Reversing the Trend: Taking Canada’s Innovation Game to the Next Level
The Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) lays out a bleak picture of Canada’s STI performance in its fourth biannual public report, State of the Nation Report 2014, released in November 2015. STIC and many others have documented a grim picture of decline: decreasing business expenditure on R&D (BERD), loss of private sector R&D jobs, falling position in international rankings. The stark conclusion: the innovation policies that have been put in place to support the growth of innovative, knowledge-based firms in Canada over the past several decades have not been working. “Canada’s most profound and urgent ST&I challenge,” asserts the STIC report, “lies in increasing the number of firms that embrace and effectively manage innovation as a competitiveness and growth strategy.”
Canada does have firms active in knowledge-based industry sectors that sell innovative products and services globally. Most are small and if they grow, large foreign firms hungry for innovative talent and solutions typically pick them off. We have a poor record of growing sustainable, large firms in knowledge-based industry sectors.
The 15th annual RE$EARCH MONEY conference will focus on how to fix Canada’s innovation problem. Innovation is a business strategy for identifying needs and selling products and services to meet those needs better than anyone else. Will the first budget of the new federal government provide any new thinking or investment that might reverse Canada’s decline in knowledge-based commerce? What are the key areas that governments must focus on in order to help companies scale and compete in global markets? Speakers will include business leaders from some of Canada’s fastest growing tech firms, senior government policy makers and leading academics.
In smaller breakout sessions we’ll dig deeper into what policies and practices within Canada’s innovation ecosystem will help Canadian firms serve customers around the world and access the talent they need to scale and succeed globally.
As a special option for participants who want to interact more intimately with some of Canada’s business leaders, a special session will be offered after the conference on the afternoon of April 6th. Participation is by invitation only and there will be a cap on numbers.
Speakers, Panelists, and Moderators include
Céline Bak is the President of Analytica Advisors. In 2007 she recognized that innovation-based industries were poorly represented through existing primary economic research and identified that this lack of evidence distorted the whole lifecycle of innovation-based companies, from incubation and capital raising to securing domestic reference customers and competing globally. In order to change this, she has authored and published five annual national micro-economic reports that have established the evidence base for Canada’s emerging energy and water technology industry. Her research has changed the investment and policy landscape, and has formed the basis of hundreds of millions of dollars in catalytic public program investment. She is engaged in consultancy projects addressing finance, innovation and trade across Canada and around the world.
Having worked in 25 countries, Céline’s career began as a consultant to British Airways and then as a Principal of A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm. She was later an operating executive in two high growth Canadian technology companies, Solect Technology group and Bridgewater Systems, both of which were acquired by Amdocs (DOX) in Israel. She is now a senior fellow in the global economy program at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, based in Waterloo ON, where she leads the Canadian Clean Technology Innovation (CCTI) Partnership program. She sits as an independent director at Green Centre Canada and serves on the Core Evaluation Team for Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program.
She and her husband live in Ottawa. They have three daughters (22, 22 and 14).
Bogdan Ciobanu was appointed Vice-President of the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) in 2011.
Bogdan joined NRC in 1998 as an IRAP Associate Regional Director and became the Executive Director for the Québec Region in 2004. Before joining NRC, Bogdan had a breadth of experience having worked in R&D and consulting with a major research organization, was involved with sales and marketing for a computer numeric control (CNC) company and was a senior manager for an engine parts manufacturer.
With an extensive engineering background in computer aided manufacturing and mechanical design, as well as a successful track record in commercialization of technology and business innovation, Bogdan has worked both in Canada and in Europe.
Bogdan has actively contributed to the Canadian innovation landscape as a board member of several associations such as CRIAQ (Consortium de recherche et d’innovation en aérospatiale au Québec), CEFRIO (Centre francophone de l’informatisation des organisations) and ADRIQ (Association de la recherche industrielle du Québec). He also chaired the Manufacturing and Materials Strategic Projects Committee of NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada).
