Ken Coates

Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation

Tier 1 - 2011-10-01
Renewed: 2019-04-01
University of Saskatchewan
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council


Research involves

Promoting scientific and technological innovation in non-metropolitan areas, including First Nations, rural and northern communities.

Research relevance

This research will uncover ways to effectively use emerging technologies in regions of Canada that are being left out of the new economy.

Making Innovation Work in Rural Canada

Attempts to build a new economy centred on scientific and technological innovation have failed in rural areas of Canada because they lack highly qualified workers, access to research, and the resources to commercialize discoveries.

Since such opportunities are clustered in metropolitan areas, a major innovation divide has opened up in Canada that is growing by the year. The current approach to building innovation around universities and existing concentrations of industry is not serving rural areas, leaving them confined to traditional resource-based economies.

Dr. Ken Coates, Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation, is examining barriers to innovation-based investment, skills training and entrepreneurship in non-metropolitan areas. He is working with Aboriginal and business groups, northern and rural communities, and provincial and federal governments to develop policies and identify opportunities and best practices that can be applied in Canada.

Coates will develop new approaches to applying technology and innovation for business development and regional economic planning. He will also connect companies and communities to create jobs and wealth-building opportunities.

By doing so, Coates’ research will help rural Canadians bridge the innovation divide and reap the benefits of the innovation economy.