New bets and old favourites: Creating a recipe for success in the innovation economy

National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s conference. What an amazing group of people! We look forward to seeing you again next year.

Conference proceedings now available.

16-17 April 2019  |  National Arts Centre  |  Ottawa, ON

Does Canada have the right policy ingredients to build a prosperous future based on innovation in the knowledge economy? Smart and generous investments in research have built a strong talent base that is attracting international attention from multinational firms. Yet efforts to diversify our economy to include more globally competitive firms in knowledge-based and R&D-intensive industry sectors have yielded disappointing results for decades. Our challenge is to figure out how to maintain our research and talent strength while adding new policies and programs to accelerate firm growth and increase the number of large Canadian-owned multinationals.

The federal government has recently implemented a number of major initiatives to try to kickstart this process and galvanize Canada’s innovation ecosystem, including the six Economic Strategy Tables, Innovation Canada and Impact Canada, the Innovation Superclusters Initiative, the Accelerated Growth Service and the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative. A new skills strategy is in the works to address the critical need for talent. Policies around equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) throughout the innovation ecosystem promise to expand Canada’s talent pipeline.

By engaging business leaders more effectively and focusing on industry sectors where Canada has strengths, the policy community is aiming to ramp up the country’s innovation economy. At the same time, investments in basic and applied research, with added incentives for EDI, multidisciplinary research, industry-academic collaboration and international linkages are designed to maintain Canada’s talent strength.

With an election less than a year away, people are assessing the government’s record and the innovation community is no exception. The 18th annual conference will bring together business, finance, government and academic leaders involved in these initiatives and related ones to assess their potential for building a strong economy and continuing prosperity and high quality of life for Canadians.

What to Expect

  • High profile speakers including business leaders from some of Canada’s fastest growing tech firms, senior government policy makers and leading academics and innovation thought leaders
  • Over 50 panelists and speakers working on the forefront of innovation in Canada
  • Displays from prominent members of the innovation community
  • Excellent networking opportunities
  • Attendees generally include executives and program managers from all levels of government, CEOs, entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, research and commercialization leaders from universities and colleges across Canada, and a variety of other representatives from industry, investment, academia, government and intermediaries

Special Rate for Subscribers

We love our subscribers and are happy, as always, to offer them a discount to attend the conference. This year’s discount is $100!* Email for your code.


The RE$EARCH MONEY Conference is an excellent opportunity for students interested in entrepreneurship, business and innovation to hear from and network with prominent members of Canada’s innovation community. We are offering a special conference rate for students of only $250+tax, which includes our three-course dinner on the evening of April 16th, 2019.


Please note that the National Arts Centre is a fully accessible venue. If you have any requirements that would help you access the full conference experience, please let us known at and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

*Only applies to a single full conference registration. Cannot be combined with other discount codes or special offers.

Speakers, Panelists, and Moderators include

Anil Arora

Chief Statistician of Canada
Anil Arora

Anil Arora was appointed Chief Statistician of Canada in September 2016.

Mr. Arora has led significant transformational initiatives throughout his career, with experience and partnerships spanning all three levels of government, the private sector and international organizations, including the UN and the OECD. He has led projects on high-profile policy issues, legislative and regulatory reform, and overseen large national programs.

In 1988, Mr. Arora joined Statistics Canada where he served in several positions, including regional operations, corporate services and the redesign of the dissemination function. In 2000, he became Director of Census Management Office and subsequently the Director General responsible for all aspects of the 2006 Census. In this role, Mr. Arora led the most comprehensive redesign of the Program, including the introduction of an online questionnaire. Following the successful delivery of the 2006 Census he became the Assistant Chief Statistician of Social, Health and Labour Statistics from 2008 to 2010.

In 2009, Mr. Arora received the prestigious APEX Leadership Award in recognition of his exceptional leadership skills and management excellence.

In 2010, Mr. Arora joined Natural Resources Canada as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Minerals and Metals Sector, and in 2013 was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of Science and Policy Integration. He moved to Health Canada in 2014, becoming Assistant Deputy Minister of Health Products and Food Branch and leading a complex organization overseeing regulation of food, drug and health products for Canada. He also served as chair of the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities.

Mr. Arora attended the University of Alberta, where he earned a Bachelor of Science, followed by further education in computing science and management, including a graduate certificate in Advanced Public Sector Management at the University of Ottawa, and the Advanced Leadership Program at the Canada School of Public Service.

Colleen Barnes

Associate Vice President Policy and Programs, Canada Food Inspection Agency
Colleen Barnes

Colleen Barnes is the Vice President of Policy and Programs Branch at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).  Colleen led the team that spearheaded the adoption of the Safe Food for Canadians Actin 2012 and the associated regulations that came into force in January 2019.

Colleen was formerly the Vice President of the Human Resources Branch at CFIA and has held a variety of leadership roles at the Agency in the areas of audit and evaluation, international and domestic policy, and regulatory modernization.

Prior to joining CFIA, Colleen worked for over 15 years at the Department of Finance. This included a decade in the Financial Sector Policy Branch where Colleen worked on the regulatory framework governing financial institutions in Canada.

Rhonda Barnet

President & Chief Operating Officer, AVIT Manufacturing
Rhonda Barnet

Rhonda Barnet is the President & Chief Operating Officer of AVIT Manufacturing (a division of Steelworks Design), an engineering and custom automation firm co-founded with her husband, Don Barnet.

An ardent supporter of Canadian Manufacturing and Exporting, Rhonda was appointed the first female Chair in history of the National Board of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (2016-2018).  She maintains an active schedule of government and industry engagements, including functions in Germany, Holland, China, Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Further appointments include the Federal Advanced Manufacturing Strategy Council and most recently, Board Member of Next Generation Manufacturing Canada, one of the 5 Canadian Super Clusters to deliver $950M of federal innovation funds.  Rhonda currently serves CME in the role of Past Chair and newly appointed as the Chair of The Workforce of the Future.  In 2018 Rhonda launched CME’s “We Can Do It” Campaign, an initiative funded by the federal government to add 100,000 women to the manufacturing workforce over the next five years.  Rhonda is a regular spokeswoman on diversity, women in manufacturing, skills and the future workforce.

Rhonda believes in the value of mentorship and upholds the philosophy “If you can see me, you can be me”.

Craig Betts

Founder, Executive Chairman, Solace.
Craig Betts

Betts founded Solace in 2001 to revolutionize the speed and reliability of messaging middleware by applying proven IP router and switch technology to fundamentally rearchitect legacy solutions. Over its history, Solace has been awarded 25 USPTO patents, of which Betts is the primary inventor of eight. Solace technology has been proven in production at 10x to 100x the performance of existing solutions form IBM, Oracle, and TIBCO.

Under Betts’ leadership as CEO, Solace grew into a global multinational that transformed the information architectures of hundreds of the world’s most sophisticated companies including Barclays, American Express, SAP, London Stock Exchange, NASA, Daimler, Airtel, and Reliance, where it connects over 450 million citizens in India.

In 2016, Betts partnered with a major US-based private equity firm to rapidly grow the Solace product portfolio for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments.

Betts was appointed Executive Chairman of the Board in September 2017. Betts is a graduate of Queen’s University with a degree in Mathematics, where he was published in algebraic number theory as an undergrad.

Betts is a dedicated husband and father to two daughters and a passionate lifetime skier. Betts and Solace were recently awarded a Canada National Sports Award for long-term support and promotion of ski racing in Canada. When not travelling the globe, Betts splits his time between homes in Ottawa and Mont Tremblant.

Vibhu Bhan

Founder & CEO, hiwave
Vibhu Bhan
Vibhu Bhan has been helping Canadian institutions utilize and apply technology breakthroughs since 2000. Prior to 2014, Vibhu had built and delivered industry programs like mag to chip migration and  payments modernization across Tier 1 banks.In 2014, Vaibhav was lead on building the information strategy for CIBC Business Banking. All of the initiatives had one thing in common; helping users better engage with the bank. In 2016, Vibhu took this further by establishing and directly investing in building patent pending AI, talk-AI-tive, with a team of cherry picked scientists and engineers.
As CEO at hiwave, Vibhu is responsible for product, strategy and operations.

Julien Billot

Julien Billot

Mr. Billot is CEO of Scale Ai, Canada’s artificial intelligence Supercluster dedicated to building the next generation supply chain and boosting industry performance by leveraging Ai technologies. He is also an adjunct professor of HEC Montreal and the Montreal lead for two transformational programs aiming to launch and grow startups in Artificial Intelligence leveraging Montreal tech and business ecosystem, NextAI and the CreativeDestructionLab (CDL).

