Budget 2012: Canada’s new innovation strategy for an age of austerity?
Innovation. It’s on our minds these days –in the boardroom, trending on twitter, and sprinkled throughout a variety of news reports. How does one encourage business innovation? Maintain it? Build up an environment in which innovation not only flourishes but leads to long-term sustainable economic growth? What’s government’s role in supporting and making this happen?
The Canadian Council of Academies Report on Business Innovation and the Jenkins Report on government support for business innovation identified specific changes that some believe are needed to improve Canada’s innovation performance. The federal government promised to listen, and aspects of Budget 2012 were meant to fulfill that promise.
Did it succeed? Is it enough? This May, RE$EARCH MONEY will take a hard look at the new innovation policies that emerge from the federal budget. Featuring some of Canada’s leading innovation thinkers and practitioners, the conversation will go beyond the money and assess the overall impact on future business success in Canada’s knowledge-based economy.
Thank you to all who attended for making the 11th Annual RE$EARCH MONEY conference our most successful conference yet!
Speakers, Panelists, and Moderators include
Céline Bak is an internationally recognized author, speaker and consultant on clean technology and on innovation and commercialization. She published and authored a ground-breaking national report on clean technology and on commercialization – the 2010 SDTC Cleantech Growth & Go-to-Market Report. Also published by her firm, the 2011 Canadian Clean Technology Industry Report builds on the 2010 baseline data set for Canada’s multibillion dollar clean technology industry that Analytica Advisors projects has the potential to attain $60 billion in annual revenues by 2020. Her firm Analytica Advisors provides research and information services for profitable and sustainable growth to corporations and start-ups. Her firm also advises public sector clients on trade, innovation and economic development.
Ms. Bak has had an international career, first as a Principal of A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm where she served multinational clients such as Rolls Royce Aerospace, Liquid Carbonic (acquired by Air Liquid), Prudential Insurance and GM. She later held executive roles in two high growth Canadian technology companies. She led operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at the Solect Technology Group (acquired by Amdocs: DOX) and held Product Management and Office of the CEO roles at Bridgewater Systems (acquired by Amdocs: DOX).
Her current leadership roles include Global Practice Leader at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Clean Technology Practice. Ms. Bak is also the co-founder of the Canadian Clean Technology Coalition that was struck to create the conditions required to make Canada’s clean technology industry a driver of Canada’s economic and energy productivity as well as an enabler for Canada’s green house gas reduction targets. She was the co-chair of the 2011 Canadian Cleantech Summit and sits on the nominations committee for the Canada Clean50. She is the co-chair of the Canada-Brazil Science Technology and Innovation Working Group for Cleantech/Green Energy and Green Mining.
She resides in Ottawa with her husband and three daughters.
Tom Brzustowski is RBC Professor in the Commercialization of Innovation at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa and Chair of the Board of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo. He is also Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) and Chair of the Management Advisory Board of the Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR) of the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).
Dr. Brzustowski was President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) from 1995 to 2005. His work on innovation and productivity has been published several times, including in the internet journal “Optimum Online” and in the book “The Way Ahead – meeting Canada’s productivity challenge” (U of Ottawa Press, 2008)
A professional engineer (P.Eng.) in Ontario, Dr. Brzustowski graduated with a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Physics from the University of Toronto in 1958, and a Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering from Princeton University in 1963. He taught Mechanical Engineering at Waterloo from 1962 to 1987, and also served as Vice-President, Academic of the university (1975 – 1987). Later he served as Deputy Minister in the Government of Ontario (1987 – 1995).
Dr. Brzustowski has received honorary doctorates from numerous Canadian universities, as well as the Engineering Alumni Medal from the University of Toronto and the Gold Medal of the Professional Engineers of Ontario. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and of the Royal Society of Canada.
Dr. Adam Chowaniec is a serial entrepreneur and corporate director who has frequently been recognized for his leadership, business excellence and innovation. He is involved in a number of local business and community initiatives and his commitment and participation have positioned him as a key spokesperson for the high tech community. In 2010 he was recognised by the California Computer Museum as one of the founding fathers of the personal computer.
In addition to being the director of Solantro Semiconductor, Dr. Chowaniec is member of several boards of directors, including Startup Canada, the Public Sector Advisory Board of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, and the Export Development Corporation of Canada by the Privy Council of Canada, where he currently serves as the Chair of the Risk Committee. He is chair of the board of BelAir Networks Corporation, and vice-chair of the Ottawa Health Research Institute as well as of the Museum of Nature’s national fund raising campaign.
