As the Quebec government prepares to launch a new strategy to stimulate innovation, the HEC Montréal Centre for Productivity and Prosperity – Walter J. Somers Foundation (CPP) has released a study criticizing the ineffectiveness of the policies adopted to date and offering some suggested reforms.

In its report, the CPP explains why Quebec firms have fallen so far behind in terms of research and development (R&D) and proposes some concrete solutions to encourage innovation. “This study shows not only that the huge amounts invested by the Quebec government in innovation for years now have not borne fruit, but also that they have mainly gone to large companies,” explains CPP Director Robert Gagné. “Although small and medium-sized enterprises represent 98% of the province’s economic fabric, only 1.7% of them claim R&D credits.” Since 80% of the money spent every year by the Quebec government to support innovation takes the form of fiscal assistance, it is clear that SMEs, despite their great ability to generate innovation, are not getting the most out of this support.

The conclusion is clear: the Quebec government needs to thoroughly re-examine the way it supports businesses, rather than simply taking more measures without validating their actual impact.

To read more: Deslauriers, Jonathan, Robert Gagné and Jonathan Paré, Des solutions pour stimuler l’innovation au Québec, Centre for Productivity and Prosperity (CPP) – Walter J. Somers Foundation, HEC Montréal, March 2017.