed discussion of contractual terms and conditions occur during the “Review & Refine Requirements Phase” of the procurement process. As well, Shared Services Canada should enter into early negotiations with the successful Bidder to allow the supplier to leverage its standard agreements. In doing so, taxpayers will benefit from maximum competition among suppliers, access to the fullest range of possible solutions and innovation, and the best possible pricing.
ITAC appreciates the opportunity to provide input on this precedent-setting procurement process. We fully support the collaborative procurement approach and trust that it will produce successful results.
We would be pleased to provide any further information, as needed.
Posted July 19, 2012
During the c200 Investment Forum of WCIT 2012, international investors will present their venture capital investment strategy and portfolio to a select group of Canada’s smartest and most innovative early-stage technology companies. This premium networking event offers Canadian companies an opportunity to gain insights into international partnering possibilities and to conduct informal discussions with various c-level representatives from foreign and domestic investment companies. Your company could be one of two hundred early-stage Canadian companies selected to attend this forum.
It is a great opportunity for early-stage Canadian companies seeking investment. Already confirmed VCs include: Brightspark (NA), Celtic House (CAN), Formation 8 Capital (ASIA), Georgian Partners (CAN), Investeco (CAN), McRock Capital (US/CAN), Novacap (NA), Panorama (NA), RHO Canada (CAN), Samsung/7 Capital (ASIA/NA), Telus Ventures (CAN), WestSummit Capital (ASIA).
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to gain insights into international partnering possibilities!
Posted July 10, 2012
The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) recently announced a $20-million investment in innovation funds that will support small- and medium-sized businesses in southern Ontario.
The $20-million contribution comes through FedDev Ontario’s Prosperity Initiative. This investment will support two funds, known as the Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII) projects. SOFII will provide a $12-million fund in the west and an $8-million fund in the east. These two funds will be delivered by southern Ontario’s two regional Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) networks: the Western CFDC Association and the Eastern CFDC Network Inc. to both smaller rural and larger urban communities.
During the projects’ first two years, the Networks will provide business loans valued between $150,000 to $500,000 each to accelerate the growth of an estimated 80 southern Ontario small- and medium-sized businesses, which will help create or maintain over 700 full-time jobs. These loans are available to support growth activities such as late stage commercialization, new product or service development, new applications or markets. and development or implementation of new processes or technologies.
For more information about SOFII or the Prosperity Initiative, please go to http://www.sofii.ca/ or or call:
Carol A Armstrong, MBA
Eastern Ontario CFDC Network
(705) 741-1980 Office
About FedDev Ontario: Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region’s strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region’s businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit FedDev Ontario or call 1-866-593-5505.
Posted July 3, 2012
Shared Services Canada (SSC) recently notified suppliers that it is invoking the National Security Exception for procurements related to email, telecommunications and data centres.
Among other things, this means that SSC will be able to seek “made-in-Canada” solutions in its procurements for these services. Trade agreements do not apply when the National Security Exception is involved.
These trade agreements contain rules that prohibit discrimination against foreign suppliers in public contracting. However, countries that signed the agreements can “opt out” of the trade rules for specific procurements for national security concerns. SSC says it’s taking the exception so that it can take measures to strengthen the security of the government’s IT systems. The notification states that there are grave concerns about the implications of cyber threats on Canada’s national security given its interconnected and aging infrastructure.
When bidding on SSC procurements, ITAC members should pay careful attention as to whether the trade exception applies in that case, and whether there are any particular requirements for “made-in-Canada” services. Based on the first two procurements by SSC, this might include requirements such as:
When the security exception applies, there will be no ability to challenge the procurement to the Canadian international Trade Tribunal.
