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Thoughts on innovation – Mike Tremblay


Mike Tremblay
President and CEO, Invest Ottawa

Michael Tremblay joined Invest Ottawa as President and Chief Executive Officer in March 2017. Mike’s
mandate was later expanded to include Bayview Yards. Prior to joining Invest Ottawa, he was the Vice President of Public Sector for Microsoft Canada from April 2007.

Mike has 34 years of sales, marketing, operations and general management experience, with considerable
experience serving public sector clients. Mike has also held senior executive positions with SAP, Fujitsu Consulting, JDS Uniphase, EDS Systemhouse and Digital Equipment Corporation – principally across Canadian, American and Latin American markets. He has an MBA from Concordia University in Montreal and is a graduate of Computer Technology from Algonquin College. Michael completed the Directors Education Program and is ICD.D certified with the Institute of Corporate Directors. Mike was recently appointed as a director with the Institute on Governance. From 2004-2017, Michael served as a member of Algonquin College’s Board of Governors and served as Chair of the College’s Foundation Board. Michael is an active member of the Audit and Corporate Services Committee and has previously served on the Advocacy Committee with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

What is your definition of “innovation”?

Innovation is a composite of invention and commercialization for the creation of a value-added solution – one without the other is an innovation fantasy.

Why is it important for companies to innovate and invest in modern technologies?

The fourth industrial revolution is driving deep specialization at a pace and scale that is unprecedented. To achieve long term strategic, competitive and differentiated advantage, companies need to be savvy in the technological investments they make in order to remain relevant. As the saying goes – “just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean that I’m not being followed!”.

What advice can you give to Canadian businesses looking to make the most out of their investments in innovation?

While disruptive technology can be a powerful enabler – it can be a tactical solution looking for a sporadic problem, which is sub-optimal in building a company’s brand. In a world of vertical specialization, visionary market-led innovation is a longer-term recipe for strategic success in helping to solve the worlds big problems at scale while creating competitive capability and differentiation.

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