Newfoundland and Labrador has been given a D grade in a Conference Board of Canada report card, measuring innovation performance.
The conference board said in a news release, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick find themselves at the back of the class on its "How Canada Performs: Innovation" report card.
The four Atlantic provinces earned D and D- grades on the first innovation report card to compare Canada, the 10 provinces and 15 peer countries.
Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador were given D grades overall on innovation and were ranked 20th and 22nd, respectively, among 26 jurisdictions.
Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick score D- grades and were ranked second-last and last, respectively, among all jurisdictions.
All four provinces were also said to perform poorly on business enterprise R&D, researchers engaged in R&D (including researchers employed in business, higher education and government), and patents.
"Innovation is important to improving productivity, economic growth, and job creation, as well as to sustaining the high quality of life that Canadians have come to expect," said Daniel Muzyka, president and chief executive officer of The Conference Board of Canada. "The innovation challenge for the provinces is very real. Our report card shows that the Atlantic provinces are weak across indicators of innovation capacity, activity and results."
Newfoundland and Labrador was ranked higher on two other indicators, earning "B"s on entrepreneurial ambition (a measure of the share of the working-age population reporting early-stage entrepreneurial activity, such as attempts to establish or own a new business), and labour productivity. However, the conference board said, the province's "B” on labour productivity likely has as much to do with being a resource-intensive economy (with resource riches contributing to its higher GDP per hour worked) as it does with its innovation performance.
Further details, including information on data sources and the methodology behind the rankings, can be found on the How Canada Performs website.