He also serves as a director in various companies and non-profit organizations. He has extensive experience in the marketing, media and mobile industries, with a track record of successfully executing print to digital business transformations.

Until recently, Julien Billot has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Yellow Pages Group Corporation in Montreal, Quebec. Previously, he was Executive Vice President, Head of Media and Member of the Executive Committee of Solocal Group (formerly PagesJaunes Groupe), the publicly traded and incumbent local search business in France. Earlier experience includes serving as CEO of the digital and new business group of Lagardère Active, a multimedia branch of Lagardère Group and 13 years in senior management positions at France Telecom, notably as Chief Marketing Officer for Orange, the company’s mobile subsidiary.

Mr. Billot is serving today as a Board Member at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, is Chairman of a Montreal based company Jogogo Media and a Board member for DistrictM and a French media group, Groupe Paris Turf.

Mr. Billot is a graduate of École Polytechnique (Paris) and from Telecom Paris Tech. He holds a postgraduate diploma (DEA) in Industrial Economics from the University of Paris-Dauphine.

Chris Brosinsky

Director, Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS), Department of National Defence
Chris Brosinsky

Mr. Brosinsky is the currently the Director responsible for the development and implementation of DND’s new defence innovation program, Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS).  The program was announced as part of the Strong Secure Engaged Defence Policy in June 2017 that will invest $1.6 billion over the next 20 years to mitigate new threats and meet evolving defence and security needs, while generating economic benefits for Canada.

IDEaS seeks to augments DND’s access to innovators in academia, industry and other external partners by fostering an environment which builds S&T capability and challenges them to develop solutions to the hardest problems. IDEaS also provides opportunities for innovators to demonstrate technologies and solutions (including knowledge, approaches, analytics, etc.) that have potential for application in defence and security.

Prior to this role, Mr. Brosinsky was the Corporate Services Business Manager within Defence R&D Canada 2004-2016, co-founded a private industry consulting firm (2000-2004), and conducted scientific research (1984 – 2000) in the domains for explosive phenomenology and unmanned vehicle systems. Mr. Brosinsky graduated from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in both Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Technology and holds a Master’s degree in Leadership from Royal Roads University.

Moya Cahill

CEO, PanGeo Subsea
Moya Cahill

Moya is a Professional Engineer holding a Bachelor of Engineering in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Starting her career in the Norwegian Oil and Gas Sector some 30 years ago, Moya returned to Canada in the early ‘90’s and established her own engineering and project management company in support of the offshore industry on Canada’s East Coast. She built on her client’s successes and opened up project offices in Nova Scotia and the Middle East.

In 2006, Moya co-founded PanGeo Subsea Inc. a technology service provider of acoustic 3D SAS sub-bottom imaging technology.  Moya’s most recent focus has been in the development of PanGeo’s SBI SeaKite: a multi-sensor robotic towed platform delivering more cost-effective survey solutions to the offshore wind farms in Europe, US and China.

Moya has been honored to be a recipient of the “Canadian Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award” as well as the prestigious “Canada’s Top 40 Under 40”.  She was also honored to receive from the Newfoundland Oil and Gas Association their “Outstanding Contribution Award” which recognized her for outstanding and lasting contribution to the establishment and growth of the oil and gas industry in Newfoundland & Labrador.




Martha Crago

VP Research, McGill University
Martha Crago

Professor Martha Crago is McGill University’s Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation). Prior to returning to McGill, she was the Vice-President (Research) at Dalhousie University. Her previous university administrative positions include Vice-President of International and Inter-Governmental Relations at the Université de Montreal as well as the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Associate Provost (Academic Programs), at McGill. ‎Professor Crago is the Chair of the Research Committee of the U15 group of Canada’s research-intensive universities as well as Chair of the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). She is also a member of the Research Partnership Committee of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Senior Research Officers of the Association of American Universities (AAU). In 2016, the Minister of Science of Canada selected her to be a member of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review. Professor Crago was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2017.

Neil Desai

Vice-President at Magnet Forensics
Neil Desai

As Vice-President at Magnet Forensics, Neil leads strategic engagement with leaders from policing, national security and government agencies to support their transformations in the realm of cyber-investigations and digital evidence. The Canadian scale-up technology company serves over 4500 customers in 93 countries and has been honoured as one of Canada’s fastest growing technology companies by Deloitte and Canadian Business magazine.

Neil previously served with the Government of Canada in senior roles at Global Affairs Canada and the Prime Minister’s Office.He is a Fellow with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and a Faculty Member of Singularity University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the YMCA Canada, Public Policy Forum, and as an Advisor to the Council of Canadian Innovators. He is also a contributor to the Globe and Mail and Policy Options Magazine. Neil holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree with honours from Carleton University.

Dominique Bérubé

Vice-president, Research Programs, SSHRC
Dominique Bérubé

Dominique Bérubé was appointed vice-president, Research Programs, at SSHRC in October 2015. Prior to joining SSHRC, Dominique worked at the Université de Montréal, beginning in 2007. There, she held a variety of positions, including acting vice-rector, Research; associate vice-rector, Research; and executive director, Research Services and Commercialization.

Dominique participated directly in the development and implementation of large research initiatives, including infrastructure and strategic projects. She was also responsible for the restructuring of the Office of Research Services to improve administrative processes and the quality of support for researchers, and she implemented a new digital expertise service to facilitate the use of digital technologies in research. Before her time at the Université de Montréal, she was director of research services at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Dominique played a key role in the development of Érudit, chairing its board of directors from 2012 to 2015. Érudit offers centralized access to the majority of North American francophone publications in the social sciences and humanities, and supports researcher-driven initiatives in the creation of new development tools for the digital humanities.

Dominique holds a doctorate in environmental sciences from the Université du Québec à Montréal and a master’s and bachelor’s degree from the École polytechnique de Montréal.

Paul Dufour

Senior fellow, University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy and Principal, PaulicyWorks
Paul Dufour

Paul Dufour was educated in science policy and history of science and technology at McGill, Concordia and Université de Montréal. He is senior fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science,
Society and Policy and Principal of PaulicyWorks, a science and technology policy consulting firm based in Gatineau, Quebec.

Paul had over 40 years of experience working directly with scienc policy agencies, ministries, media and politicians of all stripes. In addition to publishing and speaking extensively in science policy
academic circles, he has been writing regularly for science and public policy magazines.

He is co-editor with Jeff Kinder of the 2018 book, A Lantern on the Bow: A History of the Science Council of Canada and Its Contributions to the Science and Innovation Policy Debate; and co edited with Agnes Herzberg, the 2019 book, The Value of Science in Society and Culture: Selections from the Speeches, Essays and Articles of G. Herzberg Paul is on the Board of the graduate student Science and Policy Exchange based in Montréal.

David Dzisiak

North America Commercial Leader for Grains & Oils for Corteva Agriscience
David Dzisiak

David Dzisiak is the North America Commercial Leader for Grains & Oils for Corteva Agriscience.  He has responsibility for leading the canola, soybean, sunflower and wheat food and animal nutrition traits commercial strategy for the company

 David has been involved in development of the plant genetics and biotechnology strategy for the company. As part of that, he led the creation of the healthy oils portfolio, including the Nexera canola program.

Currently he is board chair of the Canola Council of Canada and was involved from the begining in the formation of the Protein Innovation Canada Supercluster Initiative and serves as a board member today.


Chadi Elkadri

Chief Innovation Officer, SOTI Research and Innovation Lab
Chadi Elkadri

Chadi Elkadri is the Chief Innovation Officer at SOTI RIL, a leading IoT and Mobility Management player. He launched and heads the SOTI Research and Innovation Lab in Waterloo On. Chadi’s focus has been on building a culture of exploration and discovery within the organization.

Prior to joining SOTI, Chadi held several leadership roles at BlackBerry and Nortel after starting his career at Corel and Government of Canada. He also advised boards of directors of several MEA mobile services providers on their expansion initiatives into new markets. He comes with 15+ years of global experience in the technology and mobile space. His experience covers both technical and commercial management as well as strategy and governance. He has lived and worked in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Chadi holds a BASc in Computer Engineering and a Master in Business Administration.




Erin Campbell

Director of Patent Policy, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)


Erin Campbell is currently the Director of Patent Policy at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).  She was previously the Program Director of ISED’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative supporting infrastructure projects at universities and colleges.  Prior to joining ISED, she was a Senior Privy Council Officer in the Machinery of Government Secretariat at the Privy Council Office.