Dr. Chowaniec has served on numerous other boards of directors in the United States and Canada, including the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, Amiga and GEAC Computer Corporations, Futurecom, and OSI Technologies. He has served as chair of the boards of the Information Technology Association of Canada, Zarlink Corporation, Liquid Computing, Sibercore and Microbridge Corporations. He chaired the Ottawa Economic Development Corporation (and was a member of the Ottawa Partnership) from 1999 to 2001, and the Ontario Research and Innovation Council from 2006 to 2009.
Dr. Chowaniec began his career in 1975 as an assistant professor at Acadia University, and has since worked for Bell Northern Research, Nortel Networks, and Commodore International, where he was responsible for the development of the Amiga personal computer. He has served as president of the semiconductor firm Calmos Systems (renamed Newbridge Microsystems in 1989) and as a vice-president of Newbridge Networks. In December 1995, he was the founding CEO of Tundra Semiconductor Corporation.
In 1998, the Ottawa-Carleton Research Institute honoured Dr. Chowaniec with its prestigious Chairman’s Award. In 1999 he received the Gold Business Person of the Year Award from the Greater Chamber of Commerce. He holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University (Canada), as well as both a Bachelor of Engineering and a Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield (England). His affiliations include the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.
Jeffrey Crelinsten is CEO of Research Money Inc. and publisher of RE$EARCH MONEY. He is also President and CEO of The Impact Group, a consultancy he co-founded in 1987, specializing in science, technology and innovation policy, communications and education. Jeffrey has been studying challenges facing tech entrepreneurs and the innovation ecosystems that try to support them for over 25 years. He developed the R$ conferences to bring together leaders from the private and public sector to address critical issues around innovation policy and knowledge-based commerce.
Before founding The Impact Group, Jeffrey taught science and human affairs at Concordia University and had an active career as a science documentary writer for radio and television.
Jeffrey is Senior Research Fellow at the Innovation Policy Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. He is a founding director of the International Commercialization Alliance and is a past-President of the Canadian Science Writers Association. Jeffrey has a B.Sc. in physics from McGill University, a M.Sc. in astronomy from University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in history of science and science policy from University of Montreal.
Clarissa Desjardins, Ph.D., is the CEO of CEPMED, the Centre of Excellence in Personalized Medicine. CEPMED is a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) funded by the federal government and private companies to promote personalized medicine through education, policy and public-private research partnerships.
Prior to this, Dr. Desjardins was a serial entrepreneur, taking part in all aspects of company creation from conception, to financing, to the marketplace. She founded Advanced Bioconcept, a research reagent and diagnostics company sold to NEN Life Sciences (Perkin Elmer) in 1998. She went on to co-found Caprion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (now Thallion, a TSX-listed company), a biotechnology company focused on proteomic biomarker discovery and drug development, where she was Executive Vice-President of Corporate Development. She has been a Board Member on numerous private and public companies including most recently the Populomix Cancer Research Institute.
Dr. Desjardins received the BRIO award for outstanding contributions to the biotechnology industry from the Quebec Biotechnology Association. She was also nominated for the Ernst &Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award and was named one of Canada’s top young Canadians likely to influence the future by the Globe and Mail. She earned a Ph.D. in Neurology and Neurosurgery from McGill’s Faculty of Medicine, and was a Medical Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre.
Paul Dufour is Fellow of the Institute for Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa and Prinicipal of PaulicyWorks, a science policy consulting firm in Quebec.
Mr Dufour has been senior adviser and programme officer in science policy with several Canadian agencies and organizations over the course of the past 30 years. Among these: senior program specialist with the International Development Research Centre, and interim Executive Director at the former Office of the National Science Advisor to the Canadian Government, counselling on international S&T matters and broad questions of R&D policy directions for the country.
Born in Montreal, Mr. Dufour was educated at McGill, the Université de Montreal and Concordia University in the history of science and science policy. His practical S&T policy experience spans over three decades, and he has worked with numerous bodies including the Science Council of Canada, Ministry of State for Science and Technology, Foreign Affairs, and special adviser to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on S&T.
