Mississauga, ON (May 5, 2020) – An immediate and significant opportunity exists for the federal government to stimulate the economy, rapidly adopt technology solutions that are urgently needed, and create a ‘new normal’ of nimble, agile government procurement. Bringing cutting-edge innovations into public service delivery while fueling economic growth – is nothing but a win-win for all. This according to Canadian national tech industry association, TECHNATION.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Canada’s tech organizations urged Canada’s government to reassess, innovate and modernize their procurement processes, viewed as cumbersome and limiting, especially to small and medium-sized businesses. The current health crisis presents an opportunity for government leaders to harness the power of agile and modern procurement to boost Canada’s innovation and economic performance now – and in the long-term.
Canada’s technology organizations already have solutions available to meet the needs of the public sector to digitally transform and rapidly accelerate its enterprise infrastructure, solutions that would also provide Canadians with better and faster access to government services. This approach would also help ensure the recovery of Canada’s technology sector.
“Canada’s tech SMEs have been significantly impacted through this crisis. Many will not survive. However, Canada’s innovative tech industry is positioned to support the public sector’s pressing needs for digital solutions in the wake of COVID-19; accelerating mobile and online services to Canadians, empowering a more effective remote public sector workforce, and ensuring the recovery of one of the most promising sectors of Canada’s economy. The Government can achieve these goals by aggressively leveraging one of its most powerful economic levers – its purchasing power – but the process must be simple, more inclusive and significantly less burdensome,” explained Angela Mondou, president and CEO, TECHNATION. “There is an urgent need for a new procurement strategy – and this should be a part of the Government’s overall economic recovery plan. We know it’s achievable – we’ve seen government respond with aggressive procurement to meet the needs of Canada’s health crisis. This could be carried out in a way that benefits all sectors, citizens and government alike.”
Now more than ever, Canada’s tech companies need their government to buy and adopt their technology solutions. This approach would: support the growth and commercial success of entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses and scale-ups; capitalize on the fourth industrial revolution and cutting-edge technologies already available; benefit government, industry and Canadians; and drive economic development and recovery.
TECHNATION, on behalf of the tech industry, strongly urges government of all levels to dedicate a reasonable proportion of federal recovery funding for government to procure and adopt tech solutions, including in the support of innovation in other jurisdictions; and ensure Canada’s small businesses can access contracts through collaborative industry engagement and agile, streamlined procurement processes. Innovation, technology and a strong working relationship between public and private sectors, are vital to Canada’s recovery and future success.
A strong procurement strategy is a key enabler of innovation and economic development – especially when tied to outcomes, priorities and overall impact. This is especially true in the current environment, hit by both a health pandemic and associated economic downturn.
“TECHNATION currently plays a pivotal leadership role as a non-profit national technology association representing small businesses to multi-national corporations, whose technologies range from health-tech to global cloud infrastructure. There are thousands of technology solutions and capabilities available at the government’s fingertips, and a significant, urgent need for a new procurement strategy as part of the Government’s overall economic recovery plan. We must look at applying best practices and principals; look at new approaches to contract terms and conditions; and find ways to leverage public sector procurement to support SME and Scale-ups. It’s a great way to achieve the federal government’s goals around their Innovation Agenda and re-stimulate the economy,” added Mondou.
Recently, TECHNATION launched the TECH2GOV Innovation Exchange. Through partnerships with technology associations and companies across Canada, the goal is to provide a simple consolidation of technology solutions that can be used by both the public and private sectors, during the COVID-19 health crisis and beyond.
TECHNATION is the industry-government nexus for technology prosperity in Canada. As a member-driven, not-for-profit, TECHNATION unites Canada’s technology sector, governments and communities to enable technology prosperity from coast to coast to coast. TECHNATION champions technology prosperity from coast to coast to coast by providing advocacy, professional development and networking opportunities across industry and governments at all levels; connecting Canadian scale-ups with global tech leaders; engaging the global supply chain; and filling the technology talent pipeline. TECHNATION has been the authoritative national voice of the $184 billion Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry in Canada for over 60 years. www.technationcanada.ca
See also “Bold government procurement policies can help companies recover from crisis” (April 20, 2020)