For more information, contact Cindy Baker - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted June 28, 2012
On May 14, 2012 the BC government released the new PST legislation that will be implemented on April 1, 2013, and in combination with the 5% GST, will replace the existing 12% BC HST. The legislation is an enhanced version of the old BC Social Service Tax Act (SSTA) with, according to the BC Ministry of Finance (Ministry), all “permanent exemptions” re-instituted and “ common sense improvements that will make administration of the sales tax easier for business” including new online access for businesses to register, update their accounts and make payments; moving the monthly filing deadline from the 23rd to the end of the month; incorporating the previous 8% Hotel Room Tax and 2% additional tax on accommodation in designated areas into the PST; allowing businesses to register using their federal business number; and allowing retailers a broader range of direct customer refunds.
A read through the legislation is at times déjà vu, intermingled with new provisions and a few surprises. The PST fundamentals embodied in the definitions are still there, but with enhancements that presumably tighten the PST noose and allow the Ministry to deal more effectively with problem areas encountered under the SSTA. So the key definitions of sale and tangible personal property (TPP) that underpin the application of tax are largely unchanged, however the former now makes specific reference to the provision of software whereas the latter does not, presumably to deal with the difficulty under the SSTA of deeming software, an intangible, to be something it’s not. Software is newly referenced in many of the sections of the legislation, and also merits its own series of provisions in Part 4 however, in the absence of the Regulations which are yet to be released, it is difficult to know whether any changes to the taxation of software may be in store.
Some new definitions, such as that of an ‘electronic device’ which replaces the term ‘transmitter’ in the definition of telecommunication service and is also referenced in the context of the taxation of software, would appear to be in line with the Ministry’s desire to update the legislation for technological advances. The taxable services definition now encompasses ‘related services’ which are defined to include any service provided in relation to TPP, subject to certain exceptions such as the installation of TPP that will become an improvement to real property. The broad definition of related service is of concern if it signals the application of PST to a more extensive range of services than originally contemplated under the SSTA.
There is also a new definition of carrying on business in BC linked to registration, and a provision similar to that previously in place under the SSTA that allows the Director to determine the fair market value of various supplies of TPP, software and taxable services where he/she disagrees with the price established by the contracting parties. The timing rules for when tax becomes payable are now patterned on the GST/HST timing rules that focus on the earlier of the day consideration is paid and the day it becomes due, subject to additional special rules. Finally, the legislation incorporates a new anti-avoidance rule, and re-introduces the ‘super-registration’ rule whereby persons that are not located in BC, but cause TPP or software to be delivered in BC under specific circumstances, are required to register. The latter does not apply to persons that are located outside Canada, thereby codifying a previous favourable administrative interpretation.
In the absence of the regulations, one cannot fully gauge the extent of the PST changes nevertheless, with the tabling of the PST Act, one can begin the process of understanding some of the areas of change and the impact on individual businesses.
Posted June 22, 2012
Volunteer of the Year is actually a misnomer for the Dave Wattling. He might more appropriately qualify as Volunteer of the Past Eight Years – his dedication has been so fierce and so longstanding. Dave Wattling became known to ITAC in 2004 as ITAC engaged what was then called CHITTA in discussions to merge their operations. Dave was the chair of CHITTA at the time and his vision of a robust and influential IT Health community within the larger ITAC organization has led to what we know and prize as ITAC Health today. Once the merger was completed, Dave continued to lead ITAC Health and served as a strong advocate for health matters on the National Board until last year. He also continued to serve on the ITAC Board until his term ended earlier this year and has been an active voice on the ITAC Health’s Advocacy Committee, the Kingbridge Forum Steering Committee and on the working group to develop ITAC Health’s strategic plan.
All of this activity took place while Dave was building his company, the Courtyard Group, into one of the leading players in Health IT in Canada. In 2011, TELUS acquired Courtyard and Dave continues to lend his expertise to the task of enriching TELUS’ enviable brand in the health sector.
So congratulations Dave!
About Dave Wattling:
Mr. Wattling is a senior information technology consultant and accomplished entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience. In addition to providing strategic, practical advice and quality assurance for client engagements, Dave brings his general leadership and business development skills to guide the Transformation Services team. This team provides the talent and services necessary for healthcare organizations to realize the maximum value from their investment in advanced information systems.