Paul lectures regularly on science policy, and has authored numerous articles on international S&T relations and Canadian innovation policy. He is series co-editor of the Cartermill Guides to World Science and is the author of the Canada chapter for the UNESCO 2010 Science Report released in November 2010.
Dr. Peter Frise holds degrees in mechanical engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston and Carleton University in Ottawa. He began his industrial career as an oil well wireline data logging engineer working for Schlumberger Wireline Services in Nigeria. He then moved to Husky Injection Molding Systems in Bolton, Ontario as an R&D engineer and later as a design group leader.
In 1985 he joined Carleton University where, starting in 1988, he taught mechanical design. From there he moved to Windsor where he held the Chrysler Canada/NSERC/University of Windsor Senior Industrial Research Chair in Mechanical Design and was instrumental in founding Canada’s first university program in Automotive Engineering in 1998.
Dr. Frise works with a number of automotive companies in his present capacity as the Scientific Director and CEO of the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence, Canada’s national automotive R&D program. AUTO21 brings together nearly 200 researchers and 440 graduate students from 46 institutions in partnership with 110 industry and public sector companies and organizations to engage in applied automotive R&D. Through 2012, AUTO21 and its partners will have completed more than $112M worth of automotive research.
Dr. Frise is a member of Defence Research and Development Canada and has been appointed to a second term on the National Research Council of Canada and the Defence Science Advisory Board of Canada. He serves on the boards of the Yves Landry Foundation, the Ontario BioAuto Council and SAE Foundation Canada. Dr. Frise is active on several sub-committees of the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council (CAPC).
Jean-Claude recently retired as associate vice-president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Director of the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Secretariat. Under his leadership, the NCE expanded and launched several successful programs promoting Canadian R&D and innovation, including the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence and the Industrial Research and Development Internships.
Having held several senior executive positions in the private high-tech and public research sectors, Jean-Claude has a broad yet intimate knowledge of the issues surrounding R&D partnerships. As vice-president of Precarn Incorporated—an industrial research consortium in robotics and artificial intelligence—he helped launch and manage the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems, a successful Network of Centres of Excellence. He also served as vice-president at the Computer Research Institute of Montreal, as an advisor to Innovatech Montreal—a technology venture capital fund, and as president of IVS Canada—an Ottawa-based high-tech firm specializing in virtual reality.
Jean-Claude holds a degree in computer science from the University of Ottawa.
The Networks of Centres of Excellence is jointly managed by Industry Canada and the three federal granting agencies.
The Honourable Gary Goodyear was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004 and was re-elected in 2006 and 2008. On October 30, 2008, he was appointed Minister of State for Science and Technology, and on August 13, 2009, he was named Minister of State responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Prior to entering federal politics, he practised chiropractic medicine and worked as an advisor to investment firms in the biomedical industry.
A former Public Relations Director and Past President of the College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences in Toronto, Dr. Goodyear taught at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and the University of Waterloo. He was co-designer of a three-year post-graduate sports fellowship program and co-author of “Practice Guidelines.” He has worked with many athletes, both amateur and professional, and served as medical services chair of the Ontario Special Olympics.
Dr. Goodyear attended the University of Waterloo, specializing in kinesiology and psychology, before graduating from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. He worked his way through university as a meat packer and labourer.
A native of Cambridge, Ontario he is married to Valerie and they have two children. He enjoys scuba diving, writing and rebuilding motorcycles.
Karna Gupta is one of Canada’s most respected and well-seasoned executives in information and communications technology. With more than 30 years of outstanding industry experience, his expertise and accomplishments span across North American and international business domains.
On August 10, 2011, Karna Gupta was named President and CEO of ITAC, the Information Technology Association of Canada. In addition to his experience and exceptional track record, he brings a passionate commitment to building strong ICT ventures to this new role. He currently serves on several corporate boards and actively mentors young companies and entrepreneurs. He also serves on the board of the Regional Incubation Centre – Venture Lab in York Region.
In 2008, Mr. Gupta was named CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of Certicom Corp (TSX: CIC). He led the organization through a successful turn-around, including defending against a hostile bid, and eventually a successful sale to RIM with over 96% shareholder approval. Prior to his appointment at Certicom, Mr. Gupta held the role of President for the Real-Time Billing Division of Comverse Technologies from 2006 to 2008 (NASDAQ: CMVT). He significantly improved the overall performance of the division with a globally-distributed workforce (1500) in 50 countries and serving a world-wide customer base. His previous role in Comverse was Chief Marketing Officer for Comverse Americas.
