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Group backed by John Risley, Jim Balsillie to buy Canadarm maker MDA in $1-billion deal - The Globe and Mail
SEAN SILCOFFTECHNOLOGY REPORTER
DAVID MILSTEADINSTITUTIONAL INVESTMENT REPORTER
OTTAWA AND DENVER
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 30, 2019
UPDATED 15 MINUTES AGO
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Two wealthy entrepreneurs are teaming up as part of an investor group to buy the maker of the Canadarm from its U.S. parent for $1-billion and repatriate the company’s headquarters to Canada.

John Risley’s Northern Private Capital is leading a group of equity investors that includes Jim Balsillie, the former chairman and co-CEO of BlackBerry Ltd., and Montreal investment company Senvest Capital to buy MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Inc., Canada’s largest developer and manufacturer of space technology. The deal will see them acquire all of MDA’s operations in Canada and Britain from their owner, Colorado-based Maxar Technologies Inc., if regulators approve.

The move would represent a return to Canadian ownership of one of the country’s enduring high-technology companies. For the investors, it is also a calculated bet that MDA will play a critical part in supplying players in what has been called a new space race, one that has seen some of the world’s largest tech com
geospatial  imagery  investors  Jim_Balsillie  satellites 
7 weeks ago by jerryking
Jim Balsillie: Dragging Canada into the 21st Century | TVO.org
Technological innovation at the outset of this millennium has been nothing short of revolutionary. And it shows no signs of slowing down. Jim Balsillie, the former co-CEO of Research In Motion, says Canada is not keeping up. Worse, that policymakers and businesses still don't seem to fully appreciate the scope of the change underway. He's now chair of the Council of Canadian innovators, and he joins The Agenda to discuss his ideas.

#1 job. Accumulate valuable intangible assets. which you then commercialize. You acquire a lot of IP and data assets.
Jim_Balsillie  Canada  Steve_Paikin  policymakers  priorities  digital_economy  innovation  knowledge_economy  ideas  intangibles  intellectual_property  competitiveness  protocols  Sun_Tzu  under-performing  under_appreciated  21st._century 
february 2019 by jerryking
Canada’s IP strategy is not in step with our innovation and commercialization goals - The Globe and Mail
JIM HINTON AND PETER COWAN
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 57 MINUTES AGO
UPDATED NOVEMBER 25, 2018
Jim Hinton is a principal at Own Innovation and Peter Cowan is a principal at Northworks IP

There is a global arms race for artificial intelligence-related intellectual property. The United States and China are amassing thousands of patent filings related to AI and machine learning.....The hype surrounding R&D funding has not translated to commercialization of AI outside of a small handful of domestic high-growth companies, such as Hatch and Sightline Innovation. This confirms what we already know: Innovation and IP funding announcements alone are not a strategy for growth. What Canada needs is a strategy to own its AI innovations and turn them into prosperity engines for the Canadian economy.

Lost in the hype around Canada becoming an AI hub is an absolute lack of follow-through to ensure intellectual property (IP) rights are preserved for current and future Canadian commercialization needs. There is currently no strategy in any of the taxpayer-funded programs ensuring IP ownership is maintained for the benefit of the Canadian economy. ......Companies such as Alphabet, Huawei and others will continue to partner with Canadian universities and use Canadian taxpayer-funded technology to their global advantage: Of the 100 or so machine learning-related patents that have been developed in Canada over the past 10 years, more than half have ended up in the hands of foreign companies such as Microsoft and IBM.......

.........To reverse the status quo, Canada’s IP strategy must include at least four key tactics: (1) IP generation, ensuring that Canadian firms own valuable IP and data stocks; (2) IP retention; (3) freedom to operate strategies for our innovative high-growth companies; and (4) alignment of the national IP strategy with the national data strategy.
arms_race  artificial_intelligence  Canada  commercialization  innovation  intellectual_property  IP_generation  IP_retention  Jim_Balsillie  machine_learning  property_rights 
november 2018 by jerryking
Canada doomed to be branch plant for global tech giants unless Ottawa updates thinking, Balsillie warns | Financial Post
James McLeod
November 16, 2018
7:27 PM EST

Canadian governments need to radically rethink their approach to the knowledge economy if the country is to be anything more than a branch plant for global technology giants,.......“I think they confuse a cheap jobs strategy … (and) foreign branch plant pennies with innovation billions,” .........Balsillie has argued that the “intangible” economy of data, software and intellectual property is fundamentally different from the classical industrial economy built on the trade of goods and services, and that because Canadian policymakers fail to understand that difference, they keep being taken for rubes.......Balsillie was particularly critical of the federal government’s policy when it comes to “branch plant” investments in Canada in the technology sector.