Before joining TELUS as Vice-President, Transformation Services-TELUS Health Solutions , Dave was Managing Partner and co-founder of a niche healthcare management consultancy of some 200 professionals operating across Canada and in the US and UK. In this role he was responsible for corporate management, business development and oversight of the US, UK and Western Canadian operations. Prior to that, Dave spent 20 years building a number of successful businesses with healthcare as the primary focus. His background is truly multi-faceted – software and service, large and small business, North American and European venues.
Dave is an award-winning management consultant with significant healthcare expertise. He is the Founding Chair of ITAC-Health, Canada’s trade association for healthcare IT firms, and he is the Associate Editor of Healthcare Information Management & Communications Canada. Dave holds the Certified Management Consultant, Information Systems Professional and ICD Certified Director designations.
Posted June 22, 2012
Jennifer Evans, a digital media pioneer, serial entrepreneur, community builder and social media guru, is succeeding outgoing Chair, Doug McCuaig, President, Canada, CGI Group Inc. as Chair of the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) for the 2012/2013 term.
“When Jennifer joined our Board of Directors in 2009, she was the only woman on the board. Although she is not the first woman to chair ITAC, she is the first female owner entrepreneur to step into the role,” said Karna Gupta, President and CEO, ITAC. “I am confident that Jennifer will provide the leadership and guidance needed to help ITAC to reach new heights in an increasingly complex business environment.”
Jennifer Evans is the founder, owner, CEO and chief strategist of Sequentia Environics, a Toronto-based digital agency that helps clients like HP, GE, and The Globe and Mail build relationships with their communities to drive traffic, generate sales, build loyalty, reduce costs, and gain valuable insights. She speaks and writes extensively on the frenetic world of Web 2.0 and has helped to guide many organizations, including ITAC, in harnessing the power of social media to strengthen communities and drive business outcomes. In short, she brings a fresh perspective to the association combined with sound business skills and a highly collaborative approach that is a core credential in social media.
“I want to thank Doug for all his hard work and effort during the past year,” said Jennifer Evans, incoming Chair of ITAC. “I don’t think there has ever been a period in the life of the organization where the Chair has made such a strong commitment and dedicated the time and energy that Doug has over the past 12 months. He has been an inspiration to all of us and it shows as the association is healthier and stronger as a result.”
Doug McCuaig will continue to play a role within ITAC as Past Chair.
About Jennifer Evans:
Jennifer Evans is a pioneer and leader in the digital space. As founder, owner, CEO and Chief Strategist of Sequentia, Jennifer has led revenue generating digital communications strategies for clients such as The Globe and Mail, Purina, HP and Yahoo! Canada. She is a globally sought-after digital strategist with patents pending on many of her methodologies, including “The Sequence”, Sequentia's ground-breaking approach to community engagement, and the company's content measurement framework.
Jennifer also sits on the board of advisors for DigitalJournal and was the co-chair of the White Ribbon Campaign for six years. She's written extensively on technology for The Globe and Mail and PCWorld.ca, and she makes regular media appearances, speaks at conferences and events and guest lectures at universities and colleges.
About Doug McCuaig
As President of CGI’s operations in Canada, Doug is responsible for driving the company’s strategy and growth across Canada. He joined CGI in 2004 from Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, where he held the position of Senior Vice-President and Managing Director, Consulting Services Canada. Doug completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Western Ontario and Ryerson University. He holds an MBA in Marketing and International Business from McMaster University and received executive management training at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) is the voice of the Canadian information and communications technologies (ICT) industry. ITAC represents a diverse ICT community spanning telecommunications and internet services, ICT consulting services, hardware, microelectronics, software and electronic content. ITAC's community of companies accounts for more than 70 per cent of the 572,700 jobs, $155.3 billion in revenue, $6.2 billion in R&D investment, $30.4 billion in exports and $11billion in capital expenditures that the ICT industry contributes annually to the Canadian economy. The ICT sector currently represents 4.9 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) and accounted for 9.4 per cent of all real GDP growth since 2002. ITAC is a prominent advocate for the expansion of Canada’s innovative capacity and for stronger productivity across all sectors through the strategic use of technology.