Mr. Gupta past appointments include the President of Sitraka Mobility. Under his leadership, the company grew from a start-up venture to a strong industry contender in mobile application development. He led the organization through a successful merger with Everypath Inc of California. He also served as Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of Eftia OSS Solutions, a company focused in delivering OSS solutions to the carriers. Earlier in his career, Mr. Gupta held several executive positions with Bell Canada (TSX: BCE), including Vice President, Product Development and Management. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing and Finance from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. He has also attended executive development programs at Duke University, Harvard, MIT, University of Western Ontario and Technion Institute in Israel.
Mark has written extensively on research and innovation policy and funding issues since 1994. As the Editor of RE$EARCH MONEY, he has interviewed hundreds of industry executives, senior government officials, research managers and other leaders in Canada’s science, technology and innovation communities. Mark has worked as a journalist and editor for several publications over the past 35 years, including “Network Letter, Report on Wireless”, “Canadian Communications Reports”, “The Electronics Communicator” and “The Ottawa Citizen”. He resides in Ottawa and is an avid music and film aficionado.
Lynda Leonard has over twenty years of experience in organizational communications and public policy advocacy in the information technology sector.
She began her career in telecommunications working for the TransCanada Telephone System, Bell Canada and Stentor. At Stentor, she was accountable for marketing communications for the company’s international operations and subsequently was responsible for executive public relations support.
In 1996, she and a partner established an independent public relations practice specializing in providing a full range of communications programs to companies in the IT sector. The company was subsequently acquired by GPC Communications.
In 1998, Lynda joined the team at ITAC as Vice-President of Communications and was named Senior Vice-President in 2004.
Lynda’s accomplishments in communications have been recognized by the International Association of Business Communicators (Gold Quill). Throughout her career, Lynda has been an advocate for the broader engagement of women in the technology sector. She helped to establish the first Ottawa chapter of the Wired Woman Society, and she is a member of the Board of Directors of Canadian Women in Communications. In 2010, she was honoured with a World of Difference 100 Award from the International Alliance for Women.
Robert Luke is Assistant Vice President of Research and Innovation for George Brown College where he works with industry and community partners to address business and social innovation. Dr. Luke is also responsible for institutional research including corporate planning and strategy, and educational quality measurement and improvement.
Dr. Luke maintains an active research program in participatory innovation design and the application of innovative technologies in healthcare and education. His current research investigates the role of students in applied research and graduates with innovation literacy fostering innovation and productivity in firms. He is chair of the Polytechnics Canada Research Group, a Board Director of the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation, a member of the Toronto Community Foundation Toronto Vital Signs Advisory Group, a member of the George Brown College Board of Governors, a member of the Programs and Quality Committee of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and member, Council of Canadian Academies’ Expert Panel on the State of Science and Technology in Canada.
The Honourable Kevin G. Lynch; P.C., LL.D, PH.D earned his BA from Mount Allison University, his Masters in Economics from the University of Manchester and a doctorate in Economics from McMaster University. Dr. Lynch also holds honourary degrees from seven distinguished Canadian universities.
Dr. Lynch began his career in 1976 as an economist with the Bank of Canada. Through a storied career, Dr. Lynch served as Deputy Minister of Industry from 1995 to 2000 and then Deputy Minister of Finance from 2000 to 2004. He then served as Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund until early 2006, when he was appointed the 20th Clerk of the Privy Council, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service of Canada. In July 2009, after a long and distinguished career, Dr. Lynch retired from the Government of Canada.
In early 2010, Dr. Lynch was appointed Vice Chair of the BMO Financial Group. He currently serves on several boards, including those of the Gairdner Foundation, the Perimeter Institute, the University of Waterloo, U.K. Ditchley, Chair of the Canadian Ditchley Foundation, the Learning Partnership, the Shannon School of Business, and the Accounting Standards Oversight Council.
The Honourable Kevin G. Lynch was made a Member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in 2009, was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from McMaster University and was recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
Dr. Nicholson was the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Canadian Academies, serving from 2006 through 2009. The Council supports studies by independent panels of experts on science that is relevant to important public issues.
