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Canadian's are soft selling innovation

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - January 12, 2017) - The Impact Centre at the University of Toronto has released a report on the relative emphasis on marketing and sales (M&S) by mid-sized software companies in Canada and the United States. Many commentators on Canadian innovation focus on either low business expenditures on research and development (R&D) or a shortage of venture capital funds as the root cause of Canada's lackluster performance in innovation. However, these findings suggest it may be a more fundamental problem of how Canadian firms view innovation and prioritize spending.

Major Findings

The report examines spending patterns of 141 American and 36 Canadian public companies on M&S and R&D relative to revenue and company growth.

  • While mid-sized US software companies spend, on average, 34% of their revenue on M&S, comparable Canadian firms only allocate 20% of their budgets to those expenditures.
  • American firms performed better on company growth over the last year studied, 17% for American firms and 14% for Canadian companies, while also earning a higher gross margin (64%) relative to Canadian businesses (53%).
  • American firms spend almost twice as much on M&S as on R&D while Canadian firms allocate funds more evenly between the two categories.

These findings speak to the very heart of innovation. Firms must not only create a new product or process to be innovative, but these new inventions must be taken up in the market, purchased, and used. Canada's success as an "Innovation Nation" depends not only on the ability to come up with novel ideas or inventions but also the ability to market and sell those ideas.

Read the full report, A Nation of Soft Sellers.

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.

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