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Seizing on the potential of new technologies can move Canada toward a sustainable future
Date:6/17/2014

Ottawa (June 17th, 2014) A new expert panel report, Enabling Sustainability in an Interconnected World outlines the opportunities to achieve sustainability through information and communication technologies (ICTs) but cautions that Canada is a long way from realizing their full potential. The report, released today by the Council of Canadian Academies, finds Canada at a crossroads.

Canada has a well-connected society and its industry and higher education institutions are leaders in ICT research and development and knowledge generation. On the other hand, Canadian businesses lag behind in ICT investment and the ability of firms to adopt technologies has been weak. In addition, the country is not highly ranked in terms of ICT penetration and diffusion among individuals.

While ICTs have the potential to expand access to information, generate economic benefits, and improve Canada's environmental performance, the Panel determined that no single technological opportunity will achieve sustainability for Canada on its own.

"The integration of ICT is fundamental to its success," said David Miller, Chair of the Expert Panel. "For example, wireless sensor networks in remote areas could provide valuable baseline information to both decision-makers and the public about water and air quality. However this requires reliable broadband connectivity, analytics to make sense of the data, and a proper level of standardization and openness so that the results can be used to inform decisions."

The report explores other opportunities, ranging from small-scale changes, such as the use of applications that inform consumers of household water use, to large-scale changes like replacing aging utility networks with smart grid technologies. Practical examples include:

  • Smart grids that could transform how utilities are produced and delivered across Canada minimizing environmental impacts such as electricity and water losses in dis
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Contact: Cathleen Meechan, Director, Communications
cathleen.meechan@scienceadvice.ca
613-567-5000 x228
Council of Canadian Academies
Source:Eurekalert

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