This guest blog is provided by Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada's Service Lab — a design thinking space to improve government services for business and grow Canadian innovation.

Are you a Canadian entrepreneur looking for a space to network with other like-minded individuals and grow Canadian innovation? The Service Lab at Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED) has "Open Lab" hours every Friday from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Anyone who is interested is welcome to drop by!

ISED's Service Lab was launched in March 2015 with a mandate to improve government services for business and solve complex challenges facing government using design thinking. Unlike many other public sector labs worldwide, ISED's Lab is not focused on projects belonging to a single Department — rather, it accepts projects from across government to break down silos and ensure the right people are in the room to solve the problem.

Here are six ways our Open Lab might be able to help you:

  1. Find opportunities for partnerships — either business to business in the community or with the Service Lab — to tackle some of the country's most pressing innovation challenges as described in the Inclusive Innovation Agenda.
  2. Learn more about design thinking  and how to use tools and techniques, such as personas and journey mapping for use in your business.
  3. Understand bridging connections opportunities between entrepreneurs and innovation communities/ecosystems in Ottawa and with the Canadian government.
  4. Open the conversation on how government can best support you  in ways that actually make sense to you as a business owner.
  5. Give you insights on some of the Lab's projects to date which could help you identify which ones may directly impact you as a business owner.
  6. Share research and knowledge in areas such as advancements in science and tech, great feats of Canadian design, new and innovative companies in Canada, etc.

ISED's Service Lab will continue to add onto and improve the service offerings of its Open Lab hours to meet the demand and needs of those who attend. For example, in the year to come, the Lab will be adding on to its in-residence environment to include an entrepreneur and Indigenous Innovator in-resident. These new Lab members will provide additional office hours to share their unique knowledge and expertise and embed a culture of interdisciplinary diversity in the Lab.

Want to learn more? Reach out to the Lab's Communications Officer, Kayla Schultz, for more information.

Location: ISED Service Lab, 235 Queen St, Level C-3, Ottawa, ON