Erin has a Bachelor of Arts (History) from the University of New Brunswick and a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University.

Marc Fortin

VP Research Partnerships, NSERC
Marc Fortin

Marc Fortin is Chief Operating Officer and Vice-President of Research Partnerships at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Dr. Fortin is responsible for several programs designed to stimulate research partnerships, innovation and the training of the generation of research and innovation leaders.

Dr. Fortin has led the development of policies, strategies and programs designed to support research partnerships across organizations and disciplines to generate benefits for Canada and Canadians. He has worked extensively at the national and international levels to leverage research to generate impact for the policy, industry, regulatory or decision-maker communities. He has provided advice to Governments in topics at the interface of science, policy and society.

He has led the development of research support programs focused on impact for Canada that have changed the relationships between partners in the innovation space.

Prior to joining NSERC, Dr. Fortin held senior positions leading research organizations in academia and government. He has led science and technology branches as Assistant Deputy Minister at the Department of National Defence and at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for the last 12 years. He was Associate Professor at McGill University where he held leadership positions (Department Chair and Associate Dean – Research) for the previous 16 years.

Dr. Fortin was trained as a molecular geneticist, with a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. from Université Laval and a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from McGill University. He did post-doctoral work in molecular genetics at the University of California and the University of Chicago.

Marie Franquin

Ph.D. student, Neuroscience, McGill University; Co-President, Science & Policy Exchange
Marie Franquin

Marie Franquin is a Ph.D. student in neuroscience at McGill University since 2014. For several years she has been passionate about understanding early features of neurodegenerative disorders and exploring different types of modeling that could help understand them better.

She completed her undergraduate degree in Paris University Pierre et Marie Curie where she studied life sciences. She then settled in the United Kingdom at University College London for her Masters in Brain and Mind Sciences and finally moved to Montreal to pursue her doctoral degree. From bacteria to brains her curriculum allowed her to get a broad insight into biological sciences.

Through teaching and outreach experiences, Marie has developed a strong passion for science communication. In particular she helped set up the first Convergence Initiative cohort, a neuroscience and art program between Concordia and McGill Universities. This summer she also co-organized a McGill University-based summer workshop to introduce graduate students to the written art of science communication called Spell your Science.

Finally, Marie has also been involved in science policy through volunteering with the registered charity Science & Policy Exchange. There she has expanded her knowledge to the world of politics and policy-making and now acts as the co-president of the SPE since January 2019.

Chelsea Gabel

Assistant Professor, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Well-Being, Community Engagement, and Innovation, McMaster University

Sarah Gallagher

Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Western University, Science Advisor to the President of the Canadian Space Agency

Tina Green

ADM, Health Canada
Tina Green

Tina Green was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of Health Canada’s Regulatory Operations and Regions Branch in June 2017.

Tina began her career as an analytical chemist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. She subsequently held positions in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, the Privy Council Office, and Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

Tina joined Health Canada in 2009 as Director of the Risk Management Bureau in the Safe Environments Directorate, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch (HECSB). In 2012, she became Director General of HECSB’s Consumer Product Safety Directorate. In February 2016, Tina assumed the role of the Special Advisor to the ADM of the newly established Regulatory Operations and Regions Branch, assisting with the Branch’s transition to full operating capacity. In October 2016, she acted as the Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, until she joined RORB in March of this year.

Tina holds an M.Sc. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Waterloo, and a B‎.Sc. in Science from the University of New Brunswick.

Bill Greuel

CEO, Protein Industries Canada
Bill Greuel

Bill Greuel is the CEO of Protein Industries Canada where he supports a team of dedicated people to develop and implement PIC’s programs, resources, and initiatives to connect and inspire Canada’s plant protein potential.

Bill has an extensive background in the agriculture industry. Most recently, he served as the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. His Ministry experience also includes Executive Director of the Crops and Irrigation Branch, Provincial Oilseed Specialist and Research and Development Manager. In addition to his public sector experience, Bill has also worked for a biotech start-up, spent several years in the canola seed industry and earned progressive leadership roles within a major life science company.

An advocate for innovation, Bill has been actively engaged in several boards and committees including the Agriculture Development Fund Advisory Committee and the boards of Ag-West Bio and Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute.

Karen Hamberg

Vice-Present, Government Relations, Westport
Karen Hamberg

Ms. Hamberg joined Westport in 2001 and was appointed Vice President, Strategy in 2012 and Vice-Present, Government Relations in 2017. Westport Fuel Systems engineers, manufactures, and supplies advanced clean-burning engines, systems, and components that enable the deployment of low-carbon fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen, and renewable natural gas (RNG).  Headquartered in Vancouver, Westport Fuel Systems serves customers in more than 70 countries with leading global transportation brands.

Karen is the Chair of the Board of Directors of CALSTART in Pasadena, California, the nation’s largest non-profit, member-driven coalition accelerating the growth of a clean transportation technologies industry.

She was named to Canada’s Clean 50™ in 2017 for her contributions to advance sustainability in the transportation sector and to Canada’s Clean 16TM in September 2018 for her work on enacting stringent clean transportation regulatory frameworks.  She was a member of the Government of Canada’s Economic Strategy Table on Clean Technology and championed the Table’s work streams on regulatory agility and building a diverse and inclusive clean technology sector.

Ms. Hamberg holds a Master of Arts degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandon University in Brandon, Manitoba.

An active volunteer, Karen is also Chair of the United Way of the Lower Mainland’s 2019 Campaign Cabinet, a group of business executives tasked with raising millions of dollars for critical social programs in metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Bettina Hamelin

President & CEO, Genome Ontario
Bettina Hamelin

Bettina has more than 15 years of international experience in the pharmaceutical industry as well as 10 years of experience as a tenured professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy at Université Laval. Prior to assuming her current role as President and CEO of Ontario Genomics, Bettina served as Vice-President of NSERC’s Research Partnerships Directorate. She has also held a variety of leadership positions at Pfizer Canada. She is known for pioneering novel public-private partnership models, and breaking down barriers between federal, provincial and private sector stakeholders. Bettina holds a B.Sc. in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Kentucky, U.S. and an EMBA in Healthcare from the UBC.

Nancy Hamzawi

Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology at Environment and Climate Change Canada
Nancy Hamzawi

Nancy was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology Branch at Environment and Climate Change Canada on October 1, 2018.  Previously, she was the Director General of the G7 Task Team at Environment and Climate Change Canada, working to support Canada’s Presidency of the G7 throughout 2018.  A chemical engineer by training, Nancy has over 20 years of experience as a public servant in the federal public service.  She has held various positions in a number of departments including the National Research Council of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the former Industry Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Canadian International Development Agency.

Nancy’s positions have varied and included policy development, industry development, audit, evaluation and corporate affairs.  Nancy holds Masters and Bachelors degrees in Chemical Engineering, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, all from the University of Ottawa.


Nancy a été nommée sous-ministre adjointe de la Direction générale des sciences et de la technologie à Environnement et Changement climatique Canada, le 1er octobre 2018. Auparavant, elle était directrice générale du Groupe de travail du G7 à ECCC, où elle a travaillé à soutenir la présidence canadienne du G7 tout au long de 2018. Ingénieure chimiste de formation, Nancy possède plus de 20 années d’expérience dans la fonction publique fédérale. Elle a occupé divers postes au sein de plusieurs ministères et organismes, dont le Conseil national de recherches du Canada, Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada, l’ancien ministère de l’Industrie, le ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Commerce international et l’Agence canadienne de développement international.

Dans ses diverses fonctions, Nancy s’est occupée de l’élaboration des politiques, du développement de l’industrie, de la vérification, de l’évaluation et des affaires générales. Nancy détient une maîtrise et un baccalauréat en génie chimique ainsi qu’un baccalauréat en biochimie de l’Université d’Ottawa.


John Hayden

Venture Catalyst, Northumberland CFDC
John Hayden

John Hayden is a Venture Catalyst with Northumberland CFDC where he has worked in entrepreneurial development and finance for over 13 years. A member of the CVCA, he holds a BA from the University of Toronto, a MA from the American University of Beirut and an Executive Certificate in Strategy & Innovation from MIT. Stationed at the Venture13 innovation centre in Cobourg, John leads N100 Evolution, Northumberland’s open invitational biennial $250,000 technology startup competition and the N1M initiative with a portfolio of 75 early-stage companies across Southern Ontario. His own startup experience includes: Zoomaal, Indiea and They Innovate. John maintains a serious passion for back-country hiking. In 2015, he undertook an epic two-man unsupported continuous traverse of Iceland (305 KM) in 11 days.

