SCC’s Innovation Initiative

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Whether it is a company that has developed a cutting-edge idea, or an established business that is adapting to stay relevant, innovation offers organizations the key to success. 

In 2017, the federal government announced an ambitious strategy to establish Canada as one of the most innovative countries in the world through its Innovation and Skills Plan. The plan aimed to foster Canadian leadership in potential high-growth areas such as advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital industries, health/bio-sciences and clean resources. In response, the Standards Council of Canada created the Innovation Initiative. This new program offered services for Canadian innovators to help them leverage the standardization system for the maximum benefit of their company’s growth. 

The goal of the program was to deliver 63 standardization strategies in five years and to facilitate participation of Canadian innovators on international technical committees to ensure our nation’s interests are represented in developing new standards. The results far exceeded the goal. We directly supported 130 Canadian companies and collaborated with over 250 innovators in each of the targeted high-growth areas. We also facilitated the participation of 404 Canadian experts on national and international technical committees, including the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission, with 28 chairs, conveners, and project leads. 

The program evolved and expanded over the years, realizing that we could help entire high-growth sectors to have an even larger impact. By bringing together Canadians from across government, industry, civil society, Indigenous organizations, academia, and standards development organizations, such as the 220 experts involved in the Canadian Data Governance Standardization Collaborative, we were able to tackle challenges facing our country with the help of standardization. 

The successes of the program are clear and will remain long after its sunset. According to our program survey, 68% of the companies reported job creation, increased, exports, or revenue as a result of working with SCC and 90% were satisfied with the service. But beyond the number of companies who commercialized products and services and the increased number of individuals who participate in standards development, the awareness of standardization as a viable solution to business challenges has been embedded within the innovation ecosystem through the many relationships built over the past five years. The investment in those relationships, to support innovation through standardization, will continue to reap rewards. 

Read the Innovation Initiative final report to learn more about the program and Canadian innovation projects.

For additional case studies, read the Innovation Initiative Case Studies Compendium.