Bogdan holds an MBA from the John Molson School of Business and is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec.
In combining a strong track record of industry and commercialization leadership and a founder of a number of technology start-ups with a distinguished academic background, Dr. Tom Corr is ideally suited for his role as President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence. Bridging the distinct worlds of academia and industry in the interest of driving innovation and securing Ontario’s global competitiveness is core to OCE’s mandate. Through its various programs, OCE acts as a catalyst for innovative businesses to grow and achieve sustainable, commercial success and global competitiveness.
In this role since 2010, Dr. Corr brings more than 30 years of entrepreneurial experience ranging from founding start-up companies to CEO positions at large publicly traded companies. He was the CEO of the Accelerator Centre (AC) at the Waterloo Research and Technology Park and Associate Vice-President of Commercialization at the University of Waterloo (UW) and Director of Commercialization – IT and Communications at the University of Toronto. His additional vast experience in the IT sector includes Managing Partner at Catalyst Partnership; founder and CEO of Momentum Systems; founder and CEO of Applied Development Corp., and President of Canadian Data Processing Corp.
Dr. Corr has more than 30 years of entrepreneurial experience in the IT and venture capital sectors and also serves on the board of a number of organizations including OneEleven (Chair), C-FER Technologies (Chair), Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (Vice-Chair), the Waterloo Research and Technology Park – Accelerator Centre and SOSCIP High Performance Computing Centre.
He holds a Doctor of Business Administration degree from Henley Management College/Brunel University in England, an MBA from the University of Toronto, and an Advanced Post Graduate Degree in Management Consultancy from Henley Management College. Dr. Corr has also completed his certification as a corporate director by the Institute of Corporate Directors and holds the ICD.D designation. He is also a graduate of the Singularity University Executive Program.
Dr. Lisa Crossley is the CEO of Moseda Technologies, Inc., a publicly-traded healthcare IT company based in Vancouver, BC and its wholly-owned subsidiary CareKit Health Corp. (Hamilton, ON). Lisa has a proven track record of successfully building and leading global technology companies. She has diverse experience across multiple market segments, including therapeutics, medical devices, life science tools, diagnostics and healthcare information technology. Prior to joining Moseda, Lisa was CEO of VitalHub Corp., CEO at Quantum Dental Technologies and President & CEO at Natrix Separations. She is currently a member of the Genome Alberta Board of Directors and the Mitacs Research Council. Lisa has previously acted as a Board Director for the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO), Viron Therapeutics, Boyd Technologies, and Women in Science and Technology Businesses (WSTB) and has held numerous Advisory Board appointments. She was a member of the Council of Canadian Academies’ Expert Panel commissioned by Industry Canada to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the State of Industrial R&D in Canada. She has raised over $35 Million in venture capital and angel financing, negotiated channel partner agreements with major multinational market leaders and built customer bases in North America, Europe and Asia. Lisa holds a B.Sc. in Anatomy & Cell Biology from McGill University and a B.A.Sc. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario.
As Senior Vice President of Marketing and Operations, Andrew Dixon drives the go-to-market strategy, and customer acquisition and success programs at Igloo. With a strong focus on operational excellence and customer experience, he directs the alignment of talent and resources to ensure continuous growth and customer satisfaction.
Prior to Igloo, Andrew most recently served as Vice President, Business and Marketing Officer, Microsoft Canada. Andrew’s record of accomplishments include 18 years of senior leadership experience at Microsoft Corporation. Here he acquired a broad range of experience, including leading a subsidiary business and marketing organization, countless product introductions, commercial and consumer product marketing, cross-subsidiary initiatives, audience marketing, and public relations.
Dr. Fortin leads the Department of National Defence’s (DND) S&T investment and provides advice on national issues in defence and security science and technology. He also leads Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), a national network of defence and security research centres whose S&T network extends to partnerships with Canadian industry, universities, and international S&T organizations. It provides national leadership in defence and security science, and provides scientific advice to DND and the Canadian Forces.