Ted Hewitt

President, SSHRC
Ted Hewitt

Ted Hewitt was appointed president of SSHRC in March 2015. Since 2017, he also has served as the inaugural Chair of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee. Ted was vice-president, research and international relations, at Western University in London, Ontario, from 2004 to 2011, 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 2018, Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations named him Grand Officer of the Order of Rio Branco—one of the highest levels of merit—for the many years he has fostered bilateral business and research partnerships between Brazil and Canada.

Ted’s current research focuses on national and international innovation systems, with emphasis on the roles of universities, industry and government in promoting economic prosperity in Latin America and beyond. He is 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

Vice President, Market Development, BDC Capital
Neal Hill

Neal Hill is Vice President, Market Development, in the BDC Capital division of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). 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. Prior to joining BDC, 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 earlier chapters of 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 majors in Physics and Political Science.

Sasha Hobbs

Chief Operating Officer, First Nations Technology Council (FNTC)

Tom Hughes

Manager, Innovation Exploitation, Defence Research and Development Canada
Tom Hughes

Tom Hughes is a graduate in computer science from the University of Toronto, while also being a Communications and Electronics Engineering Officer in the Reserves. He transferred to the Regular Force in 1985 in order to become a search and rescue helicopter pilot.

After receiving his wings in 1987 he flew the Labrador helicopter in Comox and Gander. In 1993 he spent three years in Ottawa as the Operational Requirements Officer for the Canadian Search and Rescue Helicopter Project now known as the Cormorant. Following this he was posted on exchange to the United States Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, returning in 1999 as the Cormorant Project Director.

Additional appointments included the Commanding Officer of 413 Squadron in Greenwood, Commanding Officer of Camp Mirage in the Middle East supporting our operations in Afghanistan, followed by three years as the J3 Air at Canadian Forces Expeditionary Command, and then appointment as the RCAF Director Air Strategic Plans.

Tom finished his military career as the Senior Military Advisor to the Associate Deputy Minister (Science & Technology), retiring in 2018 to take on his current position managing Sandboxes and Innovation Assessment for the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) Program.

Andrea Johnston

ADM, Innovation Canada - Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Andrea Johnston

Andrea Johnston is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Innovation Canada, an organization within Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), that leads the federal government’s collaborative platform to help Canada’s innovators and entrepreneurs find and access government programs and services. In this role, Andrea leads delivery of new programs under the Innovation and Skills Plan including the Innovation Superclusters Initiative, the Strategic Innovation Fund, Innovative Solutions Canada and the Accelerated Growth Service.

Andrea joined ISED in May 2017 to be the Director General (DG) of the Economic Strategy Tables and Skills Branch, where she provided senior leadership on the Department’s skills agenda and implementation of Canada’s six economic strategy tables. These industry-led tables developed concrete strategies and targets for Canada’s economic growth.

Prior to joining ISED, Andrea had an extensive career at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) where she was the DG responsible for sectoral development and analysis covering livestock, grains, horticulture, dairy and food processing as well as leading the Department’s value chain roundtables. Andrea was also AAFC’s Corporate Secretary.

Emmanuel Kamarianakis

Director General, Investment and Innovation, Global Affairs Canada
Emmanuel Kamarianakis

Emmanuel Kamarianakis is Director General, Investment and Innovation at Global Affairs Canada.  In this role he leads Canada’s international investment attraction network promoting Canada as a premier business destination for foreign investors. He is also responsible for Canada’s bilateral science, technology and innovation relationships with a mandate to encourage greater commercialization of innovative Canadian research in international markets.

Prior to this role, Emmanuel was Canada’s Consul General for Dubai and the Northern Emirates from 2015 to 2018, Minister‐Counsellor (Commercial) in Canada’s Embassy in Rome, Italy, Counsellor (Trade Policy) in Canada’s Embassy in Mexico City.  He joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1993 and has also served in Canada’s diplomatic missions in Iran and Greece.

While in Canada, Emmanuel has served in various positions including as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Minister for International Trade as well as in the Privy Council Office, a central government agency which directly serves the Prime Minister of Canada.

He has broad professional and international experience on investment attraction and international science & technology collaboration as well as trade policy expertise regarding trade agreements and market access. He also has a significant business development background with sectoral expertise in the energy, clean-tech, ICT, infrastructure and aerospace sectors. Over his career, Emmanuel also developed significant regional experience and knowledge of Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East.

Prior to joining the Canadian Government, Emmanuel completed a Bachelor’s of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary and has had professional experiences in Canada’s energy and financial services sectors.

Stephany Lapierre

Founder and CEO, Tealbook
Stephany Lapierre

Stephany Lapierre is the Founder and CEO of Tealbook. A lifelong entrepreneur, Stephany is one of SCMA’s 100 Influential Women in Canadian Supply Chain and has won many awards for her innovative approach to empowering procurement. Prior to Tealbook, Stephany built a successful procurement consulting firm focused on helping Fortune 500 companies improve strategic sourcing efficiencies. For more than a decade, Stephany was exposed to the costly and inefficient gap between enterprise buyers and suppliers. In 2014, she launched Tealbook to disrupt the business-to-business directory model by building the largest, most robust and trusted B2B network. Her innovative vision is for Tealbook to enable all companies to connect and find one another with more trust in order to drive their business forward.

Stefan Leslie

Executive Director, Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response (MEOPAR)
Stefan Leslie

Stefan is the Executive Director of the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) network in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  MEOPAR funds interdisciplinary academic research that builds Canada’s capacity to anticipate and respond to marine risk, develops highly qualified personnel with expertise in marine risk and response, and connects academic research and technology to national and international partners in government, industry, and the public sector.  In December 2018, MEOPAR launched the Fathom Fund, a unique research funding mechanism that blends grants with crowdfunding.  Previous positions include Regional Director, Fisheries Management for Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Halifax; Manager, Deepwater Fisheries for the New Zealand government, and; Chief, Economic Analysis, Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Ottawa.  He holds a Masters of Marine Management (Dalhousie University).

Kendra MacDonald

CEO, Ocean Supercluster
Kendra MacDonald

Kendra MacDonald is the inaugural CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster responsible for driving innovation and growth in the ocean economy.

Kendra was previously a Partner in Deloitte’s Risk Advisory practice and the Chief Audit Executive of Deloitte Global. Kendra has worked with a number of clients across multiple industries, small and large, public and private in the areas of governance, risk management, cyber security, internal and external audit.

Kendra is a frequent speaker and facilitator on the topics of innovation, future of work and disruptive technologies and is currently the Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries.

Kendra has had the opportunity to live and work in Ottawa, Montreal, Australia and Hong Kong before moving to St. John’s in 2010 where she now resides with her husband and two children.

Jonathan Margolis

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space and Health, US Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
Jonathan Margolis

Jonathan Margolis, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, serves as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space, and Health in the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. In this position, he is responsible for policies and programs in the areas of International Science & Technology Cooperation, Space, & Advanced Technologies, and International Health and Biodefense.

From 2007-2011, Dr. Margolis served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Communications in the Bureau of International Information Programs. Dr. Margolis oversaw the Bureau’s Internet, video, and print products, including social media. His team’s programs reached and engaged hundreds of millions of people both directly and through decentralized operations on 250+ sites in virtually every country in the world.

From 2006-2007, Dr. Margolis served as the Senior Coordinator for Global and Functional Issues in the Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance, where he oversaw reform efforts to ensure effective use of foreign assistance resources, through strategic planning and transparent performance measures. His team was responsible for programs with an annual budget of $6.5 billion, dispersed through 14 bureaus and over 100+ U.S. missions.

From 1997-2006, Dr. Margolis served as the Department’s Special Representative for Sustainable Development and as the Director of the Office of Policy Coordination and Initiatives in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. As Special Representative, he headed the U.S. Delegation to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. He also served as a member of international science and technology boards and sustainability partnerships.

Dr. Margolis joined the Department in 1991 as an American Association for Advancement of Science Diplomacy Fellow and was integrally involved in environment, water, and economic issues and programs, as part of the multilateral track of the Middle East peace process through 1996. During that time he also served as the Division Chief for the Middle East and Asia in the Office of Science and Technology Cooperation.

