The Diffusion and Adoption of Advanced Technologies in Canada: An Overview of the Issues
The adoption of advanced technologies is a means of fostering productivity improvement. Many theories seek to explain the process of advanced technology diffusion and adoption. Canadian firms generally trail their U.S. counterparts in the adoption of advanced technology. There are many critical gaps in our knowledge and understanding of technological diffusion in Canada. Key gaps include the identification of leading and lagging industries in terms of adoption; key barriers to technological diffusion in Canada including economic-policy-related barriers; appropriate direct policy interventions to overcome specific barriers; the impact of increasing globalization and the economic ascendancy of the large developing countries on diffusion in Canada; and specific challenges small and medium enterprises face in adopting technology. Another issue requiring more research is whether strong R&D performance is a prerequisite for the broad diffusion of technologies. Possible tradeoffs between supporting R&D and supporting diffusion in the presence of limited public funds to promote innovation merit discussion.
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