Prior to joining DND and DRDC in 2011, Dr. Fortin led several research organizations at the national or regional levels, both in academia and government. He has led the development of innovative programs to engage industry and government players in better integrated global innovation networks. He is particularly passionate about catalyzing the development of organizations capable of operating in complex environments and in uncertain futures.
Prior to joining DND, Dr. Fortin was ADM (Research) at Agriculture and AgriFood Canada. He also had a 17 years career as Associate Professor, Chair and Associate Dean (Research) at McGill University prior to joining the Federal government. Dr. Fortin is a graduate of McGill University and of Université Laval, and also conducted research at The University of Chicago and at The University of California at Davis.
Karna Gupta is one of the most respected and well-seasoned executives in high technology with an exceptional track record. 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, effective August 25, 2011. Also serving in several Boards; Voti Inc. (private company), Venture Lab (York Region Incubation Center) as well as ITAC.
In January 2008, Mr. Gupta was named CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of Certicom Corp (TSX: CIC).
Prior to his appointment at Certicom, Mr. Gupta held the role of President for the Real-Time Billing Division of Comverse Technologies from2006 to 2008 (NASDAQ: CMVT). Mr. Gupta’s previous role in Comverse was Chief Marketing Officer for Comverse Americas.
Prior to Comverse, he was President of Sitraka Mobility. He led the organization through a successful merger with Everypath Inc. of California. Prior to that, he served as Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of Eftia OSS Solutions. 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.
As Vice-President of NSERC’s Research Partnerships Directorate, Dr. Bettina Hamelin is responsible for a range of programs designed to stimulate increased public/private collaboration and technology transfer and to maximize the benefits that university and college research provides to Canada. Bettina has more than 15 years of experience in the biotech and international pharmaceutical industry as well as 10 years of academic experience as a tenured professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy at Université Laval.
Prior to joining NSERC Bettina held a variety of positions at Pfizer Canada, most recently as Canadian Medical Lead, Vaccines, and Head, Strategic Research Partnerships, Western Canada. Passionate about R&D, she excels at bringing together unlikely partners to attract and leverage funds from diverse sources. She is known for pioneering novel public-private partnership models, and breaking down barriers between federal, provincial and private sector stakeholders.
Early roots in biology and chemistry (Vordiplom, Universität Kaiserslautern, Germany) have lead Bettina to complete a B.Sc. in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy, both from the University of Kentucky, U.S. and an EMBA in Healthcare from the University of British Columbia, Canada.
Lawrence Hanson became the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Science and Innovation Sector in November 2014. Prior to his nomination, he was the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications Sector since July 2013.
Prior to joining Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lawrence Hanson was Director General, Strategic Policy in the Strategic Policy Branch of Environment Canada. He joined the Public Service in 1996, as an analyst in the Intergovernmental Affairs Branch of the Privy Council Office, and subsequently worked in the Federal-Provincial Relations group at Human Resources Development Canada before returning to the Privy Council Office as an analyst in Social Development Policy in the Operations Branch. Mr. Hanson became Director of Employment Policy at Human Resources Canada in 2001 and joined Environment Canada in 2004. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Studies from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters’ Degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia. He is married and has two children.
Ted Hewitt was appointed president of SSHRC in March 2015. Prior to his appointment, he was SSHRC’s executive vice-president and chief operating officer.
From 2004 to 2011, Ted was vice-president, research and international relations, at London, Ontario’s Western University, where he had been a professor of sociology since 1989. He was also a public policy scholar at the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. A leading authority on Brazil, Ted has published in monographs, edited works and a range of academic journals. In 2002, Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations named him a commander of the Order of Rio Branco.
Ted’s recent research has focused on national and international innovation systems, with emphasis on the roles of universities, industry and government in promoting economic prosperity in the 21st century. He is Canadian co-chair of the Canada-Brazil Joint Committee for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation, and a member of the board of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce.
