The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Discussion on How to Build an Innovation Ecosystem in India (Mumbai, India)

Mumbai, India, Friday, February 28, 2014


It is wonderful to join you here today for this discussion on how to build an innovation ecosystem.

I know from personal experience that India and Canada are natural partners when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship.

As many of you know, I was a university educator and administrator for much of my life. It was as president of the University of Waterloo that I was here in the past—three times in the past decade, in fact. I also served on the Canada-India Science and Technology Cooperation Committee, a great example of two countries exchanging ideas and knowledge across borders.

Our two countries have a shared interest in fostering both innovation and entrepreneurship, which together drive productivity, economic growth and development, and an improved global competitiveness.

That we are able to build strong and smart partnerships speaks to the friendship between our nations and the common goals that we share.

And there is no better partner to promote innovation and entrepreneurship than Canada. For instance, we have one of the best start-up communities in the world, ensuring that Canadians, as well as others from around the world, can develop their new ideas to make them economically viable.

India, too, is gaining a reputation as a start-up nation with a strong innovation ecosystem. Indian tech start-ups nearly tripled in 2012 to 450, from 162 in 2006.

All this shows me that India and Canada are not only natural partners, but can also confidently invest in the ideas and creativity of our peoples.

Canadian companies and investors are eager to bring their experience and technology to India’s market. And Canada is also keen on attracting some of the best entrepreneurs and innovators in India, who want to expand and establish themselves in North America.

The strength of our bonds, after all, is in our people-to-people ties. From the more than 1 million Canadians with origins in India, to the numerous co-operation agreements signed between Canadian and Indian institutions, to the dialogue we are engaged in, there are so many ways our two peoples are working together.

I hope that we can further our innovation links, and I look forward to hearing your ideas about  how we can continue to strengthen our innovation ties.

Thank you.