He said that in the traditional economy of goods and services, foreign direct investment (FDI) is a good thing, because there’s a multiplier effect — $100 million for a new manufacturing plant or an oil upgrader might create $300 million in spinoff economic activity.

But if you’re just hiring programmers to write software, the picture is different, he said. It’s a much smaller number of jobs with fewer economic benefits, and, more importantly, the value created through intellectual property flows out of the country.

“Our FDI approaches have been the same for the intangibles, where, when you bring these companies in, they put a half a dozen people in a lab, they poach the best talent and they poach the IP, and then you lose all the wealth effects,”....“Don’t get me wrong. I believe in open economies. They’re going to come here anyway; I just don’t know why we give them the best talent, give them our IP, give them tax credits for the research, give them the red carpet for government relations, don’t allow them to pay taxes, and then have all the wealth flow out of the country.”...if small countries such as Canada make a point of prioritizing the intangible economy, there are huge opportunities. He pointed to Israel, Finland and Singapore as examples of how smart policies and specialization can reap big rewards.

“I could literally see enormously powerful positions for Canada if we choose the right places. I mean, there are some obvious ones: value added in the food business, and precision data and IP in agriculture; certainly in energy extraction and mining, which are data and technology businesses,” he said.

“We actually have enormous opportunities to build the resilience and opportunity,” he said. ”And how can you threaten a country with a picture of a Chevy and 25 per cent tariffs when you’ve built these kinds of very powerful innovation infrastructures that you can’t stop with a tariff because they move with the click of a mouse?”
agriculture  branch_plants  Canada  data  digital_economy  energy  FDI  Finland  food  GoC  industrial_economy  IP_retention  intangibles  intellectual_property  Israel  Jim_Balsillie  mining  policymakers  property_rights  protocols  Singapore  talent  technology  wealth_effects 
november 2018 by jerryking
Canada needs an innovative intellectual property strategy - The Globe and Mail
JAMES HINTON AND PETER COWAN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May 19, 2017

Canada has never before had a national IP strategy, so getting it right will set the stage for subsequent innovation strategies. Here are some factors that our policy makers must take into account:

(1) Canadian innovators have only a basic understanding about IP

Canadian entrepreneurs understand IP strategy as a defensive mechanism to protect their products. In reality, IP is the most critical

(2) Focus on global IP landscape, rather than tweak domestic IP rules

Canada’s IP regime, including the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, needs a strategy that reflects global norms for IP protection, protects Canadian consumers and shrewdly supports Canadian innovators.l tool for revenue growth and global expansion in a 21st-century economy.

(3) Canadian businesses own a dismal amount of IP

Although IP has emerged as the most valuable corporate asset over the past two decades, it is overlooked by Canadian policy makers and businesses.
(4) Building quality patent portfolio requires technically savvy experts

A high-quality patent portfolio needs to include issued and in-force patents, including patents outside of Canada in key markets such as the United States and Europe. Strong portfolios will also have broad sets of claims that are practised by industry, spread across many patents creating a cloud of rights with pending applications.
(5) IP benefits from public-private partnerships are flowing out of country.

Canada’s innovation strategy must consider ownership and retention of our IP as one of its core principles. Are we satisfied with perpetually funding IP creation while letting foreign countries reap the benefits?
21st._century  Canada  Canadian  defensive_tactics  digital_economy  digital_savvy  digital_strategies  high-quality  intangibles  intellectual_property  IP_generation  IP_retention  Jim_Balsillie  overlooked  patents  policymakers  portfolios  portfolio_management  property_rights  protocols  strategic_thinking 
may 2017 by jerryking
Empty talk on innovation is killing Canada’s economic prosperity
Mar. 19, 2017 | Globe & Mail | by JIM BALSILLIE.

Immigration, traditional infrastructure such as roads and bridges, tax policy, stable banking regulation and traditional trade agreements are all 19th- and 20th-century economic levers that advance Canada’s traditional industries, but they have little impact on 21st-century productivity.

The outdated economic orthodoxy behind our discourse on innovation is causing the steady erosion of our national prosperity.

