Statistics Canada Releases the Results from the Survey of Innovation and Business Strategy


According to Statistics Canada, Canadian businesses are becoming much more innovative and as a result are increasing competitiveness, economic growth and social wellbeing. However they say, there must be sufficient data available to advocate for the creation of policies that support innovation. Sufficient data is gathered by the Survey of Innovation and Business Strategy (SIBS) which is the primary source for innovation data in Canada. The measurement of innovation is the performance of the business enterprise sector, looking at strategic decisions, innovation, activities and operational tactics.   

The most recent 2015 – 2017 SIBS study concluded that Canadian businesses are becoming more innovative. The number of innovative enterprises increased to 79.3%, a 12.5% increase from 2007-2009 and a 16.3% increase from 2010-2012.  The increase is a result if the availability, affordability and accessibility of technology.


Large and Medium sized enterprises had a much higher increase in innovation rates when compared to small enterprises. According to the 2015 -2017 data, large enterprises had an innovation rate of 85.9% and medium sized enterprises had 83.5%, while small enterprises increased by 73%.  When comparing data from 2010- 2012, medium sized enterprises had the greatest increase with 23.4%. 

Industries across Canada have all shown an increase in innovation. Information and cultural industries rank the highest in the 2015-2017 survey with 87.2%; professional, scientific and technical services had an innovation rate of 87%; and finance and insurance had a 86.6% increase. Wholesale trade has become 85.1% innovative; this industry that had the highest increase by 28.4%.

In other parts of Canada, innovative enterprises are on the rise. Atlantic Canada had an increase from 45.8% from 2010-2012 to 69.1% in 2015-2017. The rest of Canada had approximately 80% innovative enterprise in 2015 – 2017.

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There are four types of innovation that are on the rise: organizational, process, marketing and product.

Organizational innovation introduces new methods in business practices, work space organization or external relations with other organizations. It is the most prominent type of innovation with 59.5% in 2015 -2017, a 21.6% increase from 2010-2012.

Process innovation is the implementation of a new or upgraded production process, distribution and method of delivery. Process innovation had the highest increase from 29% in 2010- 2012 to 52.7% in 2015-2017. The most process innovative industries came from manufacturing 66.2% and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting 52.1%  

Marketing innovation is the implementation of new innovative marketing strategy that has not been used by that enterprise. For example, new techniques or media for promotion, new methods of product placement, changing design on packages, or prices. Marketing innovation rates increase by 21.1%, to 54% in 2015-2017.

Product innovation is the creation of new or upgraded goods or services. Upgrades can be its capabilities, user friendliness or components of the product.  Product innovation increased slightly by 17.6%, however they are prominent in information and culture industries by 74.2%.

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