Dr. Margolis has a Ph.D. from Harvard University in psychology, focusing on negotiation and conflict resolution. He holds a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy, and his undergraduate degree is in fine arts from Harvard College. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at American University, and the Foreign Service Institute, where he has conducted courses on environmental policy, negotiations, and international organizations.


Audrey Mascarenhas

President and CEO, Questor
Audrey Mascarenhas

Audrey Mascarenhas has worked in energy for over 35 years with Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. and Questor Technology Inc. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Calgary. She is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers. Audrey served as a distinguished lecturer with the Society of Petroleum Engineers in 2010/2011. She is a member of the Schulich Industry Engineering Advisory Council and currently chairs the Canadian federal government clean technology strategy table. Audrey was the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 Prairies Award for Cleantech and Environmental Services and received a national citation for Values-Based Innovation. She was chosen by Business in Calgary as a 2014 Leaders of Tomorrow, is a 2014 Board Diversity 50 cohort and one of Canada’s 2017 Clean50. Audrey is a fellow of the Energy Futures Lab, co-chairs the Governor General’s Innovation Awards assessment committee and Questor was recently recognized by the Cleantech Innovation exchange (CIX) as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Cleantech Canadian Companies.

Kelly McGahey

Senior Manager of Stakeholder Relations, Hire Immigrants Ottawa

Kelly McGahey is the Senior Manager of Stakeholder Relations for Hire Immigrants Ottawa. Kelly leads the development of outreach and engagement strategies for HIO, engaging, convening and managing relationships with employers and the wide variety of stakeholders vital to the labour market integration of immigrants. She provides strategic planning, management and communications support to the initiative.

Kelly has extensive experience working in the field of labour market integration for skilled immigrants and other under-employed groups, in both front line and system level capacities. She began her career in stakeholder engagement while managing alumni relations programs at Carleton University. Kelly is a frequent facilitator, presenter and moderator at forums and conferences focused on international talent and on diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Wayne Moore

Director General, Strategic and Regulatory Science Directorate, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Jayson Myers

CEO, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada
Jayson Myers

Jayson is an award-winning business economist specializing in industrial and technological change and is widely recognized as an influential policy advocate in Canada. He is an advisor to both private and public sector leaders, and has counselled Canadian prime ministers and premiers as well as senior corporate executives and policymakers around the world.

Jayson has more than 25 years’ experience building alliances among businesses, academic institutions, as well as community, labour, and advocacy organizations. Between 2007 and 2016, he served as President & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Canada’s largest industry and trade association. He was also the founding Chair of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, Vice Chair of Canada’s National Roundtable on Skills, and Vice Chair of the Ontario and Great Lakes Manufacturing Councils.

Jayson studied at Queen’s University and the University of British Columbia in Canada, as well as at the London School of Economics and Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He has held appointments as a Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, and as a lecturer in politics, economics, and international studies at both Oxford and the University of Warwick.

Andrée-Lise Méthot

Founder and Managing Partner, Cycle Capital
Andrée-Lise Méthot

Andrée-Lise is the founder and Managing Partner of Cycle Capital Management. She boasts 25 years of experience in venture capital, management and engineering. She has set up CCM, an impact investor and the most important cleantech investment platform in Canada. Today, CCM has more than $350M under management across 4 north-American and Chinese funds.

In addition to serving on portfolio companies’ boards of directors, she is the Founder and Chairperson of the Board of the Ecofuel Accelerator and the Cofounder of the Ecofuel Fund. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), Transition énergétique Québec(TEQ) and Société Québécoise des infrastructures (SQI). She is also a member of the Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s New Energy Pioneers’ selection committee and a member of the Cleantech Group’s North-American Advisory Committee.

Andrée-Lise cofounded Écotech Québec, a cleantech cluster, SWITCH, the Alliance for a green economy. She is a member of the External Advisory Committee to the Vice-Principal Research and International Relations (VPRIR) at McGill University, is a member of the Private Sector Advisory Board for the Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada and sits on the Board of the Institut de cardiologie de Montréal.

She co-chaired a Task Force under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). She has chaired and has been a member of many panels of judges, including the Grand Prix du génie-conseil québécois, the Canadian Consulting Engineers Awards (ACEC) and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Andrée-Lise was recognized as one of Canada’s Clean16, named one of the Top 20 cleantech investors by CleanTechnica and amongst the most influential women in sustainable development and in the cleantech industry by Corporate Knight.

She has a Master’s degree in Science from the Université de Montréal and a Bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering from Université Laval. She also studied atmospheric physics at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Olivia Neal

Executive Director for Digital Change, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Olivia Neal

Olivia joined the Government of Canada in June 2017 as the Executive Director, Digital Change. Since being in Canada she and her team have worked with people from across the Government, and outside, to support the creation of structure and culture to enable the drive to be increasingly digital. This has included: developing and launching Canada’s Digital Standards; creating the first Digital Government Strategic Plan; launching a Digital Academy; creating international partnerships, including joining the Digital7; rethinking the approach to bringing in talent, and launching a new platform for recruitment; as well as building approaches to help develop and build the existing community within government.

Olivia was previously with the UK Government, where she played a leading role at the award winning Government Digital Service for three years.

Olivia introduced and embedded the UK Digital Service Standard in the work of digital delivery teams across UK government. She has overseen the assurance of hundreds of the largest public facing digital services against the Digital Service Standard, helping teams across government meet user needs and transform the way they work.

Her team worked with government departments to save over £300m annually, through assuring that digital and technology spend meets the Technology Code of Practice. She’s worked with countries from around the world to build understanding of delivering high quality digital services and developing digital culture. She has been integral in the development of Digital Service Standards for Australia, UK Local Government and Scotland.


Mona Nemer

Chief Science Advisor
Mona Nemer

Dr. Mona Nemer is Canada’s Chief Science Advisor. Her mandate is to provide advice to the Prime Minister, Minister of Science and other ministers on science issues.

Before becoming the Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Nemer was Professor and Vice-President, Research, at the University of Ottawa. Her research focused on the heart, and has contributed to the development of diagnostic tests for heart failure and the genetics of cardiac birth defects.

Dr. Nemer has served on several national and international advisory committees and executive boards, and is the recipient of many honours. She is a Member of the Order of Canada, a fellow of the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec and a Knight of the French Republic’s Ordre national du Mérite.

Dr. Nemer holds a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University. Prior to working at the University of Ottawa, she was a Professor of Pharmacology at the Université de Montréal and directed the Cardiac Genetics Unit at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute.

Jane Ngobia

Senior Advisor, to the President, Equity, Diversity and Inclusive Communities, Sheridan College
Jane Ngobia

Dr. Jane Ngobia is the Senior Advisor to the President of Sheridan College for Equity, Diversity and Inclusive Communities. Her academic background includes a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education and a Master of Education in Theory and Policy Development from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Education from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

Prior to her appointment at Sheridan, Jane held progressive leadership positions in higher education both locally and abroad. She served as the Assistant Vice President, Diversity & Human Rights at the University of Guelph, oversaw the equity and inclusion portfolio at the University of Toronto at Mississauga and OCAD University. In addition to her substantive administrative portfolios, Jane has also served as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences at OCADU, a lecturer at Centennial College and a Dean and Lecturer at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

Jane is skilled in building rapport and fostering collegial relationships with constituents both internal and external. She is well practiced at building consensus and common ground when faced with contentious issues. She has a solid track record in the development of administrative policies and procedures to promote an inclusive learning, teaching and working environment while effectively delegating, prioritizing and managing teams. Jane has the capacity to listen and make sound, fair and sometimes difficult decisions to uphold the principles of human rights, diversity, equity and inclusion within the context of a broad range of viewpoints.


Dugan O'Neil

Associate Vice President, Research, and Professor of Physics, Simon Fraser University
Dugan O'Neil

As the Associate Vice-President, Research, Dugan O’Neil works closely with the Vice-President, Research and shares responsibility for academic leadership in, and administration of, research and other scholarly activities. Together, they work to raise SFU’s research profile to an internationally competitive level.

Activities include the encouragement, facilitation and administration of research across faculties and other offices at SFU.

He is cited for integrating sophisticated digital infrastructure into a diverse scientific community that spans engineering, natural sciences, health, social sciences and humanities.

Sue Paish

CEO, Digital Technology Supercluster
Sue Paish

Sue is the CEO of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster – driving the development of digital technology platforms and products that will transform businesses around the world making Canada a world leader in digital technology. Working with over 500 organizations, the Supercluster supports private sector led consortia to leverage Canada’s expertise in data analytics, genomics, mixed and augmented reality, the Internet of Things and quantum computing to deliver world leading technologies while creating jobs and growing Canada’s international competitiveness. In March the Supercluster announced its first cohort of seven projects which will deliver improvements and business opportunities in healthcare, manufacturing and natural resources.

