News Release

Expert Panel Identifies Innovation Management Competencies Associated with High-Performing Managers

Canada has an abundance of raw ideas, talented people, and entrepreneurial spirit. While research is world-class and technology start-ups are thriving, few companies grow and mature in Canada. This cycle — invent and sell, invent and sell — allows other countries to capture much of the economic and social benefits of Canadian-invented products, processes, marketing methods, and business models. Escaping this cycle may be aided through the education and training of innovation managers who can systematically manage ideas for commercial success and motivate others to reimagine innovation in Canada.

To understand how to better support innovation in Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) asked the CCA to undertake an assessment on innovation management education and training. To address the charge, the CCA assembled a five-member panel to assess relevant evidence, lead a workshop, and develop a report. To inform its work, the Panel conducted a survey of courses, experiences, and programs offered at Canadian and international business schools and STEM departments; interviewed management experts from around the world; and surveyed Canadian business school deans.

The report, Improving Innovation Through Better Management, identifies five innovation management competencies associated with high-performing innovation managers and explores ways to provide innovation management training to a large, diverse population of students throughout their careers. These competencies are: finding opportunities, commercializing opportunities, managing diverse teams, leveraging innovation ecosystems, and leadership.

The Panel also examined leading practices for teaching key innovation management competencies. Although they determined that leading practices are not widely recognized in innovation management because it is an emerging field with silos of expertise, the report highlights 33 examples from Canada and abroad. Further, the Panel outlined nine principles in educating and training students in the early, mid, and executive stages of their careers.

The full report is available for download, free of charge, on the CCA’s website at


“Successful innovation depends, in part, on having well-trained managers throughout an organization. The competencies and other practices identified by the Panel in this report will help inform companies and schools about how to train innovation leaders in Canada today who drive creativity, promote diversity, disrupt markets, think globally, scale companies, and ultimately enhance the innovation ecosystem.”

-John R. McDougall, FCAE, Chair of the Expert Panel

“Canada is increasingly recognized as a hub of world-class research punching above its weight. However, we are less competitive internationally than one might expect. Although no single reason explains this phenomenon, innovation management training may be involved. This report therefore comes at an opportune time, and hopes to contribute to the ongoing conversation about innovation policy in Canada.”

-Eric M. Meslin, PhD, FCAHS, President and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies


Samantha Rae Ayoub
Communications and Publishing Director
Council of Canadian Academies
613.567.5000 x 256