From 2003 to 2006, Dr. Nicholson was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada. In 2002-03 he was Special Advisor to the Secretary-general of the OECD. From 1995 to 2002, he was Chief Strategy Officer of BCE Inc. in Montreal. His career has also included senior executive positions in banking and the fisheries industry, as well as in the federal public service where, in 1994-95, Dr. Nicholson was Clifford Clark Visiting Economist in Finance Canada. He holds a BSc and MSc in physics from Dalhousie University and a PhD in operations research from Stanford University. He began his professional career in the faculty of computer science at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Nicholson is a Member of the Order of Canada.
Senia Rapisarda is Vice President, Strategic Investments at BDC. In this role, Ms. Rapisarda leads BDC’s efforts to develop a healthy VC ecosystem in Canada through several key strategic investments and initiatives in the seed and early-stage space.
Ms. Rapisarda is an early advocate of venture capital in Europe with over 20 years experience in private equity, as well as corporate finance and academia in world-class institutions in the IT and clean-tech sectors. Before joining BDC in 2010 she was in many different senior roles, including senior advisor at NUR Energie, a London-based investment fund specialized in renewable energy, and Managing Director of the Technology Private Equity Team at Nomura International, managing over $300 million of investments in 42 companies across Europe, Israel and the U.S.
A corporate lawyer by training she practiced in New York for several years. She is also the founder of the Coller Institute at the London Business School – the first in Europe to provide a forum for the exchange of views and analysis of trends and policy issues in venture capital and private equity.
Ms. Rapisarda has a law degree from LUISS University in Rome, a Master’s in Law and Economics from Columbia University in New York, and is a Fulbright Scholar.
Nobina Robinson was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Polytechnics Canada in May 2009. Before joining Polytechnics Canada, Mrs. Robinson was the Ottawa-based Senior Government Relations Advisor for Seneca College, responsible for federal advocacy for one of Canada’s largest colleges.
Ms. Robinson began her public service career in 1990 when she joined the Treasury Board Secretariat as a management trainee. Two years later, she became a Foreign Service Officer and was posted as a political officer to the Canadian Embassy in Havana from 1994 to 1997. From 1998 to 2002, Mrs. Robinson led FOCAL, a policy institute on Canada’s relations with the Americas.
Mrs. Robinson has a B.A. from Amherst College, an M.A. from Oxford University (Commonwealth Scholar 1985-1988) and has pursued post-graduate studies at Yale University. She served as a member of the Expert Panel on the Review of Federal Support to Research and Development, which completed its work in October 2011.
Jim Roche is President and CEO of Stratford Managers Corporation, a respected management-consulting firm serving the high-tech sector, as well as President and CEO of CANARIE, Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network. He is a successful entrepreneur with over twenty-five years of leadership experience in technology organizations.
Prior to founding Stratford Managers in 2006, Jim served as the CEO of CMC Microsystems. He co-founded Tundra Semiconductor (now IDT) in 1995 and, as CEO, led the company through a successful IPO and growth to over $1.5B in market value. Jim started his career in 1986 as a founding member of Newbridge Networks Corporation (now Alcatel-Lucent), helping the company grow to over $1B in annual revenues.
Throughout his career Jim has served on advisory committees and boards for diverse private and public organizations including: WiLAN, DNA Genotek, Tundra Semiconductor, Fidus Systems, Symagery Microsystems, ThinkRF, Eseri, CMC Microsystems, Precarn, CANARIE, Ocean Networks Canada, the ICT Advisory Board for DFAIT, the Committee of Research Partnerships for NSERC, the Expert Panel on Business Innovation for CCA, OCRI, Queensway Carleton Hospital and Youth Services Bureau.
Jim is an educator and lecturer who is frequently called upon to speak about entrepreneurship, commercialization of innovation, and strategy development. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University, where he graduated at the top of his class. He has added to his management skills through intensive programs at Stanford, Ivey, and Queen’s among others.
David Ross is the President & CEO of Ross Video, a global company with headquarters in Canada that designs, manufactures, markets and supports a wide range of innovative products used in live production by television stations, sports stadiums, corporate and government communications departments, houses of worship and live events.