Ted holds a PhD in sociology from McMaster University.
Neal Hill joined BDC Capital, a division of the Business Development Bank of Canada, in 2012 as Vice President, Fund of Funds, and became Vice President, Market Development in January of 2016. His primary responsibilities are to manage BDC Capital’s position as lead investor in the Government of Canada’s $1.4 billion Venture Capital Action Plan, and to collaborate with other stakeholders in improving the supply and efficient flow of capital into Canada’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Neal has more than 30 years of experience in technology management and marketing, venture capital, and mergers and acquisitions in Canada and the U.S. In earlier portions of his career, he was Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, for Cognos Incorporated, the Ottawa-based $1 billion worldwide leader in business intelligence and performance management software, now a unit of IBM. In this role, he was responsible for mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances, including the alliance with IBM that led to its $5 billion acquisition of Cognos. Earlier in his career, Neal was Managing Director of a Boston-based venture capital firm, as well as a co-founder of 3 start-ups. He has also served on the boards of over 20 early-stage companies in Canada and the U.S.
Neal attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Physics and Political Science.
Pat leads business operations for IBM Canada including CIO, Supply Chain, Real Estate, Procurement, Corporate Citizenship and Government Programs. In addition, he provides leadership to the IBM Software Lab organization and the Microelectronic Manufacturing Plant in Bromont, Quebec. Both of these are the largest of their kind in Canada, holding world mandates. Pat is the Chair of the IBM Canada Board.
In recent years Pat is responsible for driving IBM Canada’s Innovation Ecosystem – Centres of Excellence that focus on tackling grand challenge issues using world class technology and utilizing data analytics. He has been instrumental in building a number of partnerships with Government and Academia along with IBM – creating solutions and driving new business growth. These partnerships now span the country – and have been widely praised as helping to catalyze new innovation momentum for Canada.
Pat participates on many external Boards, including being 2013’s Chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. He is also on the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business, the Ontario Brain Institute, NRC Emerging Technologies, SSHRC and ITAC. He also is on the board of local organizations such as York Region HR Council and Southlake Regional Health Centre.
Pat is an Ivey Business School graduate and holds a CPA designation.
Mr. Jenkins is Chair of the Board of OpenText™ Corporation (NASDAQ: OTEX, TSX: OTC) of Waterloo, the largest software company in Canada. Mr. Jenkins is the Chair of the National Research Council of Canada.
Tom Jenkins has been active for more than 30 years in innovation and economic development in both the private and public sectors.
Mr. Jenkins is the author or co-author of several widely read books including Digital: Disrupt or Die, e-Government or Out of Government and Enterprise Information Management: The Next Generation of Enterprise Software.
Mr. Jenkins is currently a board member of Manulife Financial Corporation, of Thomson Reuters Inc., and of TransAlta. He is a director of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE). Mr. Jenkins is the tenth Chancellor of the University of Waterloo and the Chair of advisory board of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. He is a founder of Communitech in Waterloo.
Mr. Jenkins received an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Waterloo, York University and an honorary doctorate of Military Science from the Royal Military College of Canada. He is a recipient of the Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year, the McMaster Engineering L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Alumni Award and the Schulich School of Business Outstanding Executive Leadership award.
Mr. Jenkins received an M.B.A. (York University), an EE M.A.Sc. (University of Toronto) and a B.Eng. & Mgt. in Engineering Physics and Commerce (McMaster University). He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (FCAE). Mr. Jenkins was awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (QDJM). Mr. Jenkins is an Officer of the Order of Canada (OC) for his contributions to education and innovation in Canada.
