Media Releases

Canadians trail Americans in attitudes to innovation

February 12, 2016

Toron­to, ON – A new study released by the Impact Cen­tre at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to has shown that Cana­di­ans lag behind their Amer­i­can coun­ter­parts in their atti­tudes toward inno­va­tion.

“The Impact Cen­tre is under­tak­ing research to under­stand why we lag much of the devel­oped world in our capac­i­ty to inno­vate,” said study author and Impact Cen­tre Senior Fel­low Charles Plant.

“Most stud­ies only say that we are bad at inno­vat­ing, and include gen­er­al rec­om­men­da­tions about what we can do about it,” said Plant. “They don’t say why we fail at inno­va­tion and how to fix the prob­lem.”

Major find­ings:

  • Amer­i­cans have a greater will­ing­ness to take risks.
  • Cana­di­ans shy away from inde­pen­dence.
  • Cana­di­ans are less con­cerned with earn­ing a lot of mon­ey.
  • Cana­di­ans lack grit and per­se­ver­ance when com­pared with Amer­i­cans.
  • Amer­i­cans are more dri­ven to inno­vate.

The study found that 29 per cent more Amer­i­cans than Cana­di­ans have a strong­ly pos­i­tive atti­tude towards inno­va­tion. Amer­i­cans also outscore Cana­di­ans on almost every dimen­sion of atti­tude towards inno­va­tion. The study is based on a sur­vey of 1,000 adult knowl­edge work­ers, includ­ing man­agers and employ­ees.

Read the full 13-page report:


About The Impact Cen­tre at The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

The Impact Cen­tre strives to bring sci­ence to soci­ety.

We believe that sci­ence is the foun­da­tion for a bet­ter qual­i­ty of life. Research, inven­tion, and inno­va­tion are con­sid­ered among the key con­trib­u­tors to eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment and sus­tain­abil­i­ty of com­mu­ni­ties in Cana­da and around the world.

Our vision is to be a place where you can con­nect with excep­tion­al research, tal­ent, inno­v­a­tive com­pa­nies, and gov­ern­ment to cre­ate prod­ucts and ser­vices that ben­e­fit soci­ety.

Media Con­tact:

Charles Plant
Senior Fel­low
Impact Cen­tre
Cell: 416–458-4850
Per­son­al web­site:
Impact Cen­tre: