the Innovative Spirit of Canada
The Hon. David Kilgour
of State (Asia-Pacific) and M.P. for Edmonton
To The Canadian
Chamber of Commerce in Korea
August 7, 2002
the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Korea,
distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
It is a great pleasure to be in Seoul today.
What a city!
Everything vibrates, stimulates curiosity,
interest, and business. Thank you for this
opportunity to speak about Canada and our
21st century global economy.
Je suis très
heureux dêtre parmi vous aujourdhui
à Séoul, une ville fascinante
et vibrante, une ville qui fourmille
that, I want to praise the work that your
organisation, the CCCK - Canadian Chamber
of Commerce in Korea - has accomplished.
This is a strong organization which should
be a model for other countries. The revenues
you have been able to earn are remarkable
and have allowed you to staff an office
with a very competent and proactive team
which offers an impressive range of services
to the community. I want to especially recognise
the effectiveness, the vision and the leadership
of Joan Baron. Congratulations, Joan!
Let me now
turn to a message about Canada.
We now how
others see us. They think of the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police, snow-capped mountains and
winter. A big, peaceful country with friendly
people and an abundance of natural resources.
This is but one feature of the Canadian
reality. There is so much more to the Canadian
people and our economy
so today I
invite you to discover the Innovative
Spirit of Canada.
bore you with economic growth data, but
instead will tell you why Canadas
performance has been strong among the G-8
countries. We can clearly relate them to
the new economy of Canada, and you in Korea
know what I am talking about. You business
people know the importance of innovation
Ill mention three strong sectors of
enabling technology in Canada: those that
have made a difference for our economic
development and our quality of life. Ill
also touch on and the strong support the
Government of Canada has committed to its
success. You will see how close Koreas
and Canadas visions are on the innovation
Lets start with some of our achievements
in the telecommunications sector. Canada
is a huge country and an early priority
was to enable Canadians to communicate with
one another and then to connect. And we
have done just that, very much like you!!
¨ A look
back at the history books shows a long history
of Canadian technological advances:
1876, Alexander Graham Bell successfully
made the first telephone call from his Ontario
1901, Marconi received the first transatlantic
wireless message in St Johns Newfoundland.
forward a few decades to 1972, when Canadian
scientists and engineers launched the first
telecommunication satellite into orbit:
the famous Anik A.
to the present, it becomes apparent that
Canadian innovators are not content to sit
on their laurels.
people in this room want things to move
fast! The high-speed network is your connection
around the world. So let me ask you a question:
Just how fast is high-speed?
Im told that with a bandwidth greater
than any commercial Internet link, Canadas
CA*net 3 can download the entire two-and-a-half-hour
movie Titanic in one-fifth of a second,
the fastest in the world!
I am told
that you are very fast in Korea too and
we have serious competition! But I am here
to talk about Canada and invite you, as
business people, to make the link where
you see the fit.
Let me now turn to another sector that is
a priority for a better quality of life
for Canadians-health and the impressive
medical discoveries of Canadian scientists,
especially in the biotechnology sector.
In spite of our relatively small population
(30 million people), our biotechnology industry
compares very well with those of larger
nations. Canada is second to the US in terms
of the number of companies
in revenues, after the US and the UK
and first in R&D intensity per employee.
Let me touch
on some of our discoveries in Canada:
you know who discovered insulin for the
treatment of diabetes in 1921? Well, two
fellows: Banting and Best. This is still
the only treatment today. Still for diabetic
patients, a remarkable tool to administer
insulin, the Islet-cell transplantation,
was discovered at the University of Alberta
(called the Edmonton Protocol). As an Albertan
I am proud of this discovery in the city,
part of whose residents I have the honour
of representing in our House of Commons.
turn to HIV/AIDS. The highly creative work
in the 1980s by Dr. Bernard Belleaus
group at McGill University in Montreal led
to the discovery of 3TC (lamivudine), a
medication which presently plays a key role
in the therapy of AIDS. In 1986 Dr. Belleau
was instrumental in the founding of BioChem
Pharma Inc., one of Canadas most successful
producers of new pharmaceuticals.
theres cystic fibrosis a genetic
disease and another difficult medical problem.
The battle against the disease made a considerable
leap forward when Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui at Torontos
Hospital for Sick Children discovered the
defective gene in 1989.
for the human immune system, Dr. Tak Mak
in Toronto is world famous for the discovery
of the T-Cell receptor.
Alzheimers, Dr. Judes Poirier of McGill
University has identified the link between
Alzheimers and the apolipoprotein
E. Also important is the work by Dr. Peter
St. George-Hyslop at University of Toronto
on the successful immunization of mice against
is long but worth noting, as these are areas
where we need to work together, no matter
where we live. Just one more word on cancer
research. Canadian researchers have made
major inroads, but Ill only name a
few: the co-discovery of photodynamic anti-cancer
drugs by Dr. Julia Levy of University of
British Columbia, and the development by
Dr. Patrick Lee at University of Calgary
of a reovirus as a potential treatment.
Government has provided much support for
the work of our researchers in this sector.
For example, the Canadian Institutes of
Health Research (CIHR), launched in 2000,
with an annual budget of $552 million, provides
federal funding to health research through
virtual institutes linking organizations
in 13 key research areas. These areas include
circulatory and respiratory health, cancer,
genetics, neurosciences, mental health and
addiction, musculoskeletal health and arthritis,
and infection and immunity.