In addition to being Chair of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Council (STIC), Kenneth Knox is the CEO of Knox-Vannest Inc., providing strategic advice and advisory services to non-profit and public sector organizations managing complex issues. Dedicated to public service, Mr. Knox served in numerous positions in the Government of Ontario from 1972 until leaving in 2000 after serving as Deputy Minister, Energy, Science and Technology. On the science and technology file, Mr. Knox established and led a ‘virtual ministry’ charged with the mandate to foster a “culture of innovation” in Ontario, through investment in scientific research and the application of new technologies. Under his leadership, the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, the Ontario Innovation Trust, and the Premier’s Research Excellence Awards were established.
After leaving the Ontario government, Mr. Knox served in leadership positions in a number of science and innovation related organizations. He was the founding CEO of the Ontario Genomics Institute; the President and CEO of the Innovation Institute of Ontario; the President and CEO of the Ontario Innovation Trust; a Founding Director of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute; and the first General Manager of MaRS Discovery District. He also played a crucial role in the formation of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies and, more recently, the creation of the Ontario Brain Institute, and he assisted in structuring the Ontario BioAuto Council. Mr. Knox has also served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Ontario Bio Council, the Ontario Science and Innovation Council, the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, the Leaders’ Forum on Innovation of The Conference Board of Canada, Ontario Hydro, the Ontario Jobs and Investment Board, and the Special Advisory Panel on Creating an Innovation Culture.
Mr. Knox has provided strategic advice to federal ministers and deputy ministers, including completing reviews for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, as well as two assignments for the president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Most recently, Mr. Knox was the chairman of the CFIA’s audit committee.
Mr. Knox graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College of the University of Guelph in 1972. In 2011, he was inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame and given an Honorary Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, by the University of Guelph. In 2006, he received the Toronto Biotechnology Initiative Community Recognition Award and, in 2008, he received the Ontario Amethyst Award (Public Service): Sandra D. Lang Lifetime Achievement.
As Chief Technology Officer, Amer Matar is responsible for the strategic positioning of Moneris’ products and services as innovative, high value solutions for the North American market.
At Moneris, Amer and his team have introduced many “first-to-market” solutions in North America, including the first solution capable of processing chip cards, the first to offer Interac Online payments for eCommerce transactions and the first Radio Frequency Device for processing Interac Direct Payment in partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada and Imperial Oil (ESSO).
Mr. Matar is active on international payment industry committees including EMVCO board of advisors and MasterCard Point of Interaction (POI).
With more than 15 years of experience in the payment industry with specific focus on products and technology, Mr. Matar has built and recruited a world class team of technology and payment professionals responsible for some of the most advanced payment solutions in the North American market.
Mr. Matar holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Montreal and an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Montreal.
As AVP, TD Lab and Enterprise Innovation, Ian leads several incubator and accelerator labs for TD Bank Group. Lean, creative, and experimental, TD labs (@TDLab) explore new solutions and emerging tech with dedicated design and development teams – and through collaboration with startups and other technology partners.
With international experience in designing and commercializing new solutions, building commercial alliances, developing new markets, and growing companies, Ian previously held positions at Aeryon Labs Inc, BlackBerry, Hyundai Auto Canada, and Sandvine Inc. Ian also holds an Honours Bachelor and Masters in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).
Marta Morgan is the newly appointed Associate Deputy Minister at the Department of Finance Canada. Before her appointment in this Department, she held various positions within the Department of Industry Canada. She was the Associate Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Minister, Industry Sector, and Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Sector.
Prior to Industry Canada, Ms. Morgan held positions at the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), the Privy Council Office, and Human Resources Development Canada.
Ms. Morgan has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics from McGill University and a Masters in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Julie Pottier was appointed Vice-President, Commercial Markets and Small Business in March 2016. In this capacity, she is responsible for account management and business development activities for all Canadian customers and prospects in the commercial and small business segments.
Since joining EDC in 1992, Ms. Pottier has held a variety of leadership positions at EDC, most recently she was responsible for the leadership and management of EDC’s business development team throughout the province of Quebec whose mandate is to help companies succeed internationally. She also served as Regional Underwriting Director leading a team of underwriters responsible for providing insurance, bonding and financing solutions to Quebec customers.
EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, providing financing and insurance solutions locally and around the world to help Canadian companies of any size respond to international business opportunities. As a profitable Crown corporation that operates on commercial principles, EDC works together with private and public-sector financial institutions to create greater capacity for Canadian companies to engage in trade and investment.
A forefather of enterprise mobility management, SOTI Founder and CEO, Carl Rodrigues, had a vision for the need for enterprises to manage mobility well before smartphones and BYOD became prevalent. Founded in 1995, SOTI was born from the visionary concepts of Mr. Rodrigues, who very early on understood the need to manage devices, applications, content, and corporate data, and the growing need to secure them. While working as an independent IT consultant almost 20 years ago, Mr. Rodrigues had a vision and brought it to life when he developed a solution for managing mobile device screens from a desktop, an innovation that put him ahead in what is now the hotly contested enterprise mobility management market. Mr. Rodrigues’ drive for innovation and his passion for mobility and excellence have helped SOTI solutions become the choice of over 15,000 enterprises across the globe.
Frank Des Rosiers was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of Innovation and Energy Technology in May 2013. Prior to his appointment, Frank served as General Director, Tax Policy at Finance Canada and as Assistant Secretary, Priorities and Planning at the Treasury Board Secretariat. A former member of NRCan’s management team, Frank served as Director General, Strategic Policy Branch from 2003-07. Between 1998 and 2003, he worked in Intergovernmental Affairs at the Privy Council Office as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Minister and Director, Economic and Fiscal Analysis.
Frank holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University (Fulbright Scholar). He also holds a B.A. in Economics from Laval University and a M.A. in Economics from the University of Montreal.
David Ross is the CEO and majority owner of Ross Video, a Canadian technology company. Since David graduated as a Computer Engineer and joined the company in 1991, it has grown from a small analog switcher company with about 25 employees to a global company with almost 600 employees that has made 9 acquisitions in the past 7 years. Ross is now a major manufacturer of Switchers, Robotics, Graphics , Virtual Sets, Routers, Modular Equipment, Video Servers, Newsroom Systems, and much more.
Somehow, David and his team have managed to achieve this growth internally funded and they haven’t had a single down year in 25 straight years, maintaining an average growth rate of 17 percent.
Ross is now also a full service packager creating content. This year, Ross Mobile Productions expects to produce over 600 events in its 5 sports production vehicles based in the United States.
As President of Ryerson Futures, Matt manages a seed stage investment fund and multiple acceleration programs for early-stage technology companies, as well as the Innovation for Hire consulting practice for corporate clients. He has more than 18 years of experience as an entrepreneur and executive working with companies in the technology and service sectors. Matt currently oversees operations in Canada, (Ryerson Futures, Zone Startups Sports + Media in Toronto and Zone Startups Calgary in Alberta), as well as Zone Startups India in Mumbai. Matt has a bachelor of science in business administration and MBA from Northeastern University.
Janet Scholz has more than 30 years experience in intellectual asset management and technology transfer including the successful licensing of technologies in all fields, start-up business development, and strategic planning. Janet has most recently served as the President & CEO of ACCT Canada (Alliance for Commercialization of Canadian Technologies – www.acctcanada.ca) a national not for profit association for academic and private sector organizations partnering to commercialize Canadian technologies.
Janet’s current activities focus on the diversification of traditional research relationships with local, regional, national and international business, industry and government organizations. She is a Senior Associate with Xomix Ltd., a Chicago based accelerator and consultancy in medical, life science, biotechnology, energy and environmental technologies for companies and research organizations. Janet is also a member of the International Advisory Committee for the International Technology Transfer Network (ITTN), Beijing, China.
Janet is a Past President and Member Emeritus of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). She is also a member of the Licensing Executives Society (LES), Society of Research Administrators (SRA), Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) and the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE).
