The future of the Canada-United States relationship--innovation and technology.

Author:Pawluch, Catherine A.
Position:PROCEEDINGS OF THE CANADA-UNITED STATES LAW INSTITUTE CONFERENCE on An Example of Cooperation and Common Cause: Enhancing Canada-United States Security and Prosperity Through the Great Lakes and North American Trade: Cleveland, Ohio April 2-4, 2009
 
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Session Chair--Catherine A. Pawluch

United States Speaker--Praveen Goyal

Canadian Speaker--Catherine A. Pawluch

United States Speaker--Bob Williams

INTRODUCTION

MS. PAWLUCH: Good afternoon everyone. My name is Catherine Pawluch. I am a partner with Gowling, Lafleur, Henderson, (1) a Canadian law firm, and I have the distinct privilege of being a member of the Advisory Board of the Canada-United States Law Institute. (2) I also have the privilege of being the moderator today for this afternoon's session.

We are going to focus on the future of the Canada-United States relationship with a focus on innovation and technology. What we hope to do this afternoon is to look at the future of the Canada-United States relationship, through the lens of innovation, advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, and entrepreneurship.

The panelists will address the opportunities that are available in the Canada-United States relationship. We have two eminently-qualified panelists to speak about their corporate success stories and identify some regulatory legal areas that can be improved, perhaps harmonized, to enhance the Canada-United States relationship in the context of innovation and technology.

I would like to introduce our first speaker, Praveen Goyal. He is the Director of Government Relations with Research In Motion, (3) or RIM as we call it in Canada. (4) RIM, of course, is known best as the leading designer and manufacturer of innovative wireless solutions for the global mobile communications market. (5) Praveen is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School, (6) and his career has involved various positions serving as Counsel within the United States Federal Communications Commission, (7) within the United States Congress, (8) and in the telecommunications industry. (9) Please join me in welcoming Praveen Goyal from RIM.

(1) See Gowlings Lafleur Henderson, Biography of Catherine A. Pawluch, http://www.gowlings.com/professionals/professional.asp?profid=230 (last visited Sept. 19, 2009).

(2) See id.

(3) See Can.-U.S. Law Inst., Biography of Praveen Goyal, http://cusli.org/conferences/ann ual/annual_2008/bios/goyal.html (last visited Sept. 18, 2009) [hereinafter Biography of Praveen Goyal].

(4) See Research In Motion, http://www.rim.com/company/index.shtml (last visited Sept. 18, 2009).

(5) See id.

(6) See Biography of Praveen Goyal, supra note 3.

(7) See id.

(8) See id.

(9) See id.

UNITED STATES SPEAKER

MR. GOYAL: Thank you very much, Catherine, for that kind introduction. I want to thank the Canada-United States Law Institute for inviting me to their conference to talk a little about Research in Motion (RIM) for the second year in a row. It is an honor to be here. I also want to say how honored I am that the breaks have been named Research In Motion BlackBerry breaks. (10)

I wanted to talk a little bit about the RIM story. We are now in our twenty-fifth year, (11) and it is now ten years that the BlackBerry solution has been available. (12) In that time, there have been tremendous changes at RIM, a tremendous success story I think for a high-tech company that operates across the United States-Canada border. (13) We are headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, (14) but we also have significant operations in the United States. (15) We have recently announced a plan to open a United States headquarters in Dallas, Texas, which has now happened, and plans to grow that facility to about a thousand United States employees. (16) We have also opened Research and Development (R&D) facilities in South Florida (17) and in the Chicago area, (18) in addition to the employees that we have across the United States. (19)

Therefore, I think RIM's commitment to the United States is serious. It is obviously a very important market for us. I think, in a lot of ways, the open and friendly relationship between the United States and Canada has enabled and facilitated our company to grow on both sides of that border.