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For further information, please contact:
Senior Vice President, ITAC
(613) 238-4822 ext. 2223
Manager of Communications, ITAC
(613) 238-4822 ext. 2224
Posted June 15, 2012
MONTREAL – June 15, 2012 - Today, during the global teleconference featuring the legendary radio and television host Larry King, professor Peter A. Bruck and Canadian author and speaker Don Tapscott, the World Congress of Information Technology (WCIT 2012) has unveiled the official program of the event that will take place in the Palais des Congrès de Montréal (Canada) from October 22 to 24, 2012.
A Signature Event for the Global ICT Industry
Since its first edition in 1978, WCIT is organized every two years in different parts of the world under auspices of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), the leading voice of the global ICT industry. WCIT has become the world’s leading information technology gathering, featuring prominent business leaders as well as internationally recognized thinkers from government and academia.
The organization of the 18th edition of WCIT was awarded to the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) during WCIT 2008 (Kuala Lumpur) and is marking the first-ever event of this global scale in Quebec. Convened under the theme of ONE Vision for a Global Digital Society, the Congress will feature, in a fast-paced 3-day conference, more than 100 high-profile speakers and attract up to 3,000 delegates from more than 80 countries providing a unique perspective on the global promise of the digital revolution. WCIT 2012 will be hosted by Don Tapscott, arguably the world's leading authority in the field of information technology.
World Tech Jam – online brainstorming to shape WCIT 2012 agenda
From June 5-7, WCIT 2012 kicked off its activities by hosting, in collaboration with IBM, a World Tech Jam: a digital brainstorm session moderated by global industry experts and the IBM Smarter Planet communities. Citizens from 84 countries logged on more than 11,000 times to contribute ideas and identify actions that our governments, businesses and society can adopt in order to help address societal and economic challenges in sectors such as Collaborative Healthcare, Education & Digital Skills, Smart Cities & Transportation, Energy, the Environment & Sustainability and, Media, Arts & Culture.
Highlights of the WCIT 2012 Program
“WCIT 2012 brings a unique opportunity for industry leaders, businessmen, members of government, academia and civil society to share knowledge and expertise, to exchange ideas concerning a wide range of global ICT issues and to forge strategic relationships in order to grow businesses, - says François Morin, CEO of WCIT 2012. – The unique event will showcase Canadian technology innovation to a global audience, creating business opportunities for Canadian entrepreneurs and attracting foreign investment.”
ONE Vision for a Global Digital Society
The output of the World Tech Jam will be used to create the Global Digital Society Action Plan. The Plan aims at establishing the principles that will maximize the creative and intellectual potential that digital technologies can unlock across diverse sectors and institutions. It will inform, inspire and guide decision makers in sectors ranging from public administration and healthcare to education, environment, culture and science. On October 24, Anthony D. Williams, WCIT 2012 Program Chair, will present this unique document to Congress delegates, ICT stakeholders, government, academic and civil society leaders and, most importantly, to the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), which will promote the use of the Action Plan as a tool for policy development, educational curriculum and corporate citizenship programs until WCIT 2014 event in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) is an event where CEOs as well as representatives from government and academia discuss opportunities and possibilities that IT applications offer. Organized under the auspices of WITSA, it offers a unique collaboration between the international ICT industry, users and the public sector. WCIT brings together more than 3,000 global leaders in business, government and academia from over 80 countries to impact economic and social development through the exchange of policies, practices, trends and ideas on ICT. Since its inception in 1978, WCIT has become the world's leading information technology gathering with prominent speakers from all over the world. Past congress speakers have included among others, Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, and Mikhail Gorbachev.