Dr. Allison Sekuler is McMaster’s interim Vice-President Research and a Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour. She received a double-major BA in Mathematics and Psychology from Pomona College, and a PhD in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. In her current and previous administrative roles (e.g., as the Chair of OCGS, Associate Vice-President and Dean of Graduate Studies, and as the Associate Vice-President Research), she has taken an evidence-based approach to policy and initiative development, leading to the creation of innovative approaches to issues such as interdisciplinarity, internationalization, diversity and equity, and professional development training. Dr. Sekuler spearheaded the development of MyGradSkills.ca, a free online web portal providing students with self-paced professional development training, which the Conference Board of Canada recently highlighted as a key Canadian skills training initiative. Dr. Sekuler’s research on aging, vision science, cognitive neuroscience, neurotechnology, learning, and neural plasticity has been published in leading international journals, including Nature, Current Biology, and the Journal of Neuroscience, and both her research and her administrative initiatives are frequently described in the national and international media, as well as in social media platforms, where Dr. Sekuler has 600,000+ followers. Her work has been funded by NSERC, CIHR, CFI, CRC, HECQO, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Atkinson Charitable Foundation, and the Connaught Foundation, as well as the Ontario Ministries of Research and Innovation; Training, Colleges and Universities; and Transportation. Dr. Sekuler serves as an advocate and staunch ally for women in science, Indigenous peoples, and other under-represented groups in academia. She has won numerous national and international awards for her research, teaching, and leadership – including serving as the Nation’s first Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, an Ontario Distinguished Scholar, an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow, a Canadians for Health Research researcher of the month, and most recently was nominated as a YWCA Woman of Distinction for education and mentorship.
In 1999 Alison invested in GrowSafe. She and Founder Camiel Huisma have since grown GrowSafe from a research and development skunkworks to profitable financial results, while growing the company’s global industry presence and research and development networks through a number of ventures and partnerships. Alison was an early EDI/ECOMM innovator, holds patents for innovative technology and has presented and published articles on electronic data interchange, precision livestock farming and developing early stage technology ventures. She leads the team that received the Alberta Science & Technology Foundation Award for Innovation in Agricultural Sciences, the Canadian Information Technology & Communications Association Award for Excellence and Innovation, and the INTEL SME Award for Innovation.
The GrowSafe Big Data Internet of Things platform is changing the way livestock are measured, managed, and treated – ensuring sustainably produced safe, healthy, quality protein. GrowSafe’s platform acquires, analyses, and presents data from multiple biometric and environmental sensors, leveraging a standard personal computer connected to servers over the Internet. GrowSafe’s patented technology offers a scientifically proven and unprecedented ability in real time to continuously and automatically monitor individual animals, improve animal welfare, optimize feed efficiency and market value, and identify and treat sick animals. The platform brings the power of big data simply and affordably to livestock operations of any size.
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 400 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, and the design and management of commercial networks to enhanced governance and decision-making. His firm also designs and builds “ecosystem 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.
Day 1 - April 5, 2016
Registration and Exhibits
Opening Keynote: "IBM Canada: Perspectives on Innovation"
Patrick Horgan, Vice President, Manufacturing, Development and Operations, IBM Canada
Introduction by Bettina Hamelin, VP, Research Partnerships, NSERC
Keynote: "Gravity: Canada's Innovation Challenge"
Networking Break + Exhibits
Strand A: Taking Canada’s Ability to Serve Global Customers to the Next Level
The key to a successful business is generating sales from customers. For a country like Canada with a small domestic market, serving customers outside the country is essential for business growth. This session will explore the importance of global customers to Canada’s innovative firms and what cultural and attitudinal changes are needed to enhance Canada’s reputation and performance in providing innovative solutions to the world.