We have had a very exciting year in spite of a very difficult financial climate. (20) One of the bright spots in the economic world is the mobile space. (21) I just got back from the CTIA, the Wireless Association show in Las Vegas, (22) and some of the numbers were astounding, including texting in the trillions of messages per year, which is a phenomenal number. (23)

We recently shipped our fifty-millionth device, (24) and there are now twenty-five million BlackBerry users worldwide. (25) We had an exciting launch just this week of the App World, which is a consumer application store that sits on your BlackBerry device. (26)

One of the things we are seeing is a shift in our product mix from not just serving enterprise users, but to serving consumers as well, who are most of our new customers. (27) Our new sales are in the consumer space, not in the enterprise space. (28) We are also seeing a third of our sales taking place outside of North America. (29) I think in many ways, what is happening at RIM represents a tremendous success story for North America and for both Canada and the United States. We are optimistic to see that continue in spite of the difficult economic climate.

I wanted to talk today about some of the policy drivers that are driving innovation. In my background, as someone who works in the United States policy arena, (30) one of the things that we are seeing from the United States side of the border is some interesting, and I think, positive changes that are making the United States a more hospitable climate for innovation. (31)

One of the things that we saw recently was the passage, finally, of a stimulus package in the latest budget that came out of the Congress and was signed by the White House. (32) The stimulus bill resulted in some positive changes; things that companies in the high-tech space and folks that care about innovation have been eager to see for quite some time. (33)

Praveen Goyal is Director of Government Relations for Research In Motion (RIM). Best known for its BlackBerry wireless handheld devices, RIM is a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative wireless solutions for the global mobile communications market. At RIM, Praveen's responsibilities include developing policy strategies and representing RIM before policymakers domestically and abroad. Praveen is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School, and his career has included various positions serving as counsel within the United States Federal Communications Commission, United States Congress, and the telecommunications industry.

We saw some good news on the R&D funding side. I just saw an analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science showing that R&D funding will rise by 6.8 billion dollars in the United States, 4.7 percent over 2008. (34) That is the first time that non-defense R&D funding has risen in comparison to inflation in several years. (35)

Finally, we see implementation of commitments that the Congress made in the America Competes Act. (36) It is obviously important in the high-tech space for basic scientific research to be funded and to be enabled by funding through government grants. (37) We finally saw that the budgets for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy, the Office of Science, the Commerce Departments, and National Institute of Standards and Technology were on track to double in a decade, (38) which was the commitment that Congress made in the America Competes Act. (39) So it was gratifying to see that finally happen. We have been operating under a continuing resolution until this latest budget that kept funding levels at the same level they were in the prior budget. (40) One of the things that was held up as a result was that increased funding for R&D investments. (41)

As a result of that increased R&D spending, we are hopeful to see a more hospitable climate in the United States for more innovation, (42) and for us to hire more of our R&D employees in the United States, as well as Canada and everywhere we do business. (43)

We also saw improvements in stem education, science technology, engineering, and math education as part of the stimulus bill. (44) As part of $3 billion of additional funding for the NSF, about $100 million is funding for two programs: a teacher scholarship program and a math and science partnership program, (45) Included in the $140 billion of funding for the Department of Education is funding to modernize, renovate, and repair science and engineering laboratory facilities through local education agencies. (46)

An increased commitment to training the best and the brightest in math and science in kindergarten through twelfth grade is an incredibly important facet of training the next generation of high-tech workers, (47) These are things that we have been hoping for quite some time. There was recent Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development numbers showing that United States high school students ranked twenty-fourth out of twenty-ninth among industrialized nations in math, while Canada ranks fifth by comparison. (48) Canada ranked near the top for science and reading performance, while United States high school students fell somewhere near the middle, (49) So I think one of the ways that we are going to be able to turn that around on the United States side of the border is through increased initiatives to fund science, technology, engineering, and math education.

There are a couple of other bright spots that I want to talk about. There was funding for health care Information Technology (IT), (50) which is an area that an increasing number of health care providers and high-tech companies are looking at closely. We have a number of customers that are using BlackBerry handheld devices to pull up patient records, to do e-prescriptions, and to look at real-time electrocardiograms in readouts in a hospital. (51) I think deeper penetration of IT infrastructure in the health care environment will happen over the next...

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