Celebrating science and technology
I recently had the opportunity to meet Ryan Holmes who is an Okanagan success story in innovation and technology.
Ryan attended Okanagan College (OC) and is now the founder and CEO of the social media management system HootSuite which has over 5 million subscribers and a projected market valuation of $500 million. With around 250 employees and growing, Ryan wants to keep HootSuite here in Canada. The chances it will happen are good. Here in the Okanagan innovation is flourishing due to strong leadership by organizations like Okanagan College, UBC–O, Accelerate Okanagan, and investments from the private and government sectors.
Coincidentally, October 12th to 21st is National Science and Technology Week in Canada, providing us with a great opportunity to recognize the achievements of young entrepreneurs like Ryan and the critical role science and technology plays in making Canada a leader in innovation. Without science and technology there would be no innovation, which is why it is encouraging to know, after a recent assessment of the state of science and technology in Canada, that Canadian S&T is healthy and growing in both output and impact.
The assessment, conducted by a panel of 18 national and international panelists, revealed that over the past five years, real improvements have occurred in the magnitude and quality of Canadian science and technology. In a survey of over 5,000 leading international scientists, Canada’s scientific research enterprise was ranked fourth highest in the world, after the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.
As part of a network of international science and technology collaboration that includes the most scientifically advanced countries in the world, Canada is also attracting high-quality researchers from abroad, such that over the past decade there has been a net migration of researchers into the country.
The assessment also showed that Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta are the powerhouses of Canadian science and technology, together accounting for 97 per cent of total Canadian output in terms of research papers. These provinces also have the best performance in patent-related measures and the highest per capita numbers of doctoral students, accounting for more than 90 per cent of doctoral graduates in Canada in 2009.
Our government has been criticized for failing to support science but the truth is we are funding science and technology at record levels - $8 billion in new dollars since 2006 - and its reaping important dividends.
According to the assessment Panel Chair Dr. Eliot Phillipson, “There is much for Canadians to be proud of as Canada’s international reputation is strong, science and technology research is robust across the country, and globally we are considered to have world-leading research infrastructure and programs.”
Supporting local arts and culture
The Kelowna Art Gallery contacted my office recently to let me know about its upcoming Appetizer for Art fundraiser and auction. The event will be held Saturday, November 3, from 7 to 10 PM at the Kelowna Art Gallery.
Not only will you be able to purchase art but you’ll get to enjoy some of the region’s finest cuisine and spirits. For more information please go to www.kelownaartgallery.com.
The arts and culture sector in Kelowna-Lake Country provides our community, especially school-aged children, with access to music, art, dance and heritage programs. It also creates jobs and supports our local economy. That is why the federal government, each year, invests in our Kelowna-Lake Country organizations through the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program. Through donations, as an audience member, or as a volunteer, our arts and culture sector is worthy of our support.
As always if you have any questions or concerns related to the federal government, don’t hesitate to contact my office at [email protected] or by calling 250-470-5075.
Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country.
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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.
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