The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is a consortium of more than 80 information technology industry associations from economies around the world representing more than 90 per cent of the global ICT market. Founded in 1978, WITSA has become an increasingly active advocate in international public policy issues. It strengthens the industry at large by promoting a level playing field and by voicing the concerns of the international ICT community with multilateral organizations, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the G8 and other international arenas where policies affecting industry interests are developed.
WCIT 2012 is made possible with support of the following sponsors: Air Canada, AMD, Bell, Canon, CGI, Cisco, Dassault Systèmes, Dell, Enterprise Saskatchewan, Government of Canada, Gouvernement du Québec, IBM, ICTAM, Intel, Investissement Québec, ITAC, Microsoft, OpenText, RIM, SaskPower, Sasktel International, Softchoice, Tourisme Montréal, Xerox.
Media partners: The Globe and Mail, IT in Canada and La Presse.
1 (514) 223-6770 ext. 224
Posted June 14, 2012
Shared Services Canada (SSC) held an Industry Engagement Day on June 12th to present its plan for consolidating Government email systems. SSC President, Liseanne Forand, said the day represents a "major milestone" for SSC to be "out of the gate" with its first initiative. The session was attended by a number of interested suppliers and associations, including ITAC and a number of its members..
There are approximately 100 different email system configurations across the Government of Canada. The project is intended to consolidate and modernize email systems for SSC's 43 Departments to reduce costs, increase security, and enhance program delivery to Canadian citizens and businesses. SSC will offer the new service to other Government Departments, as well.
As advocated by ITAC, the process will involve significant engagement with industry and associations. The "Collaborative Procurement Solution (CPS)" will seek feedback from interested suppliers through one-on-one meetings and the release of a comprehensive RFI. Through a qualification process, specific suppliers will participate in the finalization of the requirements and may then respond to the RFP. SSC officials emphasized that listening to industry input is a key element of the project.
As part of this process, SSC will seek thoughts and ideas on this process and on options for the procurement model, ranging from a Crown-owned managed service to a fully outsourced solution. Further details on the requirements being considered will be provided for comment in the RFI.
SSC is following an aggressive agenda for the project, with tentative plans to complete the RFI process by the end of July. The goal is to award a contract by March 2013, with implementation of a new consolidated system by March 2015. For more information, contact Cindy Baker - email@example.com.
Posted June 6, 2012
A recent study by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) has revealed that in 2010 Canada’s ICT investment per worker, expressed in current dollars, was 53 per cent of that of the United States – a gap of 47.0 percentage points. Some of the key findings of this CSLS study were:
• ICT investment growth in Canada in 2010 was 3.1 per cent – this is significantly less than the 7.1 per cent growth in the United States.
• Nominal ICT investment growth was less than nominal GDP growth in Canada in 2010, resulting in a fall in the ICT share of the business sector GDP. In the United States the reverse occurred as ICT investment growth exceeded GDP growth.
• The gap between Canada and the United States in ICT investment per worker in 2010 increased by 0.5 per cent from 2009.
(A complete copy of the CSLS study, “The Canada-U.S. ICT Investment Gap in 2010: The Widening Continues” is available at http://www.csls.ca/notes/Note2012-1.pdf.)
Many influential organizations view this widening gap as being directly related to Canada’s historical under-investment in productivity-enhancing information and communications technology tools and services.
For example, in its April 2009 report on innovation, the Council of Canadian Academies noted that “Growth of the hourly output of Canada’s business sector had been falling behind that of the United States for more than two decades, and the trend had deteriorated significantly since 2000. Investment in leading-edge technology – particularly related to computers and communications – was lagging significantly behind not only that of the United States, but also many of the advanced countries with which Canada compares itself.”