Prior to joining the Supercluster Sue was the Managing Partner of one of Canada’s leading law firms, the CEO of Canada’s largest chain of independent retail pharmacies and most recently the CEO of Canada’s largest diagnostic lab. In each of these roles Sue mobilized diverse teams to drive business growth, implement large-scale organizational change and develop and implement transformational technologies.

Sue and her husband Brad are the proud parents of three daughters and when not transforming organizations, Sue and her family can be found in remote areas of BC’s wilderness, exploring all that BC has to offer. Sue has been recognized for community and business leadership with awards including: Honorary Doctorate of Technology (BCIT), UBC Faculty of Law Distinguished Alumni Award, YWCA Woman of Distinction, Queen’s Counsel, Hall of Fame for Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, and the Influential Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award.

Corinne Pohlmann

Senior Vice President, National Affairs and Partnerships, CFIB
Corinne Pohlmann

Corinne Pohlmann is Senior Vice President, National Affairs and Partnerships for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), a not-for-profit organization representing 110,000 small and medium-sized business members across Canada. Corinne is based in Ottawa and is responsible for developing CFIB’s strategy on federal legislative issues, as well as overseeing CFIB’s Economics function, Partnerships division, and Atlantic Canada legislative team.

Corinne has participated in numerous consultations and committees on a wide variety of small business issues, including the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Underground Economy, the Advisory Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, as well as the Deputy Minister Advisory Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

Corinne is a graduate of McGill University – and holds both a Bachelor and a Masters Degree in Geography.

Michael Presley

Director, Centre for Public Management and Policy (Odell House) at the University of Ottawa
Michael Presley

Michael Presley is currently the director of the certificate program in regulatory leadership at the Centre for Public Management and Policy (Odell House) at the University of Ottawa. Before joining the University of Ottawa, he was Assistant Deputy Minister (Regulatory Affairs) at the Treasury Board Secretariat between 2009 and 2014. Prior to that, he spent 15 years at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, notably occupying various functions: Director General of the Food Value Chain Bureau, Director General of the Food Bureau and Director of the Environment Bureau. A leading expert in regulatory affairs, Mr. Presley has worked closely with the private sector on many government led initiatives. He is a graduate of Queen’s University (BA political science) and Carleton University (MA public administration).

Sumitra Rajagopalan

Founder and CEO, BioAstra Technologies

Elisha Ram

Associate ADM, Skills and Employment Branch, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
Elisha Ram

Elisha Ram was appointed Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Skills and Employment Branch (SEB) at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) in January 2018. Elisha has been working in the Public Service of Canada for over 20 years. Prior to joining Employment and Social Development Canada, Elisha worked at the Department of Finance Canada, where he provided policy advice on a wide range of issues including personal income tax policy, fiscal policy, research and innovation, natural resources, the environment, and risk capital. Most recently, he worked on financial sector issues including the public debt program, the housing finance system and capital market regulation. Elisha holds a Masters’ degree in economics from Western University. Outside of his professional life, Elisha has a deep interest in housing issues and has worked with local not-for-profit organizations to help increase access to affordable housing in the Ottawa area.

Roseann O'Reilly Runte

President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
Roseann O'Reilly Runte

On August 1, 2017, Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte became the fifth President and CEO of the CFI. Dr. Runte has previously served as President and Vice-Chancellor at Carleton University, President of l’Université Sainte-Anne, Principal of Glendon College, President of Victoria University and of Old Dominion University.

She graduated with a B.A. summa cum laude in French from the State University of New York and obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. She is the author of numerous scholarly works in the fields of French, comparative literature, economic and cultural development. She is a creative writer and has received a poetry prize from the Académie française.

Dr. Runte has been awarded the Order of Canada, the French Order of Merit, fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada, and is Commander of the Order of the Crown of the Kingdom of Belgium and Officer in the Order of the Academic Palmes of the French Republic, along with several prizes for her work on the environment, and for community and national service. She also holds a number of honorary degrees.

Dr. Runte has served on numerous boards and commissions in Canada and the United States, including serving as President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, President of the Humanities Federation of Canada, a member of the Executive Committee of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Chair of the Board of the Foundation for International Training, Vice-Chair of the Board of the Gardiner Museum, member of the Virginia Industrial National Development Authority, the Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding Integration Center, the Advisory Board of SunGard SGT, the non-profit LifeNet Health Board, the Ontario Quebec Private Sector Advisory Committee, the National Bank of Canada, and the Executive of the Royal Society. She currently chairs the Board of Fulbright Canada-U.S. and is a member of the executive committee of the World University Service of Canada. She is a member of both the European and the World Academies of Arts and Sciences.

Gilles Saindon

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Gilles Saindon

M. Gilles Saindon PhD has been the Associate Assistant Deputy Minister at Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canada (AAFC), Science and Technology Branch, since 2012. The Science and Technology Branch
provides industry producers and processors a single point of access to AAFC’s science and technology
expertise and to sustainable solutions. He co-chairs the Assistant Deputy Minister Committee on Science and Technologies and he serves on several interdepartmental committees coordinating activities related to Federal Science and Technologies.

Dr. Saindon began his agricultural career when he joined AAFC in 1989 as a research scientist in
Lethbridge, AB, developing new dry beans adapted to western Canada. His first appointment as a
Government of Canada executive was in 1996 as Director of the AAFC Potato Research Centre in
Fredericton, NB, where he was responsible for operations and the scientific program. In 2000, he was
appointed Director of the Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre in London, Ontario with
responsibilities for associated research sites in Delhi and Vineland, Ontario.

From 2004 to 2012, Dr. Saindon held several Director General responsibilities including the scientific and managerial leadership of a network of 19 research centres across the country. As Director General-Science Bureau, he was also involved in developing the AAFC Science and Innovation Strategy, released in 2006.

Dr. Saindon holds a Bachelor degree in Agronomy Science (1983) and a Masters in Plant Breeding (1986) from Laval University, as well as a Ph.D. in Plant Genetics (1988) from the University of Guelph.

Ben Sanders

CEO, Proof
Ben Sanders

Ben is the Co-Founder & CEO of Proof ( which is empowering governments to go paperless and use data to make better decisions. As a member of both Creative Destruction Lab & Techstars, Proof’s platform is helping governments across Canada digitize forms, streamline approvals, and cut red tape. From the BlackBerry, to the Canadarm, to fundamental physics at CERN, as a Waterloo Engineer, Ben has helped contribute to some of Canada’s most advanced technology. Ben has helped co-found two venture-backed tech startups ( &, worked as a Page in the House of Commons, and has helped advance policy within 3 government space agencies, 2 divisions of the United Nations, the Canadian Urban Institute, and the Yukon and Canadian Governments.

Tanya Seajay

Founder and CEO, Orenda Software Solutions Inc
Tanya Seajay

Tanya Seajay is the Founder and CEO of Orenda Software Solutions Inc, a Canadian software company with offices in Toronto, ON and Membertou, NS.

Since the company began, it has built an impressive ecosystem of partners, including MD Financial in Ottawa, The Fintech Sandbox in Boston, MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, as well as data partners Thomson Reuters and Associated Press.

Seajay has gained credibility within Fintech communities across Canada and the United States, and is working to build her network well beyond North America. Most recently, the Orenda team began working closely with global data aggregators following a presentation to Wall Street on how social sentiment can be used to index emotion and predict market movements.
Seajay has a Masters of Communications Management from McMaster University, and is a graduate of journalism.

Rupen Seoni

Senior Vice President, Practice Leader, Environics Analytics
Rupen Seoni

Senior Vice President and Practice Leader at Environics Analytics, Rupen Seoni leads a practice area that includes the public sector, health care, energy and not-for-profits. He brings to his position over twenty years of experience in marketing analytics, working with organizations of all sizes to unlock the value of information in decision-making and business strategy. He specializes in helping organizations understand population trends, segmentation and performance benchmarking. Rupen earned a master’s degree in urban planning and held positions with Nielsen, Compusearch, Campbell Soup and CIBC prior to joining Environics Analytics. For the last two years, he has appeared on CTV’s Canadian and U.S. federal election coverage as a commentator on voter demographics in key races.


Dan Sinai

Senior Executive, IBM Canada
Dan Sinai

Dan Sinai is currently a Senior Executive at IBM Canada where he works with the Canadian start-up community and manages many of the company’s innovation and incubation initiatives.

