Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
July 31, 2017

Minister Mitchelmore Releases What We Heard: Business Innovation Agenda

Following public engagement to help reset the province’s innovation agenda, the Provincial Government today released What We Heard: Business Innovation Agenda, a compilation of the views from industry, academia, government and community stakeholders on how to help create the conditions for companies to grow, enabling firms to capitalize on new ideas, processes, methodologies, services or products. The report can be found online at external link

Stakeholder engagement was framed around five key areas of exploration: Business and Innovation Skills, Market Opportunities, Access to Financial Capital, Access to Talent and Innovation Culture.

During the engagement sessions, stakeholders identified a need for one-stop coordinated advice and access to integrated financial and non-financial supports. The creation of InnovateNL, as recently announced, is a single-window for the delivery of provincial innovation programs and services to clients in a seamless and more efficient manner.

Stakeholder input from the Business Innovation Agenda engagement process will be considered in the development of a new action-focused Business Innovation Agenda for the province. The aim is to expand the pool and capacity of Newfoundland and Labrador’s economic wealth generators; our innovative and growth-focused businesses.

What We Heard: Business Innovation Agenda held six roundtables throughout the province engaging 48 business and industry representatives, along with 12 representatives from academia, eight representatives from community groups, as well as 14 government partners. In addition, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation regional/satellite offices held roundtables and one-on-one meetings with 64 businesses and eight community and Indigenous groups. The Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, wrote 31 industry and business groups requesting their involvement and/or input, and 17 written submissions were received.

The department also hosted internal sessions with government stakeholders including the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour. Further, 14 private sector corporate leaders accepted the minister’s invitation to provide advice on policy actions that help advance firm-level innovation, productivity and competitiveness.

The development of a new Business Innovation Agenda is a priority in The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador. The vision guides Provincial Government actions to achieve greater efficiency, strengthen the province’s economic foundation, enhance services, and improve outcomes to promote a healthy and prosperous province.

“One of the most important phases in developing the new Business Innovation Agenda has been listening to community stakeholders, industry, academia, private sector and government stakeholders. Part of the feedback we received from these sessions helped identify the need for InnovateNL, which will result in improved service delivery, better alignment of programs and services and increased collaboration and greater opportunity to leverage funding from federal and industry partners. I am pleased that we had a high level of industry interest, public participation and community awareness during this engagement process. Resetting the innovation agenda is a collaborative effort and by working together we will ensure a more innovative and prosperous province.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

“The stakeholder engagement process proved to be a great tool to enable public and private sector input into the Business Innovation Agenda. The information received will help to guide government’s support of innovative businesses and new ideas in Newfoundland and Labrador. I was very happy to be a part of the stakeholder engagement process and look forward to initiatives that foster innovation in this province.”
Adam Anderson
Member of Private Sector Advisory Committee

“The people of Newfoundland and Labrador have always been innovative by nature and necessity. I believe that the NL Innovation Council will assist InnovateNL to achieve its goal of more effective program delivery, thereby allowing our province’s entrepreneurial culture to flourish in the modern economy.”
Mark Dobbin
Chair, NL Innovation Council

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Media contacts
Eric Humber
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
709-729-4819, 725- 9655

Adam Anderson
Resource Innovations

Mark Dobbin
Killick Capital Inc.
Chair, NL Innovation Council

2017 07 31                              9:55 a.m.