Innovation is the single 2012 word that underpins almost every considered view of how we’re going to grow our economy and evolve our social condition in these early, exciting yet frail decades of this new century. How lofty is that for an opener?
Ever wonder where our “tax dollar spend” on innovation goes? We hear of it in business, from technology to transportation; to medicine and environmental design. But on the aging population theme, a lightly reported initiative was announced last week, that the Canadian government is investing $800K in Conestoga College for new research in Seniors Care.
So it goes, this support over 5 years will go under the College & Community Innovation (CCI) Program where the mandate is to “increase innovation” in collaboration with regional small and medium-sized enterprises. The press statement’s general platitudes don’t provide specifics on what they mean by developing “strategies to improve care and services for seniors”.
$800K is peanuts, but how will our money be spent?. Will we ever know what was “innovated”? Will it go to real innovation breakthrough or just serve to help local businesses tinker with existing models for seniors care?
One other phrase that highlights the CCI Program mission is to “facilitate commercialization”. Yes, the Business of Aging is an opportunity, but innovation requires more than our tax money. It’s more of our personal vocal input as part of the community that must also inform those SME’s as to what we want in improved care products and services.