Ontario’s Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress in its 2011 report “Canada’s innovation imperative” stated that “Canadian businesses continue to trail their US counterparts in investing in machinery, equipment, and software to make their workers more productive. Lower investment in information and communications technology (ICT) accounts for about a third of the difference. Higher investment in ICT, which consists of computers, software, and communications equipment, creates an opportunity not only to innovate in our business processes through the application of technology to automate routine tasks, but also – and more importantly – to overhaul entire business processes to deliver more value.”
ITAC, which commissions CSLS’ annual studies of the ICT investment gap, is committed to promoting and enhancing the unique contribution ICT can make to Canada's economy and society.
“As the national technology association we are uniquely aware that Canada’s relatively weak adoption of ICT is a major drag on its competitiveness and overall economic performance,” said Karna Gupta, ITAC President & CEO. “Consequently, one of our strategic thrusts is to work with private and public sectors to not only increase the technology adoption but also improve the utilization in a way that helps address this widening ICT investment gap.”
About the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC):
The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) is the voice of the Canadian information and communications technologies (ICT) industry. ITAC represents a diverse ICT community spanning telecommunications and internet services, ICT consulting services, hardware, microelectronics, software and electronic content. ITAC's community of companies accounts for more than 70 per cent of the 572,000 jobs, $149.4 billion in revenue, $6.22 billion in R&D investment, $22.6 billion in exports and $11.8 billion in capital expenditures that the ICT industry contributes annually to the Canadian economy. ITAC is a prominent advocate for the expansion of Canada’s innovative capacity and for stronger productivity across all sectors through the strategic use of technology.
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For further information, please contact:
Senior Vice President, ITAC
(613) 238-4822 ext. 2223
Manager of Communications, ITAC
(613) 238-4822 ext. 2224
Posted May 30, 2012
ITAC is a community of people first and companies second. In fact, ITAC depends on the contributions and leadership of its people – staff, members and volunteers - to continue to grow and achieve its goals. This year we are going to acknowledge and celebrate this fact at our annual general meeting which is taking place on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 in Toronto.
The significance of the contributions made by our volunteers is immense and we annually present the “ITAC Volunteer of the Year Award” to one individual whose contributions have significantly advanced the progress of ITAC’s work over the past 12 months.
The process of identifying this person is simple: we are calling for nominations from our entire membership community. If you have encountered a volunteer whose commitment and energy has helped us achieve a key objective, either through work on an ITAC committee or in some other capacity, simply identify that person to us with a brief explanation of why you think that person’s contribution is exemplary and what results he or she achieved. Please make your nominations in confidence (We will not publish a list of nominees or nominators) and send them to Donna White by no later than June 13, 2012.
Please Note: Members of ITAC’s Board of Directors cannot be nominated.
Posted May 23, 2012
Now in its 13th year, the PROFIT HOT 50 is the definitive list of Canada’s Top New Growth Companies, ranked by two-year revenue growth. A place on the PROFIT HOT 50 can inspire your staff, attract new clients and investors, and spark relationships with other dynamic companies.
You’ll enjoy many great benefits as a PROFIT HOT 50 company, including coverage in the October 2012 issue of PROFIT Magazine and online at PROFITguide.com. PROFIT HOT 50 leaders will also receive an invitation to GrowthCamp, an exclusive summit at which PROFIT HOT 50 leaders share ideas, learn from experts and make valuable contacts.
If your firm was launched in 2007 through 2009, then enter the PROFIT HOT 50 today!
The entry deadline is June 30, 2012. Apply now!
For more information or to enter online, visit http://www.profitguide.com/awards or call 1-800-713-GROW.
Posted May 22, 2012
Did you know that...
For more information take a look at the recent report on ecommerce released by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology here.
Posted May 17, 2012
About 80 members of the ITAC community turned out for an information session hosted by Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation on May 9 to get an update on the procedures and processes for recruiting temporary foreign workers into ICT positions. Officials from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, HRSDC and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration made presentation. Given all the changes recently announced this information may be helpful to all ICT employers. Access the presentations here.