Government of Canada and MaRS Discovery District finding solutions to foster global business innovation

250 small- and- medium-sized enterprises gather for Innovation Across Borders conference

Toronto, February 24, 2011 – Representatives of more than 250 small-and-medium-sized enterprises, leaders from industry, government, international organizations and innovation networks from around the world are participating in the event. Conference participants are gathered in Toronto to discuss ways to advance innovation in an increasingly borderless world.

Innovation Across Borders is a two-day conference organized by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and MaRS Discovery District, a Toronto-based innovation centre.

“Our government’s focus continues to be the economy,” said Minister Van Loan. “Research and development are key to Canada’s future economic growth. Our government recognizes this. That is why Canada has one of the most generous Research and development tax incentives in the world to help Canadian companies and create jobs for Canada’s highly educated workers.”

High profile panel discussions include innovation and trade, defining and gaining complementary advantages for innovation partners, innovation programs for SMEs, government policies and programs to stimulate innovation, and support networks for international innovation.

“Canadian SMEs simply have to reach beyond our borders in order to reach critical mass. They need international partners, customers, and investors to succeed in the global marketplace and they have to get to these markets while they are still very young,” said Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, Chief Executive Officer of MaRS Discovery District. “Innovation Across Borders offers a rare opportunity for SME leaders and stakeholders to explore the possibilities, challenges and opportunities of going international—and a chance for an international audience to see what innovative Canadians have to offer.”

Gathered at the conference are stakeholders from Canada and around the world, including innovation players from Chile, France, Sweden, Finland, Korea, UK, USA, China, India, Germany, Mexico, Colombia and the Netherlands.

More information about Innovation Across Borders is available at

For more information (media only), contact:
Media Relations
National Research Council Canada

Trade Media Relations Office
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Earl Miller
Director of Strategic Partnerships
MaRS Discovery District