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Financing our innovation ecosystem

   

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Mark Noonan, a Tax partner with Deloitte Canada, talks about the state of Canada’s innovation ecosystem. Incentives and programs from the government can play a vital role in fostering early-stage investment in Canada’s next generation of globally competitive companies.
Tags : financing, venture capital, VC, angel investors, R&D, innovation, competitiveness, the future of tax, tax policy, taxation, Canada, Deloitte

Knowledge-based industries will continue to grow at an exponential rate. Canada can capture this growth by claiming global leadership in the life sciences, alternate energy, clean technology, digital media, and in other sectors that are known, theorized, or yet to be discovered.

However, gaps exist in Canada’s innovation ecosystem, particularly in our ability to finance early-stage innovation. Without adequate investment, we are at risk of exporting or stifling a generation of made-in-Canada global companies. To correct this, we propose:

  • An angel investor tax credit to support early stages of innovation-industry development, when risks are higher
  • A later stage credit for corporate venture investors
  • Direct investment, including matching grants

Priority should be given to an angel tax credit. This is the logical starting point for the renewal of Canada’s innovation initiative and it is the incentive that will have the greatest impact on economic growth.

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