Does Research = Innovation?

Research

I heard this statement a few weeks ago and had to stop and think about not only the statement but its implications.

We all know that Canada’s innovation performance is mediocre at best. Could this simple statement be the reason?

Our investments in “innovation” have for the most part been directed at research and more recently “applied” research.

In other words, most of our innovation funding and efforts are directed at the research end of the innovation continuum. And yet we believe these investments drive innovation.  Is this actually the case?

We spend significant amounts of time categorizing types of innovation to the point that we forget what it really means.

At its core innovation is about creating real value by bringing something new to the workplace. This can be done in a few minutes or in a few decades, and it does not necessarily mean a new discovery, invention or process. Many of today’s “innovations” are technologies or processes that already exist but are simply applied in a different way or to a different business.

This does not suggest that research is not important in the grand scheme of innovation and ultimately economic development.  

However, is research the only vehicle to drive innovation in the mining industry?

Tell us what you think.