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Open letter to Stephen Harper: The innovation economy needs youRudyk-45X64.jpg
Posted by Nathan Rudyk

Dear Prime Minister,
Congratulations on your win this week. I want to call your attention to the innovation economy. You're Ottawa's most successful politician right now. Sir Terence Matthews ("Terry" to most of us in the tech community) is Ottawa's most successful entrepreneur. Like you, Terry cares deeply about our country. In an open letter from the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) 10 days ago, he said "Canada's lack of innovation, a 14th place ranking or a D Grade in Innovation, among the 17 OECD nations is leading to mediocre socio-economic performance." You've been busy campaigning and may have missed the letter. But you can click here to read it.
Terry, who has started more than 60 innovation companies during an entrepreneurial career spanning 36 years, also pointed to an opportunity for leadership in a September interview with Canadian Business Magazine's Andrew Wahl:
"We live in a world that is very competitive, and to compete you have to spend strategically in R&D, especially the development side. If you don't do that, you go down. It's urgent. Venture capital companies that used to come visit Toronto and Ottawa now bypass those cities and go straight to California or Boston. We're off the radar. I've been in this industry now for almost 40 years, and I've never seen it this bad. At least somebody should say, "Industry is important." Where is the flag being waved to say, "We are supporting, we are committed to Canadian industry." Where is that flag? There is no committed leader saying, "Canadian industry is important, and we'll do things for it." In France, they fight like hell for their industry, and in Japan and Germany, they fight like hell for their industries. But we don't here."
What happens if leadership doesn't fight for the innovation economy? Click here to read more of Nathan's blog.

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