Additional measures recommended to help strengthen country’s potential to regain status as world leader in digital economy in Pre-Budget Submission
Ottawa, ON (August 26, 2020) – Procurement is one of the biggest and most underrated economic levers of government. Yet, Canada’s most promising technology scale-ups and Small-medium enterprises (SMEs) do not bid for the more than $6.8 billion spent annually on technology projects, because government procurement processes are too long, costly, complex, and onerous for their business. This is a long-standing and widely acknowledged challenge for Canada’s technology sector.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Canada’s tech organizations urged all levels of Canada’s government to reassess, innovate and modernize their procurement processes, viewed as cumbersome and limiting, especially to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In its Pre-Budget Submission to the Government of Canada, national tech industry association TECHNATION notes that the pandemic has amplified the need for rapid digital transformation by government as a whole.
According to TECHNATION President and CEO, Angela Mondou, “There is an immediate and significant opportunity for the federal government to stimulate the economy, and drive the recovery of Canada’s high-growth high-employment technology sector, with the adoption of technology solutions that are urgently needed. Adopting agile and more accessible government procurement as the ‘new normal’, will result in cutting-edge innovation in public service delivery and improved service delivery to Canadians, while fueling economic growth. A win-win for Canada!” It’s estimated that a one per cent increase in digital adoption, could have a direct $2.5 billion positive impact on the economy.
The Submission acknowledges that work is currently underway to reform technology procurement. Shared Services Canada (SSC) has recently collaborated with TECHNATION to pilot agile procurement that leverages TECHNATION’s first of its kind industry digital marketplace (TECH2GOV Digital Marketplace) The Marketplace is a one-stop shop for public and private sector officials to view the incredible technological solutions on offer across the country.. This collaborative platform provides the foundation for implementation of the Association’s proposal.
However – there is still much work to be done.
TECHNATION has proposed a national Innovation Adoption Program (IAP) be included as a key pillar of the Government of Canada’s economic recovery plan as part of Canada’s economic recovery solution. The IAP recommends dedicating a significant proportion of federal stimulus/recovery funding for the federal government to procure and adopt solutions from Canada’s technology sector. Funding will be delivered through modernized procurement approaches that are agile, streamlined, and accessible to SMEs. The win-win end result is the alignment of economic opportunities that federal purchasing power represents with urgent needs of government for digital solutions to execute virtual shovel ready projects delivered by technology SMEs across Canada.
Beyond the IAP, TECHNATION also recommends the following steps to ensure the viability of economic recovery across all industries:
- Enabling tech adoption across all sectors;
- Implement 5G and connectivity across the country, with an emphasis on continuing the process of establishing rural connectivity;
- Continue a review of the effectiveness of marketplace laws and regulations (e.g. Digital Charter, PIPPEDA, CASL, IP and Copywrite policies, etc.);
- Increase competitiveness and collaboration by tearing down trade barriers between provinces and territories, especially relating to data and technology; and
- Invest and re / up-skill public sector workforce to better serve Canadian citizens with an advance modern digital government.
To read the full Pre-Budget Submission, click here.
TECHNATION is the industry-government nexus for technology prosperity in Canada. As a member-driven, not-for-profit, TECHNATION unites Canada’s technology sector, governments and communities to enable technology prosperity from coast to coast. TECHNATION champions technology prosperity by providing advocacy, professional development and networking opportunities across industry and governments at all levels; connecting Canadian scale-ups with global tech leaders; engaging the global supply chain; and filling the technology talent pipeline. TECHNATION has served as the authoritative national voice of the $210 billion ICT industry for over 60 years. More than 43,200 Canadian ICT firms create and supply goods and services that contribute to a more productive, competitive, and innovative society. The ICT sector generates more than 666,500 jobs and invests $7.5 billion annually in R&D, more than any other private sector performer. For more information: www.technationcanada.ca
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