Genome Canada, with its $620 million budget
just for genomics and proteomics - a model
that others in the world are copying! Genome
Canada has signed agreements with a number
of international organizations around the
world. Perhaps it should also be explored
We even have
a Nobel prize winner in Canada for the work
done in genomics. In 1993, Dr. Michael Smith
won the Nobel prize in chemistry for the
1976 discovery of a specific mutation of
the DNA in an organism.
The third sector where Canada has been very
successful advanced materials. Our rough
climate has compelled us to discover new
ways of building ice-breakers and avoiding
corrosion under our bridges! Just a few
Photonics: Dr. Michael Brett of the University
of Alberta has pioneered the development
of a micromachined threshold accelerometer,
a micromachined peltier cooler, and Glancing
Angle Deposition (GLAD) for engineering
porous thin film microstructure on a nanometer
Dr. Jed Harrison at the University of Alberta
was the first to use fluorscene detection
within the microfludic chip format
Acutators, MEMS Devices: Dr. Sandy Robinson
at the University of Alberta and Dr. Ash
Parameswaran jointly pioneered post-processing
of standard CMOS devices to form MEMS devices.
I Stat Corporation was one of the first
companies to bring high volume microfabricated
MEMS biochemical sensors.
strong support for R&D and a commitment
from various governments:
National Institute for Nanotechnology: an
NRC Institute being built as we speak, and
a $120 Million joint initiative by the governments
of Canada and Alberta
a nanotechnology initiative by the Government
creation of a new nanotechnology laboratory
within the Quebec National Institute for
appointment of a research director for Nano
Innovation Platform by the Natural Sciences
and Engineering Research Council
creation of an Innovation Centre for research
and development on Fuel Cell technologies
The Centre is also one of the institutes
of the National Research Council Canada
The world, ladies and gentlemen, is changing.
We are all in the midst of a massive shift
in the way we communicate with one another,
the way we think in terms of quality of
life and the way we build things.
ICTs and the other technologies I have just
spoken about are reshaping our political
and economic reality and changing the way
we do business and live. Technologies converge
and new markets emerge. The world over,
old monopolies and state-owned enterprises
are giving way to competition and new efficiencies.
Trade barriers are being eliminated and
global trade integration and free trade
zones are a reality. Industry is rapidly
re-structuring and consolidating in many
communication is changing lives around the
world, not to mention business. In some
countries, penetration of wireless telephones
and devices has risen above 90% of the total
population. In less than a decade, the Internet
has created a new digital global village.
In the coming years, wireless Internet promises
yet another dramatic leap forward.
ICT is really
the force behind a tidal wave of growth,
change and economic potential that is unmatched
in history. And where does Canada fit in
all of that? The answer is: everywhere.
the difficult times the whole high tech
industry is currently facing, the Canadian
industry still attracts the attention of
investors all over the world. Canadian telecommunications,
biotech and advanced materials companies
regularly form strategic alliances with
international firms to increase distribution
and foster new product development. Our
regulatory environment makes it easy for
Canadian businesses and their international
partners to move innovative new products
and services into the marketplace. Canadian
companies already benefit from one of the
worlds best communications infrastructure.
But investment in Canada offers even more
access to the most advanced development
is playing an active role to ensure our
high technology industry will take advantage
of these new realities. Our government will
continue to play an active part in Canadas
strong innovative environment. We are encouraging
real competition in all markets, continuing
deregulation, and investing in the research
capacity of Canadian universities and government
laboratories and institutions.
Canadian Foundation for Innovation will
distribute C$10 billion by the end of this
decade to fund innovative research in institutions
across the country.
Canada Research Chairs have been created
- part of an overall ($4.1 billion) investment
by the Government of Canada to promote leading
-edge research and innovation in universities,
research hospitals and the private sector.
commitment to innovation has lead to real
of North Americas Internet traffic
is carried on Canadian products.
remarkable BLACKBERRY, which enables almost
constant Internet access, is proudly a Canadian
if you have been to the movies lately, you
may have seen Spiderman, Titanic, Gladiator
or the Lord of the Rings. If so, youve
already experienced Canadian multimedia
magic in action. In Hollywood and elsewhere,
Canada dominates the special effects and
animation market. According to Wired magazine,
more than 80% of the worlds animation
and special effects software is Canadian.
creates world leaders.
businesses have been the real engine of
our success in all three sectors. Some of
them, such as those listed on the screen,
are world leaders.
As you read
their names on the screen, I will touch
on a final key point for innovation. This
is the responsibility of all of us. The
financing of this research has to be shared
by all players, including the private sector
where venture capital and private equity
play a key role in our two countries. The
current climate for venture capital is more
difficult these days, but still very supportive
in these three sectors in Canada. Foreign
investors are looking at Canadian technologies.
I hope many Korean investors will participate
let me conclude with a few words on the
importance of Korea-Canada relations.
Just last month, your Ministry of Science
& Technology signed a Canada-Korea Science
& Technology Arrangement with the Canadian
Department of Foreign Affairs & International
Trade, the purpose being to promote science
and technology co-operation between our
two countries. As you can see from my presentation,
there is a lot in common between Canadas
Innovation Agenda and Koreas Vision
the first year in the mandate of a new Korean
the fiftieth anniversary
of the armistice that ended the Korean war
(a result of which over 500 Canadians gave
and the fortieth anniversary
of diplomatic relations between Canada and
Let me close
by saying that, with 21,000 students from
Korea in Canadian universities, and the
commitment to innovation that we both share,
we can look forward to vast opportunities
for closer relations between Korea and Canada
in the years to come. These young students
of today will be the business leaders of
tomorrow, and they will do it with their
Canadian Blackberry in hand!
again for your attention. Merci.