Last month Bloomberg came out with their global league table of innovative economies. Canada has slipped another two places to 22nd, just ahead of Iceland and just behind Slovenia. While it is easy to debate the accuracy, or even relevance, of such measures, they provide an opportunity to reflect upon what we are doing in the context of what is happening in the rest of the world.
For example, the Innovation Index ranks Canada 35th for manufacturing value-added. No real surprise there, as the Canadian economy remains reliant on raw and semi-processed materials. Others, such as a low 35th ranking for tertiary education, may come as more of a surprise, given the percentage of Canada's population with post-secondary qualifications and reputation of Canadian schools. The problem seems to be while a lot of Canadians are acquiring higher qualifications, comparatively few are going into science, technology, engineering and mathematics.