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Triple Helix - Building a Canadian Social Innovation Marketplace
Innovation 2.0 can address Canada's R&D challenge

The Canadian government has issued an open call for input on how their R&D innovation system could be improved.

Despite pumping in over $7 billion a year the country continues to fall further and further behind other nations in terms of innovation capability.

We'll be submitting our Canada Cloud Business Plan as a response, highlighting that it isn't just an academic exercise. It's a business plan for sure, but it's far more than just a document, it's a working example of a new type of innovation model, the 'Next Generation Cluster'.

Not only does Cloud Computing represent a growth industry, but also the technology itself can be used to accelerate innovation. It can enhance the national capacity for venture innovation.

The Triple Helix Formula for accelerating innovation
A symptom of this situation includes a low "BERD intensity factor", meaning Business Expenditures on Research and Development, and demonstrated through a low annual growth rate of labor productivity, 0.6% vs an average of 1.5% for other OECD members.

In short Canadian firms aren't inventing enough. The trend of exploiting natural resources (oil, fishing etc.) has meant the creative muscles of product innovation haven't been developed enough.

This is compounded by a weaker system for encouraging the effect through the universities. The consultation paper highlights:

"the balance of evidence suggests that many Canadian universities are first-rate scientific institutions. But in the context of the knowledge-based economy, it is not considered sufficient for a country's universities to produce groundbreaking scientific research in isolation. A growing body of research suggests that effective links between the three principle innovation funding/performing sectors of business, education and government are an important contributor to a successful national innovation system."

The lack of this integration between academia R&D and business innovation is confirmed through the fact "the OECD placed Canada near the bottom of OECD countries in terms of the proportion of businesses collaborating with universities for R&D."

Cisco agrees. In their Innovation Hub white papers they describe this three-way collaboration as the 'Triple Helix' effect.

"with the goal of a new level of excellence, clusters are taking advantage of the connection capacities of the "Triple Helix" model, which combines government, business and public research in the development of knowledge-based innovation systems."

Consequently, firms within the innovation hub have a higher ratio of R&D to sales, more effectively transferring R&D into commercialization.

Innovation 2.0 - Enhancing multi-factor productivity
The 'secret sauce' that is essential to igniting growth in this area is what Cisco describes as 'MultiFactor Productivity' (MFP).

This basically refers to the fact that the main core ingredients into an innovation model are labor input (people doing stuff), capital input (money) and MFP - How effectively they are combined.

"Economic analysis has shown that total factor productivity—the know-how, processes, and technologies with which capital is utilized—rather than capital intensity is the primary determinant of countries’ productivity and economic growth."

How this can be achieved is demonstrated through the core service central to our Canada Cloud Business Plan, the Feature Set Roadmap, a product innovation service that is inventing Cloud services that will be used all over the world.

To manage this process we'll be using the FeatureSet application.

Based in Montreal FeatureSet is a brilliant example of what is key to addressing Canada's innovation challenge, because i) it is an innovative new tech business, it's a hot new start-up that should be helped to achieve global expansion, and ii) it's an app for enabling more innovation, using the latest best practices.

FeatureSet is pioneering 'social business applications', merging traditional software methods for automating functions like Project Management and Product Development, with new 'Enterprise 2.0' social media.

This provides a cornerstone of the Cisco Innovation Hub model, where they describe the use of online social networks and virtual collaboration tools being key to enabling the type of cross-enterprise collaboration needed for the Triple Helix.

"Technology should be harnessed to enable growth in all industry sectors (as opposed to focusing solely on hubs that rely on technological innovation). The degree of availability, quality, and efficiency of web infrastructure supporting the hub will determine the strength of these digital communities and the pace of innovation."

Implementing a new model that fosters cocreation, coproduction, mutual evaluation, and cross-industry investments will require significant cultural changes, greater trust in individuals, and the acceptance of a new novel form of collaboration. At different levels and without predefined hierarchy, these community-driven hubs will thrive by involving virtual residents in a global dialogue.

Our Triple Helix marketplace will bring together leading Cloud computing experts from our Cloud Ventures group, with local Canadian universities and governments to provide a working demonstration of this catalyst effect.

About Cloud Best Practices Network
The Cloud Best Practices Network is an expert community of leading Cloud pioneers. Follow our best practice blogs at http://CloudBestPractices.net

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