In 2010, Innoventures Canada Inc. (I-CAN™) launched an Innovation School™ to address the increasingly recognized need for education and training in the field of innovation, and in the components and workings of effective innovation systems. The timing was good because Canadian companies, governments and associations had been calling for Canada to strengthen its innovation performance as a way to ensuring that Canada’s global competitiveness is improved and sustained.
Innovation means converting ideas and knowledge into commercially successful products, processes, and services. Accordingly, the Innovation School™ has focused not only on building an understanding of innovation, but on promoting and sharing ideas, business models and best practices related to the enabling of innovation by research and technology organizations (RTOs).
The program comprises a growing number of modules that are offered in executive-style programs, designed to be highly interactive and practical with a focus on real-world case studies. Examples of module topics include:
- Innovation Overview
- Program Design
- Outcomes and Impacts
- Competitive Intelligence for RTOs
- Intellectual Property Management
Each session typically involves approximately 30 participants in order to ensure that a small group environment is maintained to provide opportunities for high levels of involvement and interaction. One of the positive surprises is that these events have helped the participants meet colleagues they previously didn’t know existed, and to learn about the breadth, depth and diversity of Canada’s RTOs from coast to coast. Some of our participants have found the networking to be as valuable as the educational component!
Importance of Innovation Education
In order to help Canada continue to advance in the global economy, RTOs will need to stay at the leading-edge of providing technological solutions to industrial problems and opportunities that connect to economic, environmental and social sustainability. Our vision is that the I-CAN Innovation School™ will help equip RTOs with the skills, knowledge and connections to grow Canada’s innovation system and ensure Canada’s global competitiveness is improved and sustained. (Click to Tweet!)
2015 marks the sixth year of the Innovation School™, which continues to evolve. It remains focused on training and best practice development in the areas of innovation and innovation-enabling, but we have learned that enabling innovation can be made more effective and more efficient when people connect, share and collaborate, so some continuing highlights of the school will be in developing linkages among colleagues and in sharing stories.
What other best practices are you aware of that can encourage and foster innovation?