Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Entrepreneurial Opportunities Enabled through Microsystems

November 3, 2010

Dave Barnes
Vice-President, Industry Development, ITAC

This month’s 16th annual Executive Forum on Microelectronics certainly lived up to its reputation as one of the premier gatherings of Canada’s microelectronics and microsystems community – and what a better a way to kick it off than with the CMC/ITAC Banquet, “Celebrating Excellence.”

What made this evening so special was the transition from the brightest up-and-comers in the Canadian industry to the true legends that have helped lead the industry to where it is today.  The CMC Awards celebrate the bleeding edge of innovation coming out of our nation’s universities – what an impressive group of innovators this represents.  They also served as a tremendous segue into the ITAC/SMC Outstanding Services Awards, which celebrate the current microelectronics industry leaders and all they’ve done technically and non-technically, to advance the Canadian industry.  Winners of these awards were the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Adel Sedra, and retired professor and esteemed author, Kenneth Carless Smith.

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Modern copyright legislation: a balancing act

June 7, 2010

Bernard Courtois
President and CEO, ITAC

Last week, Bill C-32 was tabled in the House of Commons. It contained a variety of amendments to our copyright legislation and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Currently in the midst of the federal government’s Digital Economy Strategy consultations, many within industry, the media, and the public had noted that modern copyright legislation was one major item Canada was missing. While privacy, spam, malware, identity theft, online child abuse, and other legal issues are being addressed, a Canadian copyright law that pertained to the internet age had not – until last Tuesday.

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Not Your Everyday Industrial Strategy

May 14, 2010

Bernard Courtois
President and CEO, ITAC

The formulation of a digital economy strategy for Canada is a task much larger than the creation of industrial policy. It is nothing less than the creation of foundation for the kind of nation we will build in the 21st century.

Digital tools and content are pervasive. The tremendous growth of texting, for example, illustrates this. Canadians send about 174 million text messages per day. And to give you a sense of how quickly these tools are being deployed in 2002, it took us a year to produce that volume. Not a bad growth curve for a communications innovation that is only about 10 years old. We’ve seen similar sharp adoption curves for other services and forget that it took the telephone and the automobile roughly 50 years to achieve the same market penetration as the Internet and cell phones did in ten.

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Govt must team up with private sector to find solutions to aging tech systems and workforce

May 5, 2010

The Auditor General is urging the Federal Government to upgrade its technology infrastructure. In a report issued on April 20, Sheila Frasier used stark language, describing the systems responsible for supporting Old Age Security and Employment Insurance as nearing ‘imminent collapse’. Without concrete steps, critical services, including the government’s ability to perform basic functions like tax collection and paying its own people, could be severely compromised.

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ICT is Green Technology

April 12, 2010

Lynda Leonard
Senior Vice-President, ITAC

The ICT industry faces significant challenges relative to our environmental impact and our contributions to a more sustainable life here on earth.

First is the challenge of getting our own house in order. We have benefited from the acquisition of a relatively benign environmental reputation. We’re not seen as a “smokestack” industry and that has bought us some grace. Let’s hope our halo holds up until we can fully address the reality of our situation… which is that we are a serious emissions contributor (some servers can pump out carbon like an SUV). Fortunately we prize our green reputation and hold our reputation for non-complacency even higher. So there has already been a major effort across the whole industry to shrink this footprint as quickly as we can. Sustainability and energy efficiency feature prominently in the R&D programs and market engagements of virtually all major and many smaller ICT firms.

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PM’s YouTube broadcast a sign of things to come from the Hill?

March 17, 2010

Linda Oliver
Vice-President, ITAC

First it was Minister Flaherty Tweeting the budget on March 4. Then on March 11, Prime Minister Harper streamed his reply to the Speech from the Throne on YouTube. And last night, YouTube broadcasted an interview with the Prime Minister, a moderator fielding questions from Canadian YouTube users.

With the private sector exploring how best to use social media more and more, it’s clear the Canadian government wants in on the fun.

So what sort of implications will this have in regards to how government communicates with the Canadian public?

During a broadcast of CBC’s “The National,” Allan Gregg of the program’s At Issue panel argued that while the use of this technology (YouTube) in this way is new, the strategy is not. The Globe and Mail agreed: “Political leaders have always searched for ways to get their message directly to voters, unfiltered by journalists.”

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Inspirational Beginning to ITAC/CWC Speakers Series

March 15, 2010

Lynda Leonard
Senior Vice-President, ITAC

Every time I get the chance to visit the XRCC – Xerox Research Centre Canada the question mark shaped building on the western edge of Mississauga – I take it, and I always come away inspired and wiser. My latest visit was no exception. On March 9 about 130 of us showed up for a breakfast conversation with Dr. Sophie Vandebroek, Fulbright Fellow, Fellow of the IEEE, Xerox Corporation’s Chief Technology Officer, and one of the most influential executives in technology.

Her appearance marked the first in a new series of events co-presented by ITAC and CWC (Canadian Women in Communications) and designed to showcase the careers and achievements of prominent women in the information and communications technology industry. We couldn’t have asked for a more auspicious beginning.

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Why Productivity Matters

February 10, 2010

Bernard Courtois
President/CEO, ITAC 

As a topic for public policy debate, productivity has no charisma. It’s a political conversation killer combining arcane economics with uncomfortable preconceptions about working harder.

In spite of this, in recent weeks two respected voices in Canadian public policy have bravely stepped forward to shine a spotlight on this issue which is about nothing less than the standard of living that we will bequeath to future generations of Canadians. ITAC believes that, in spite of its drab appearance, improving productivity in Canada is an issue of vital importance to all Canadians.

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Prorogation and the ICT industry – what it means to us

January 20, 2010

Linda Oliver
Vice-President, ITAC

One of ITAC’s goals in 2010 is to monitor Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park on behalf of our members, keeping an eye on the bills and key characters that will affect the way ICT companies operate in the near future. It might seem ironic, then, that we start this when Parliament has been prorogued, essentially halting all progress on the passing of bills through the House of Commons and the Senate until March. 

On March 3, we will see the reopening of Parliament and a Speech from the Throne, meaning Parliament is back in session. Then on March 4, Prime Minister Harper will unveil a new budget. Like Bernard and many others in the ICT industry, I hope that in and around all this we see a clear commitment to a Canadian digital economy action plan. Until then, though, all committees have been dissolved and all bills have died on the order paper – this means the process of having each individual bill passed will start from scratch in March, regardless of how close to passing the bill had come. 

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A look back on a year punctuated with crisis… a look ahead with optimism for the ICT industry

January 9, 2010

Bernard Courtois
President/CEO, ITAC

Another new year is upon us; and while some will take this time to focus on setting goals and new beginnings, others will seize the opportunity to reflect on the past year to contemplate lessons learned and how one’s life, and world, have changed. In this seasonal spirit, I thought I would discuss the most pertinent issues and occurrences to affect the ICT industry in 2009, and what I think the industry can expect from 2010 and beyond.

Inevitably, the most notable impact on the ICT industry this year had to be that of the recession driven by the financial crisis. About a year ago, things looked bleak, and governments around the world were driven to stimulate the global economy. Governments became acutely aware of the need to find where economic growth would come from, and as a result, much of their attention was turned toward ICT.

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