David has been surrounded by engineering, business, and production switchers his entire life. David began programming in the very early days of personal computers in 1975 at the age of nine. While in high school, he won three major engineering competitions at the national level with projects involving real time programming and computer graphics, including some significant early work on 3D stereoscopic graphics. He continued to develop a variety of software and hardware during his university years, during which time he also received his first patent (shared with his father) for the innovative Downstream Multi-Keyer. He also had the opportunity to help develop a DVE at Electrohome and design a simple tape editing system at the CBC. David graduated university with a heavy business emphasis and a degree in Computer Engineering.
David Ross began working full time at Ross Video in 1991 managing all switcher product development and working closely with the sales and marketing team. He was later promoted to Director, Product Development where he became responsible for all product development in the company and then to Executive Vice President, followed by a promotion to President, and now to CEO in April of 2006.
In November 2005, David also assumed the position of Chairman of the Board and is the majority shareholder of Ross Video. He continues to also be the Product Manager for their production switcher lines.
David currently enjoys competing in triathlon sports, is happily married with two daughters, and has a cute older dog rescued from a puppy mill.
Jason Tham is the CEO of Nulogy, a solutions company focused on the development of cloud-based solutions for complex supply-chain problems. Responsible for overall strategic direction and product vision, Jason has helped Nulogy grow into a global company serving customers across four continents.
Prior to co-founding Nulogy, Jason gained valuable experience working at companies renowned for their supply-chains, as well as at a number of rapidly growing software companies. At Magna International, he was part of their corporate continuous improvement and quality teams, responsible for facilitating TQM (Total Quality Management) workshops and implementing 5S, VA/VE (Value Added/Value Engineering) and lean principles with OEMs including Toyota and Ford. Jason also worked at Kellogg’s most advanced manufacturing facility in the world with the packaging and continuous improvement group, responsible for quality and using SPC (Statistical Process Control) methods for quality measurement in manufacturing. At 724 Solutions he worked through a period of 800% growth and one of the largest IPOs in history. At one of Canada’s fastest growing companies, Redknee, which is now public, he led a pivotal nation-wide product deployment in Italy.
Jason has several pending patents in his name related to manufacturing, quality control and contract packaging. He is involved on several boards of industry associations and has a passion for helping early-stage technology companies in Canada.
Jason enjoys sports, is a competitive triathlete, and lives with his wife in Toronto. Jason graduated with an Honors degree from Systems Design Engineering with an Option in Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo.
Dr. Mario Thomas is an accomplished senior executive with impressive international credentials in the management of innovation. He brings extensive experience filled with achievements driving successful development collaborations and financial ventures. With over 30 years in leadership roles directing corporate development and commercialization, he creates remarkable value for all stakeholders.
Dr. Thomas is the founding chairman of the recently created International Commercialization Alliance (ICA). He holds the dual role of Senior Vice-President, Ontario Centres of Excellence, and Managing Director, Centre of Excellence for Commercialization of Research.
His previous experiences include Partner in the venture firm T2C2 Capital; CEO and co-founders of two start-up companies; and senior level positions in business development, marketing and scientist. He holds a PhD in chemistry and a BSc from Université Laval in Quebec City, as well as a diploma in business administration from École des Hautes Études Commerciales of Université de Montréal. He is also a Chartered Director with the ASC designation in board governance.
David Watters worked for 30 years in the federal government as a senior executive and Assistant Deputy Minister in a variety of Economic Ministries including Industry Canada, Treasury Board and Finance Canada. He was the Assistant Deputy Minister at Finance Canada for Economic Development and Corporate Finance, where he helped to shape the economic and innovation investments in several federal Budgets.
David then established the Global Advantage Consulting Group Inc. (Ottawa), a strategic management consulting firm, where he is currently president. Since 2002 the firm has completed over 350 assignments providing advice to corporate, association, university and government clients in Canada and abroad in a broad range of areas from organizational strategy, innovative business models, the design and management of commercial networks to enhanced governance and decision-making. His firm also designs and builds “system maps” in the areas of new technology, innovation/commercialization, trade, and energy/climate change to support client investments in projects, programs and policy.
David holds an Economics degree from Queen’s University as well as a Law degree in corporate, commercial and tax law from Queen’s Law School. He was an adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa Management School for seven years where he taught International Negotiation to MBA students.
Dr. Allison Young currently holds the position of Senior Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in New York where she heads up the International Business Development Program (IBD). Since her arrival in September 2011, the International Business Development Program has launched a Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA@NYC) for 24 Canadian tech start-ups in digital media as well as a Virtual Cleantech Accelerator (named Virtual Venture North) with 35 cleantech companies.
