Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Departmental Plan

Plans at a glance

Supporting Canadian innovation and investing in research and innovation ecosystems

In 2020-21, Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED) will continue to support job creation, technology adoption, investment and scale-up through continued delivery of programming aimed at growing an innovation economy and strengthening innovation ecosystems across the country, particularly those based on partnerships between businesses and post-secondary institutions.Most notably, the Department will continue to support Canada’s five superclusters under the Innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI) and will continue to align related programming to ensure their success as global leaders. ISED will also continue to finance research and development projects through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), including projects submitted under SIF’s new funding stream (Stream 5), which supports large-scale initiatives that create high-impact collaborations for the benefit of Canadians and Canadian innovation ecosystems.ISED programs will prioritize helping businesses and researchers develop innovative responses to environmental challenges, ensuring Canada’s participation and leadership in the global clean technology market.In 2020-21, ISED will pursue partnerships to continue advancing Canada’s vision for science and research and efforts to strengthen science and research ecosystems. ISED will work in collaboration with Health Canada on the design of the Strategic Science Fund, which will be the Government’s new tool to support third-party science and research organizations.?ISED will?work alongside Public Services and Procurement Canada to renew federal science and technology laboratories and enable collaboration and cutting-edge science.To help build an innovative, competitive, people-centered and inclusive digital and data economy built on trust, the Department will continue work to advance Canada’s Digital Charter.

Ensuring Canada’s success in a global digital economy

Building on existing partnerships with the private sector, provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities, and official language minority communities, ISED will continue its leadership role under Canada’s Connectivity Strategy to improve access to high-speed Internet services for all Canadians, and achieve the Government of Canada’s goal for all Canadians to have access to high-speed Internet by 2030 measured at 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 10 Mbps upload.One key component of this strategy is the Universal Broadband Fund, to be established in 2020?21 to invest up to $1 billion over 10-years and make a significant contribution toward connecting underserved rural, northern and remote communities. Through programs such as CanCode and the Digital Literacy Exchange, the Department will also continue to support the development of the skills and knowledge required for Canadians to access information and opportunities online with confidence and prepare to fully participate in the digital economy.Furthermore, ISED will continue to prepare for making spectrum available for 5G in the 3500 MHz, millimetre wave and 3800 MHz bands. This will support the deployment of next-generation telecom services that will drive innovation and bring benefits across Canada, while ensuring that spectrum is awarded based on commitments towards consumer choice, affordability and broad access, and that space is reserved for new entrants.

Supporting economic growth across Canada’s regions

ISED will work with the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) on a renewed framework for regional economic development, with the view of further helping entrepreneurs and communities diversify local economies and create more jobs. Through the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario more specifically, and in alignment with RDAs, ISED will continue in 2020-21 to deliver on the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, to help create the ideal conditions for the development of strong, dynamic and inclusive regional economies throughout the country. Building on the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, ISED will also support the creation of a Tourism Communities Fund to invest in the local needs of communities that rely on tourism.

Helping small businesses innovate and export

In 2020-21, the Department will continue to support entrepreneurs and Canadian SMEs to start up, scale up, and access new markets. For example, investments through Innovative Solutions Canada will seek to inspire Canadian small businesses to solve complex government challenges through innovative ideas. ISED will continue to roll out eLearning tools to help businesses develop the skills and knowledge to be more cyber secure and support their efforts to obtain their certification under CyberSecure Canada, a collaboration between ISED, the Communications Security Establishment and the Standards Council of Canada. Under ISED’s Mobilizing SMEs to Export Initiative, the Department will invest in the Trade Accelerator Program to encourage promising small businesses to export and ensure they have the support needed to do so.For more information on ISED’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the “Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks” section of this report.

Core responsibilities: planned results and resources

People, Skills and Communities ($470,190,113)

Support the creation, transfer and diffusion of knowledge to ensure that Canadians, including underrepresented individuals: are equipped with the skills and tools to participate in an innovative, high-growth economy; advance a culture of innovation where Canadians are motivated to address local, regional, national and/or global challenges; benefit from growth of the middle class across communities; have increased access to affordable broadband and mobile Internet, including in rural and remote regions; and are protected and informed consumers.

  • Departmental Result: Canada’s entrepreneurs represent all segments of Canadian society
  • Departmental Result: Canadian communities are connected to and use digital infrastructure
  • Departmental Result: Canada has a highly skilled workforce that is equipped for jobs in an innovative and high-growth economy

Science, Technology, Research and Commercialization ($968,026,763)

Support and enable business-led investment and strategic collaborations for leading-edge technology development and commercialization; maintain and strengthen Canada’s research excellence, including support for fundamental science, experimentation and exploration to address global challenges.

  • Departmental Result: World-leading superclusters are grown in Canada
  • Departmental Result: Canadian businesses invest more in research and development
  • Departmental Result: Canada has a world-leading research capacity

Companies, Investment and Growth ($1,448,751,618)

Provide support to help grow small, medium and large Canadian businesses into globally competitive, high-impact firms; ensure a fair and competitive marketplace; promote the conditions that support competitive prices and product choices, including in the telecommunications sector; simplify government programming, promote efforts to reduce red tape for businesses, putting in place the right conditions for market-driven innovation and promoting inclusive growth and an economy that works for everyone; reduce barriers to the movement of goods, services, capital and labour; grow Canada’s tourism sector.

  • Departmental Result: Canada becomes a global leader in clean technologies


Planning highlights

  • Departmental Result: Canadian companies are globally competitive and achieve high growth
  • Departmental Result: Canada is a location and destination of choice for investment, growth and tourism
  • Departmental Result: Canadian innovators have simplified access to tools and support