Make 2024 your year for innovation with the Research Facilities Navigator

Each new year brings a renewed sense of possibility. For leaders of Canada’s SMEs, it’s a time to reflect on the lessons of the past year, to set new goals, and to create an achievable plan to realize them. These days, advice abounds on what businesses can do to be more successful. Among the most important is the value of an R&D strategy that makes sense for your business. 

Along with the potential to bring something new or improved to market, there are several benefits to making R&D a part of your business goals for 2024. It can save your business money, as you discover ways to do more with less. It can attract new and retain existing customers by helping you to differentiate your offerings from those of your competitors. It can make your business more adaptable to new, sudden and unexpected changes in the market when you need to pivot quickly. And it can help you attract and retain skilled workers and investors looking to work with companies demonstrating a commitment to innovation and creativity. 

Finding the right R&D partner to help with goals like these is simple and easy with the Research Facilities Navigator. Launched in 2013 by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Navigator is an online directory of research facilities that helps businesses find and connect with the research expertise, services and state-of-the-art equipment they need to fulfill their R&D strategy, solve their innovation challenges, and increase their chances of success.  

Covering traditional, emerging and advanced sectors of Canada’s economy, the Navigator has helped connect hundreds of innovators with research experts based in universities, colleges, hospitals, non-profits and federal government departments and agencies from coast to coast to coast.

I invite you to make the Navigator a key tool in your R&D and innovation toolbox, and 2024 your year for innovation.

Roseann O'Reilly Runte is the President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. She has led a number of universities in Canada and the U.S. and has played a role in the economic development of the regions in which they were located. A member of the board of a number of businesses including the National Bank of Canada, LifeNet and Jean Coutu, she has also served as President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, of the Foundation for International Training and as a member of the executive of the Club of Rome and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. She has been a member of the Virginia Industrial National Development Authority, the Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding Integration Center, the Ontario Québec Private Sector Advisory Committee and the Advisory Board for SunGard SGT. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.

Reproduced with permission. This editorial first appeared in the January 2024 issue of the CanadianSME Small Business Magazine.