Prior to this appointment, Dr. Young served as Director of three divisions at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade handling the overall coordination of Canada’s trade negotiating agenda with India, China, Japan, Korea, Turkey, and Israel; Canada’s negotiating position at the World Trade Organization (WTO), and; implementation of the 2006 Canada-United States Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) and its accompanying domestic legislation and regulations.
Prior to this, Dr. Young worked on bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations concerning agri-food, wines and spirits, chemicals, professional services, financial services, environmental services, information communication services , telecommunications and investment.
Dr. Young’s academic credentials include a Ph.D. from Dalhousie University (2001); M.A. Political Science, Acadia University; Bachelor of Education, McGill University; Joint Honours Bachelor of Arts, History and Political Science, McGill University.
Day 1 - May 16, 2012
Welcome and opening remarks
"R&D and the Culture of Risk in Canada"
Analysis of Budget 2012 from an innovation policy perspective
David Watters, President - Global Advantage Consulting Group Inc.
“Beyond The Jenkins Report: why it’s not just another study on Canadian innovation”
Panel One: Implications for key sectors – looking behind the numbers
Lynda Leonard, Senior Vice President - Information Technology Association of Canada
Budget 2012 highlights the importance of innovation and makes some significant adjustments to budget allocations for different innovation support programs. It also signals changes to come in the coming years. This panel will explore the implications of these spending priorities for different sectors of Canada’s economy. The auto sector represents more than a quarter of Canada’s exports. The ICT sector has traditionally been the backbone of Canada’s R&D-intensive economy. Cleantech is an emerging value-added sector on which many hopes for economic growth are pinned. Experts from these three sectors review Budget 2012 from a sector perspective as well as for Canada’s business innovation community as a whole.
Reception and dinner
Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology Minister of State for Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
"New models for accelerating innovation: a venture capitalist's perspective"
Panel Two: Implications for innovative companies
Moderator: Jim Roche, President and CEO - Stratford Managers Corporation President and CEO - CANARIE
Karna Gupta, President & CEO - Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)
CEOs running innovative companies face daily challenges in a variety of areas, including sales, marketing, customer support, research and development, governance and finance, and human resources. They must stay ahead of global competition and continuously create value for their customers. This panel of CEOs will share their experiences in running globally active firms headquartered in Canada. Does Budget 2012 contain any good news for these companies? Can government innovation policy help or hinder the growth of such firms?
Keynote: “Disrupting Canada’s Low-Innovation Equilibrium”
Dr. Peter Nicholson, Founding President (Retired) - Council of Canadian Academies - Ottawa, Ontario
Panel Three: Implications for innovation intermediaries
Dr. Mario Thomas, Senior Vice-President - Ontario Centres of Excellence Managing Director - Centre of Excellence for Commercialization of Research
Robert Luke, Vice President of Research and Innovation, George Brown College
Dr. Allison Young, Senior Trade Commissioner, Consulate General of Canada in New York
The innovation ecosystem is increasingly populated by specialist organizations (or groups within traditional institutions) whose role is to connect companies with one another and with other sources of support, including expertise and finance. These innovation intermediaries often play a vital role in supporting companies and helping them succeed and grow. This panel will look at how Budget 2012 might affect the effectiveness of innovation intermediaries in their task of helping and supporting entrepreneurs and innovative firms.
Lunch and Speaker “Economic renewal, Innovation and Budgets: A Longer-term Perspective”
Closing panel: Priorities for action
Moderator: Paul Dufour, Fellow of the Institute for Science, Society and Policy - University of Ottawa Prinicipal - PaulicyWorks
This panel provides an opportunity for participants to engage in a discussion of priorities for future action by government and other players in Canada’s innovation ecosystem. Keynote speakers Adam Chowaniec and Kevin Lynch will comment on ideas proposed and issues raised by participants. Mr. Chowaniec, as a serial entrepreneur, CEO, angel investor and Director of Canadian technology companies, will address realities faced by entrepreneurs, innovative companies and investors. Mr. Lynch, as former Clerk of the Privy Council and Deputy Minister of both Industry and Finance, and currently Senior VP at one of Canada’s major banks and formerly Executive Director of the IMF, will address realities faced by government and Canada’s financial establishment.
Proceedings & Presentations