Over the past 30 years, commercialization of intellectual property (IP) became the primary driver of new wealth. The structure of the 21st-century company shifted and IP became the most valuable corporate asset. IP is an intangible good that requires policy infrastructure that’s completely different than the infrastructure required to get traditional tangible goods to market. IP relies on a tightly designed ecosystem of highly technical interlocking policies focused on scaling companies, which are “agents” of innovation outputs.....Canada doesn’t have valuable IP to sell to the world so we continue exporting low-margin resource and agricultural goods while importing high-margin IP. If our leaders want to create sustainable economic growth, Canada’s growth strategy must focus on creating high-margin IP-based exports that the world wants and must pay for.........IP ownership is the competitive driver in the new global economy, not exchange rates that adjust production costs. That’s why despite the strong U.S. dollar, U.S. company valuations and exports are soaring – IP-intensive industries added $6.6-trillion (U.S.) to the U.S. economy in 2014. So what is Canada’s strategy to increase our ownership of valuable IP assets and commercialize them globally? Supply chains in the innovation economy are different than in traditional economies because IP operates on a winner-take-all economic principle with zero marginal production costs. IP is traded differently than tangible goods because IP moves across borders on the principle of restriction, not free trade. Trade liberalization increases competition and reduces prices, but increased IP protection does the exact opposite. The economy for intangible goods is fundamentally different than the one for tangible goods. Productivity in the global innovation economy is driven by new ideas that generate new revenue for new markets. What Canada needs is a strategy to turn its new ideas into new revenue.....The Growth Council missed our overriding priority for growth: a national strategy to generate IP that Canadian companies can commercialize to scale globally.

We urgently need sophisticated strategies to drive the commercialization of Canadian ideas through our most innovative companies.
innovation  Jim_Balsillie  happy_talk  intellectual_property  scaling  tax_codes  winner-take-all  productivity  intangibles  digital_economy  ideas  self-deception  patents  commercialization  national_strategies  global_economy  property_rights  protocols  borderless 
march 2017 by jerryking
Liberal Party needs to rethink its tired response to Canada’s innovation woes - The Globe and Mail
SEAN SILCOFF
Liberal Party needs to rethink its tired response to Canada’s innovation woes
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Nov. 03, 2015
Liberals  innovation  Canadian  SR&ED  venture_capital  Jim_Balsillie 
november 2015 by jerryking
Canadians can innovate, but we’re not equipped to win - The Globe and Mail
JIM BALSILLIE
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 08 2015

[For Corey Reid and UpSark]

...We can make commercialization of ideas a source of our prosperity if we apply strategic approaches....The commercialization of ideas is a chain of systematic and deliberate events. This is how wealth is generated in an innovation economy. Growing and scaling up a critical mass of ideas-based companies in the global marketplace is difficult, but not impossible. Yet for us to expect that the results of our current innovation policies and investments will miraculously spur new companies and significant economic growth is, as many people like to say, the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result....Canada’s innovation performance will not improve unless the country’s business, university and political leadership comes together to consider radically different policies, programs and tools.
angels  commercialization  digital_economy  ecosystems  ideas  innovation  industrial_policies  innovation_policies  intellectual_property  Jim_Balsillie  patents  policy_tools  property_rights  protocols  scaling  systematic_approaches  wishful_thinking 
may 2015 by jerryking
RIM co-founder Jim Balsillie put Franklin ship hunt in motion - The Globe and Mail
JOHN LORINC
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Sep. 12 2014

The risk of having another country locate the vessels “was an enormous concern. We needed to be the nation that finds them,” Mr. Balsillie recalled Wednesday of that initial eye-opening journey in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

Upon his return, the Research In Motion co-founder began to work behind the scenes to ensure that a Canadian search team would make that discovery – a five-year project that culminated with this week’s find....Through the Arctic Research Foundation, a charity he helped establish with veteran Arctic expert Martin Bergmann, Mr. Balsillie put up funds to buy a dedicated search vessel and state-of-the-art search equipment. (Mr. Bergmann died in a plane crash in 2011.) Mr. Balsillie and other foundation officials also pressed news organizations to pay more attention to the search efforts.

Most crucially, Mr. Balsillie used his contacts with the Prime Minister’s Office to persuade Ottawa to commit additional naval and coast guard ships capable of travelling longer distances, as well as technical support from hydrographic and satellite-mapping scientists. “Let’s just be professional and take a systematic approach,” he told top officials in the Conservative government. ... his view of the mission goes far beyond the curiosity value of locating a missing shipwreck.

He said that he has long seen “parallel narratives” between the way the British viewed the Arctic in the mid-19th century and the issues facing the region today. Then and now, scientific, commercial and geopolitical questions hover over the fate of the Arctic, which has been deeply affected by global warming, receding sea ice and the race to tap new energy resources on the ocean floor. “It’s remarkably similar,” observed Mr. Balsillie, whose interest in global governance issues led him to begin thinking about the Arctic in 2007.

Echoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he also sees the Franklin find as a “nation-building” exercise, something he feels is lacking in the country these days, apart from projects such as Own the Podium.

“I don’t think we do enough of it.”
John_Lorinc  Jim_Balsillie  expeditions  Franklin_expedition  Artic  sovereignty  history  nation_building  philanthropy  national_identity  exploration  Canadian  systematic_approaches 
september 2014 by jerryking
Why Canada’s tech companies fail - The Globe and Mail
RICHARD BLACKWELL

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Apr. 10 2014,

Missing in Canada, though, are advanced skills related to intellectual property rights. At companies, sophisticated IPR capacity is a “precondition to commercially scaling innovative technologies,” he said, noting only U.S., Japanese and South Korean companies have been among the top patent filers in the United States. BlackBerry is the only Canadian company in the top 100.

