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: