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Knowledge workers as innovators

Canada’s Innovation Strategy recognizes that innovation and knowledge will play a significant role in the sustainability of the Canadian economy. According to Industry Canada, as Canada’s human capital shrinks and ages, the sustainability of the Canadian economy will be partially dependent on its ability to shift towards a leaner knowledge-based economy. 

“Innovation has been repeatedly linked to economic progress, and there is a direct relationship between innovation and skilled and talented human resources” says Thomas Hynes, Executive Director of the Canada Mining Innovation Council. “There are many ways to innovate, yet resource-based industries tend to focus on extraction-process innovation ahead of product innovation. A recent study of Canadian innovation performance found that Canada has a reasonably good rate of innovation for products but is relatively weak in process innovation; so this is a possible area of growth for knowledge workers in mining” Mr Hynes reasons. 

Canadian mining industry stakeholders generally believe that Canada has lost ground in recent years as other countries have poured more money and resources into research and development. The knowledge workers’ role as ‘innovator’ is therefore defined in the overarching national innovation strategy, and is further supported in the Canadian mining industry context.