Innovation School

Innovation Through Education

Sitting in a room with likeminded individuals who come from similar research and technology organizations, discussing the latest developments and practices in Canada’s innovation system sounds like the ideal learning situation.

Fortunately, a setting like this is in development in Canada thanks to the efforts of Innoventures Canada’s (I-CAN®) former Chair, Board Member and National Research Council former President, John R. McDougall, and former Chair, current Board member, and President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Research Council, Dr. Laurier Schramm.

Professionals from all avenues

“Canadian companies, governments and associations have been calling for Canada to strengthen its innovation performance as a way to ensuring that Canada’s global competitiveness is improved and sustained. There is an increasingly recognized need for education and training in innovation and in the components and the workings of effective innovation systems. We came up with the I-CAN Innovation School™ concept as a way of addressing these needs,” explains Dr. Schramm.

Innovation means converting ideas and knowledge into commercially successful products and services. Accordingly, the Innovation School™, Canada’s first institution dedicated to innovation education has been designed to promote and support the sharing of ideas, business models and practices related to the enabling of innovation among I-CAN™ members, and prospective member organizations. It is intended to provide an understanding of innovation, the nature of research and technology organizations and the role that they play in Canada’s innovation system as agents of economic growth, product and process commercialization, and national competitiveness. It is also designed to help employees of I-CAN™ members learn about the business models and practices that are used to carry out their business.

What you can expect

“Early on in the development of I-CAN™, we realized that the major challenge to innovation is people rather than technology,” says former Board Member, I-CAN™ co-founder and former National Research Council President, John McDougall. “The Innovation School™ is designed to provide the unique training and experience required, and has the added benefit of developing linkages between I-CAN™ members.”

Modules include:
· Module 1: “Innovation Overview for RTOs,”
· Module 2: “Program Design for RTOs,”
· Module 3: “Outcomes and Impacts for RTOs,”
· Module 4: “Competitive Intelligence for RTOs,”
· Module 5: “Intellectual Property Management for RTOs,”
· Module 6: “Strategy Development for RTOs” *** new for 2015 ***

Participate and grow

The Innovation School™ is an executive-style program, with the modules being designed to be highly interactive and practical with a focus on real-world case studies. Participants receive all presentation materials plus additional reference materials. Each session involves up to 40 participants to ensure that a group environment is maintained to provide opportunities for high levels of involvement and interaction. Developing relationships between member organizations is an essential component of the sessions in order to generate opportunities for future joint projects and collaborative work. Over time, additional Innovation School™ modules will be developed and launched as the school grows and matures.

As Canada continues to advance in the global economy, it will become imperative for research and technology organizations to carve pathways for economic, environmental and social sustainability. The I-CAN Innovation School™ is intended to be the foundation for equipping member organizations with the skills, knowledge and connections to grow Canada’s innovation system and ensure Canada’s global competitiveness is improved and sustained. Although the initial sessions were targeted exclusively at innovation practitioners, the I-CAN Innovation School™ is now increasingly being made available more broadly, and consideration is being given to the possibility of creating a branded innovation certification process for participants who complete the Innovation School™ training modules.