Innovation is the ability to turn knowledge into new and improved goods and services; the ability to turn science into commercial products.
Innovation is not just the idea, but the ability to execute and convert ideas into revenue. This piece requires people, infrastructure, partners and customers.
Engineers are usually good at ideas, while business people are general good at executing. Canada has a lot of good engineers but probably much fewer good business people. The most recent report from the Conference Board of Canada has Canada tied for last out of 17 OECD countries.
Look at the top ones. Think of countries that have historically had strong businesses: Japan, US, Germany, Switzerland. Where are they? Where for example are the companies that make a lot of their money from natural resource extraction like Canada, Australia, or Norway? Do you think I'm on to something? Are good business people necessary to turn good ideas into innovations?
I think so.