Prior to joining IBM, Dan served as Western University’s Associate Vice-President (Research).  In this role, Dan provided leadership in the implementation of the University’s Strategic Research Plan.  Key strategic initiatives include cultivating research excellence in a strong and supportive research environment for faculty and students, increasing and diversifying research revenue, facilitating collaboration within and across faculties and creating new opportunities with industry and communities.

A graduate of the University of Waterloo, Dan has held various key research administration positions with both the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada. He also has extensive R&D program and policy experience, and has worked for several Canadian high technology companies.

Max Skudra

Director, Research and Government Relations, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB)
Max Skudra

Max has a background in Human Rights, business development and finance. He began his career working for Human Rights Watch in Toronto and New York. He later worked in the financial services industry, performing derivatives administration and valuations analysis in Toronto. Max went on to organize micro-finance and community savings programs in marginalized areas of Bogota, Colombia. While he lived in Colombia, he began a digital asset transfer company.

 Since 2011 Max has been working for the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, conducting research on Aboriginal businesses. The department has grown to become a center for data and thought leadership on Indigenous economics. Max sits on the consulting committee for the OECDs project Linking Indigenous Communities with Regional Development, The Federal Governments working group on Indigenous Trade and is on the board of directors for the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association (NATOA). His work has informed the Government of Ontario’s $95 million Indigenous Economic Development Fund, Federal and provincial policy, corporate strategy as well as academic research.

Paul Snelgrove

Director, Canadian Healthy Ocean Network (CHONe) and Associate Scientific Director, Ocean Frontier Institute
Paul Snelgrove

Dr. Snelgrove is a Professor of Ocean Sciences and Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. He received a BSc. Hons in Biology at Memorial (1984), an MSc. in Oceanography from McGill University (in 1987) and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (1993). He held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Rutgers University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, and a Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Oceanography at Dalhousie University. Since 2008 he has been Director of the NSERC Canadian Healthy Oceans Network, a national research network in Canada that has already trained some 100 students working on all 3 of Canada’s oceans to develop new tools and approaches to support sustainable oceans. He also currently plays the role of Associate Director of The Ocean Frontier Institute. From 2003-2013, Dr. Snelgrove held a Canada Research Chair in Boreal and Cold Ocean Systems, and prior to that an NSERC Industrial Chair in Fisheries Conservation. He led the synthesis of the International Census of Marine Life research program, where he was a member of the program’s Scientific Steering Committee. Dr. Snelgrove published the book “Discoveries of the Census of Marine Life: Making Ocean Life Count” with Cambridge University Press in 2010 and was a TED Global speaker in 2011. He was awarded the 2013 Timothy Parsons Medal for Excellence in Marine Sciences in Canada.

Mahadeo Sukhai

Head of Research and Chief Accessibility Officer, CNIB
Mahadeo Sukhai

Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai is the Head of Research and Chief Accessibility Officer of the CNIB. Dr. Sukhai is Canada’s only congenitally blind biomedical research scientist, and the world’s first congenitally blind geneticist. Dr. Sukhai’s research program focuses on indicators of social inclusion – particularly education, employment and technology use – for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted, as well as measurement of healthcare outcomes for the blind or partially sighted population. Dr. Sukhai is passionate about accessibility, inclusion and universal design in education – particularly science education – and in the workplace.

Prior to accepting his current role at CNIB, Dr. Sukhai obtained his Ph.D. in cancer genetics from the University of Toronto, and completed two postdoctoral fellowships in cancer genomics and experimental therapeutics. Dr. Sukhai served as, first, Scientific Team Lead for the Advanced Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, and then as Head of the Variant Interpretation Group in the Division of Genome Diagnostics at the University Health Network.

Dr. Sukhai also conducted a parallel research career in student experience and higher education, focusing on the experience of students with disabilities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and Mathematics), and in graduate and postdoctoral training. Dr. Sukhai is the principal investigator of nationwide initiatives in Canada to examine the student experience, culminating in his serving as the Principal Investigator and lead author of Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences, published in 2016. Dr. Sukhai brings a wealth of experience to the conversations around accessibility and inclusion in the STEM education, digital and online learning, and employment settings.

Benoit Tessier

Director General of Skills Policy and Economic Strategy Tables at Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED)
Benoit Tessier

Benoit Tessier is the Director General of Skills Policy and Economic Strategy Tables at Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED).  He’s the lead in establishing partnerships with industry representatives to assist employers find, develop and retain talent, and responsible for the Economic Strategy Tables, a new model for industry-government collaboration, supporting innovation in growth sectors.

Mr. Tessier has held various executive positions within Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), focused on labour market and skills development issues.

He also served as Vice-president of a large school board, receiving the Bronze Medal recognition for his work on the K-12 educational system from the “Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec”.  Mr. Tessier is also a Policy Fellow of the Education Policy Research Initiative at the University of Ottawa.


AJ Tibando

Executive Director, Palette Inc.
AJ Tibando

AJ is the Executive Director of Palette Inc., a national nonprofit focused on upskilling mid-career workers impacted by automation, and a Fellow at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship. Prior to launching Palette, she co-founded SoJo, a startup social enterprise dedicated to working with educators and nonprofits to provide curriculum and tools to train aspiring social entrepreneurs in the startup process. AJ started her career within the Ontario government serving as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Ministry of Research and Innovation and the Ministry of Community and Social Services. AJ has a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and a Masters in Political Science from the University of Waterloo.

Christine Trauttmansdorff

Vice-President, Government Relations and Canadian Partnerships, Colleges and Institutes Canada
Christine Trauttmansdorff

Christine Trauttmansdorff is VP, Government Relations and Canadian Partnerships at CICan, the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members add over $190B to Canada’s economy each year and contribute to inclusive economic growth by working with industry and community partners to offer more than 10,000 programs to learners in urban, rural, remote, and northern communities.

Christine leads CICan’s advocacy and policy work in areas of interest to the federal government. Prior to joining CICan in 2015, Christine spent nine years at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) where she was responsible for planning, policy, governance and statistics. Earlier in her career, she worked at the House of Commons in roles that included research, committees, communications and IT project management.

Christine has an MA in Public Administration and a BA in English.

Warren Wall

Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, D-Wave
Warren Wall

Warren Wall’s role at D-Wave encompasses government, university, and industry relationships to expand the Canadian ecosystem for quantum computing. He joined D-Wave as Chief Operating Officer in 2008 with responsibility for all technology operations of the company as well as executive leadership of Finance, IT, HR and Facilities. Following a BSc. degree in Computer Science from UBC, Warren was involved with several Vancouver-area technology start-ups, most recently in senior technology executive positions at Electronic Arts including Chief Operating Officer of its Canadian studio and VP Technology for World-wide Studios. He is a member of Simon Fraser University’s Advisory Council for SFU Innovates, a university-wide strategy for innovation and entrepreneurship, and a Board member of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster and chair of its Program Investment Committee.

David Watters

President and CEO, Global Advantage Consulting Group Inc
David Watters

David Watters contributed for 30 years to the Canadian Public Service in a variety of Economic Ministries, including a dozen years as an Assistant Deputy Minister in Industry Canada, Treasury Board Canada and Finance Canada, where he was responsible for overseeing federal Economic Development and Corporate Finance policies and investments, and developing federal Budgets.

In 2002 David established the Global Advantage Consulting Group Inc. (Ottawa) and is the President and CEO of this strategic management consulting firm that provides advice to corporate, association, academic and government clients across Canada and abroad.

The firm has completed over 400 contracts for clients specializing in: analyzing and “mapping” complex public policy economic systems; creating collaborative business models for service delivery; aligning operational processes among networked organizations for enhanced decision-making; and designing growth strategies for organizations, particularly in the areas of research and technology development, innovation, commercialization, energy/climate change and trade.

David holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Queen’s University, as well as a Law degree in corporate, commercial, and tax law from Queen’s University Law School. He was also an adjunct Professor for seven years at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, teaching International Negotiation to MBA students.

Dan Wayner

Science Advisor & Chief Science Officer, National Research Council (NRC)
Dan Wayner

 Dr. Dan Wayner is recognized as an experienced executive, R&D manager and world-class scientist. He received his BSc from McMaster University (1980) and a PhD from Dalhousie University (1984) after which he joined the NRC Division of Chemistry.  Following a successful research career, Dr. Wayner took on leadership roles at NRC, initially as the Director General of the National Institute for Nanotechnology (2001), the DG of the Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences (2003) and finally the VP of Emerging Technologies (2010).  Following his retirement in 2016, he returned to NRC in 2018 in his current role.