Mr. Balsillie said Apple Inc. and Google Inc. spend more on acquiring intellectual property rights than they do on research and development.

IPR skills are crucial if Canadian companies are to compete internationally, he said, or else they will end up as a “lambs for slaughter” in the global marketplace. “They will never grow and Canada will continue to fall behind at a [national] level.”

In an interview after his speech, Mr. Balsillie said Ottawa’s role should be to “sophisticatedly understand how the game is played, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, and make sure that companies are trained to thrive in the game.”

He said currently there are no professors in Canada teaching the global patent system in law, business or engineering schools, and there is no training in the subject in the civil service.

Intellectual property is so important, Mr. Balsillie said, that bilateral issues concerning IPR will eventually overtake traditional trade irritants between countries.
failure  Canada  start_ups  technology  Jim_Balsillie  intellectual_property  scaling  patents  property_rights  protocols  Canadian  industrial_policies  Ottawa  rules_of_the_game  civil_service  UpSpark  sophisticated  bilateral  competitive_strategy 
april 2014 by jerryking
If BlackBerry is sold, Canada faces an innovation vacuum - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 17 2013 | The Globe and Mail | KONRAD YAKABUSKI.

The sale and breakup of a flagship technology company is a reoccurring theme in Canadian business. But this time is different. If BlackBerry Ltd. goes, there is no ready replacement. That’s a telling switch from the situation Canada faced with the sale of Newbridge Networks in 2000 and the demise of Nortel Networks in 2009....Canada has an innovation bottleneck. An abundance of science is generated in university labs and start-up firms but most of it never finds its way into commercial applications. Risk-averse banks and too many businesses of the bird-in-the-hand variety remain the weak links in Canada’s innovation system.

“We punch above our weight in idea generation,” observes Michael Bloom, who leads the Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for Business Innovation. “But the further you move towards commercialization, the weaker we get as a country.”....Innovation can be driven by any sector, even the old-economy resource extraction business of the oil sands. But tech firms remain by far the most R&D-intensive players in any economy.

Hence, the tech sector is a key barometer of a country’s innovation strength. And innovation matters because it has a profound influence on our living standards – it is “the key long-run driver of productivity and income growth,” ...Canadian businesses remain oddly complacent.

“We tend in this county not to look at the true market opportunity of innovation,” Mr. Bloom adds. “If you only see a market of 35 million people, you’re going to see more risk than if you see the market as Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Americans see risk, but also great opportunity.”

It’s no coincidence that many of Canada’s greatest entrepreneurs and innovators have been immigrants. Unlike his American counterpart, the average Canadian business graduate does not dream of becoming the next Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs or, for that matter, Peter Munk.

Mr. Lazaridis and ex-BlackBerry co-CEO Jim Balsillie notwithstanding, how many Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators have truly changed the world, or aspire? By all accounts, not that many. A Conference Board study released last month found that only 10 per cent of Canadian firms (almost all of them small ones) pursue “radical or revolutionary” innovations. Large firms focus at best on “incremental” innovations.
Blackberry  bottlenecks  commercialization  competitiveness_of_nations  complacency  hollowing_out  Konrad_Yakabuski  Newbridge  Nortel  innovation  idea_generation  ecosystems  breakthroughs  incrementalism  large_companies  sellout_culture  Jim_Balsillie  moonshots  immigrants  Canada  Peter_Munk  market_opportunities  weak_links  thinking_big  oil_sands  resource_extraction  marginal_improvements  innovation_vacuum  punch-above-its-weight  This_Time_is_Different 
august 2013 by jerryking
The most influential people in business
June 15, 2009 | CanadianBusiness.com | By Joe Castaldo, Calvin Leung, Sharda Prashad, Jeff Sanford, Andrew Wahl, Thomas Watson |
Canadian  influence  CEOs  best_of  Prem_Watsa  Roger_Martin  Jim_Balsillie  Peter_Munk 
october 2011 by jerryking
Rodier the strategist behind the scenes - The Globe and Mail
June 6, 2009 | The Globe & Mail | Michael Grange. Profiles
Richard Rodier, the legal strategist behind Jim Balsillie's bid to
acquire the Phoenix Coyotes out of bankruptcy protection.

From Saturday's Globe and Mail, Saturday, Jun. 06, 2009
hockey  Jim_Balsillie  NHL  bankruptcies  éminence_grise  legal_strategies  lawyers 
june 2009 by jerryking

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