Panel 1: Creating a customer-focused mindset
Moderator: Julie Pottier
Revenue from sales is the best source of financing for any company. Customer-facing skills are essential for success in commerce. How can students acquire these skills and experience during their postsecondary education? How can Canadian start-up and early-stage firms in knowledge-based sectors develop a strong focus on customers? How can industry, government and academic leaders break out of their respective silos and together shape a culture that embraces a customer-focused mindset in knowledge-based sectors of Canada’s economy?
Panel 2: Going Global
Moderator: Bogdan Ciobanu
A small country like Canada needs trade in order to survive. We have gained an advantage through global demand for natural resources; however, in order to thrive in knowledge-based sectors of the economy, entrepreneurs need to accurately identify global needs and quickly develop superior solutions. What are the ingredients for success in global knowledge-based commerce? How do Canadian innovators access global value chains and global innovation networks? How can government policy help or hinder Canadian firms from accessing global customers?
Strand B: Taking Canada’s Talent Pool to the Next Level
One of the biggest challenges innovative companies face is attracting and retaining talent. On one hand, global competition for the top graduates in technical fields is fierce and Canadian firms struggle to compete with large multinationals. On the other hand, Canadian graduates generally lack exposure to and experience with business skills such as communications, management, marketing and sales that are essential for innovative firms to scale up and compete globally. Furthermore, traditional academic priorities and culture have been slow to adapt to the 4th industrial revolution, making industry collaboration difficult and therefore denying student exposure to business innovation practices. This session will explore what Canadian educational institutions need to do in order to equip their graduates with the skills, experiences and mindset necessary to work in and lead Canada’s innovative companies of the future.
Panel 1: Rejuvenating the Talent Pool
Moderator: Neal Hill
Youth unemployment (13%) and underemployment (28%) are intolerably high in Canada. In academia, Canada’s young researchers have to wait until their mid-30s or early 40s to launch their careers. The vast majority of graduates who pursue careers in industry or government enter the workforce with little or no experiential learning and are ill-equipped for an increasingly service focused economy (now 78% of Canada’s economy). How can we transform Canada’s postsecondary education institutions to equip Canada’s youth with the skills and experiences required to meet Canadian needs in a competitive global context?
Panel 2: Unleashing innovative talent
Moderator: Ted Hewitt
The traditional paradigm that sees a linear progression from academic research and discovery to industrial innovation has cemented an ineffective system in our postsecondary educational institutions. Faculty and students work on scholarly research, disconnected from university administrators’ attempts to commercialize promising results. While companies have evolved toward an open innovation paradigm, whereby diverse players collaborate on finding solutions to specific problems, postsecondary education institutions in Canada have been slow to adapt. How must our institutions evolve to engage faculty and students on relevant work with industry and government and build the relationships and experiences they need to participate and excel in open innovation collaboration?
Dinner and Keynote: "Canada and Business Innovation: What would we wish for?"
Day 2 - April 6, 2016
Keynote: "A Review of Canada's Innovation Eco System: Where we are and What we need to do next"
Introduction by Ted Hewitt, President, SSHRC
Panel: What can the federal government do to enhance its contribution to the innovation agenda?
Frank Des Rosiers, Assistant Deputy Minister, Innovation and Energy Technology, Natural Resources Canada
Marc Fortin, Assistant Deputy Minister (Science & Technology), Department of National Defence Chief Executive Officer, Defence R&D Canada
Lawrence Hanson, Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Innovation Sector, Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Marta Morgan, Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Finance Canada
Senior government policy makers discuss challenges and opportunities within different parts of government related to improving Canada’s innovation performance.
Networking Break + Exhibits
Andrew Dixon, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Operations, Igloo Software
C-suite executives from Canada’s leading tech firms highlight challenges larger Canadian tech firms face in building global brands, and explore how government policies can help firms scale and compete globally.
Meet the CEOs
This special networking session will take place following the close of the 15th Annual RE$EARCH MONEY Conference. This additional session is free for all conference attendees, but registration is mandatory.
Proceedings & Presentations
Innovation, Exports, and Canada's Global Competitiveness - DAVID WATTERS
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