Dr. Wayner is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Chemical Institute of Canada.



Rob Wright

ADM, Science and Parliamentary Infrastructure Branch, Public Services and Procurement Canada

Conference Program

Day 1 - April 16, 2019

07:30 - 08:30

Registration and exhibits

Continental breakfast will be served.

08:30 - 08:45

Welcome address

08:45 - 09:30

Opening Keynote: Federal Budget 2019

David Watters, President and CEO, Global Advantage Consulting Group Inc

09:30 - 10:00

IBM Emerging Technology Presentation (Orenda Solutions)

Tanya Seajay, Founder and CEO, Orenda Software Solutions Inc

10:00 - 10:30

Networking break and exhibits

10:30 - 11:15

Parallel sessions | SESSION A | FDI attraction and scaling domestic MNEs: Are they compatible?

Moderator: Bettina Hamelin, President & CEO, Genome Ontario

John Hayden, Venture Catalyst, Northumberland CFDC

Emmanuel Kamarianakis , Director General, Investment and Innovation, Global Affairs Canada

Audrey Mascarenhas, President and CEO, Questor

All levels of government in Canada provide funding and other incentives to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI), attracting foreign multinationals to set up shop in our communities. At the same time, governments are trying to support the growth of domestic multinationals who generate export revenue, create jobs and serve as anchors in the Canadian innovation ecosystem. How can these two policies work together?

10:30 - 11:15

Parallel sessions | SESSION B | Using all of our chefs: Increasing the potency of interdisciplinary research

Moderator: Roseann O'Reilly Runte, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)

Marie Franquin , Ph.D. student, Neuroscience, McGill University; Co-President, Science & Policy Exchange

Chelsea Gabel, Assistant Professor, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Well-Being, Community Engagement, and Innovation, McMaster University

Stefan Leslie, Executive Director, Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response (MEOPAR)

Discussant: Ted Hewitt, President, SSHRC

In a global research environment that is increasingly multi-disciplinary, Canada’s three granting councils remain largely discipline-based. The creation of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee, with significant funding for interdisciplinary research as well as international collaboration, is opening the door to new funding models. What is unique about interdisciplinary research? What is its potency? What are the challenges inherent in interdisciplinary research and how can we surmount them? How do we engage academic and non-academic actors in an effective, impactful way?

11:15 - 12:00

Parallel sessions | SESSION A | Financing scale: Finding the right investment blend

Moderator: Neal Hill, Vice President, Market Development, BDC Capital

Craig Betts, Founder, Executive Chairman, Solace.

Andrée-Lise Méthot, Founder and Managing Partner, Cycle Capital

Canada’s venture capital industry has matured significantly over the past decade, in part due to government policies and funding. For high-growth firms with aspirations to scale, finding the right VC investors can be transformational, but Canada’s track record shows most of our VC-backed firms end up being sold offshore before they reach significant scale. How can other financing mechanisms such as private equity and the capital markets be mobilized to provide essential later-stage capital so that successful Canadian firms can continue to grow and stay in Canada? What policies do we need to ensure an effective investment mix that will support Canada’s existing global leaders and nurture the growth of others?

11:15 - 12:00

Parallel sessions | SESSION B | IP: An essential ingredient for progress

Moderator: Erin Campbell, Director of Patent Policy, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)

Sumitra Rajagopalan, Founder and CEO, BioAstra Technologies

Max Skudra, Director, Research and Government Relations, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB)

Paul Snelgrove, Director, Canadian Healthy Ocean Network (CHONe) and Associate Scientific Director, Ocean Frontier Institute

Intellectual property can be the life-blood of a company, especially in research-intensive industry sectors such as pharma, medical devices and some cleantech businesses. As Canada develops a national IP strategy, what advice have policy makers been receiving and what directions are being pursued to enhance Canada’s innovation performance? As the digital economy grows and entrepreneurs build business models around data, how will Canada’s IP and data strategies be coordinated effectively to protect Canadian digital firms and help them scale? How will the newly announced Patent Collective pilot work and what are the implications for scaling domestic tech firms, academic-industry collaborations and public funding of research and entrepreneurship?

12:00 - 13:00

Networking lunch, exhibits and IBM Emerging Technology Presentation (Qoints and hiwave)

Vibhu Bhan, Founder & CEO, hiwave

John Hayden, Venture Catalyst, Northumberland CFDC

13:00 - 14:00

Parallel sessions | SESSION A | Growth strategies for Canadian companies – insights from Canada's winners

Moderator: Chris Brosinsky, Director, Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS), Department of National Defence

Neil Desai, Vice-President at Magnet Forensics

Audrey Mascarenhas, President and CEO, Questor

Rupen Seoni, Senior Vice President, Practice Leader, Environics Analytics

Until recently, Canadian innovation policy has focused on commercialization of academic research and supporting start-up entrepreneurs and firms. A new focus on supporting established firms that have the ambition and potential to scale globally has raised the question of how best to do it. A panel of entrepreneurs who have successfully scaled will share their experiences and insights regarding policies that work – and those that don’t. What challenges have they encountered on their growth journey and how have they dealt with them? What new challenges do they anticipate as they continue their growth trajectories, and are there ways that governments can enhance their chances for success?

13:00 - 14:00

Parallel sessions | SESSION B | Digital strategies for a successful tomorrow

Moderator: Olivia Neal, Executive Director for Digital Change, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada

Sasha Hobbs, Chief Operating Officer, First Nations Technology Council (FNTC)

Dugan O'Neil, Associate Vice President, Research, and Professor of Physics, Simon Fraser University

Ben Sanders, CEO, Proof

The digital economy is growing rapidly. Data is becoming an increasingly valuable asset that is creating new business models and disrupting traditional systems in our personal and professional lives. In Canada, we excel in developing digitally-savvy graduates and fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem. But we have few large firms, and foreign acquisitions of the few we have are only too common. How can government better support the scaling up and sustainability of Canadian digital firms? At the same time, how can the government take advantage of the rich store of data it has access to? This panel will explore strategies and initiatives that are being developed to position Canada to seize the digital opportunity and enhance the prosperity and quality of life of Canadians.

14:00 - 15:00

Parallel sessions | SESSION A | Re-thinking Regulation – Adding agility to Canada’s system

Moderator: Colleen Barnes , Associate Vice President Policy and Programs, Canada Food Inspection Agency

Karen Hamberg, Vice-Present, Government Relations, Westport

Tina Green, ADM, Health Canada

Corinne Pohlmann, Senior Vice President, National Affairs and Partnerships, CFIB

Michael Presley, Director, Centre for Public Management and Policy (Odell House) at the University of Ottawa

Regulations not only protect people and the environment, they also serve as strategic tools for business that can provide a competitive advantage for Canada. The recent horizontal review of regulations is looking at creating a more efficient and effective regulatory framework across all of government. What changes are afoot and what needs to be done to support Canadian innovators while protecting the public?

14:00 - 15:00

Parallel sessions | SESSION B | The place of policy in enforcing EDI practices

Moderator: Kelly McGahey, Senior Manager of Stakeholder Relations, Hire Immigrants Ottawa

Dominique Bérubé, Vice-president, Research Programs, SSHRC

Jane Ngobia, Senior Advisor, to the President, Equity, Diversity and Inclusive Communities, Sheridan College

Mahadeo Sukhai, Head of Research and Chief Accessibility Officer, CNIB

Principles of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) have begun being integrated into the fabric of the federal government’s policies and programs, including those directed to the science, technology and innovation ecosystem. How are these changes affecting organizations that depend on government funding and support? At the same time, organizations themselves are working to develop internal policies that promote EDI . To what extent are policies effective in changing the culture of organizations? What lessons can we learn from efforts so far? What else needs to change?

15:00 - 15:30

Networking break and exhibits

15:30 - 17:00

Plenary Panel – Talent and Skills: Using the full spice rack

Moderator: Benoit Tessier, Director General of Skills Policy and Economic Strategy Tables at Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED)

Rhonda Barnet, President & Chief Operating Officer, AVIT Manufacturing

Chadi Elkadri, Chief Innovation Officer, SOTI Research and Innovation Lab

Elisha Ram, Associate ADM, Skills and Employment Branch, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

AJ Tibando, Executive Director, Palette Inc.

Attracting and retaining the right talent is the top challenge facing companies and research institutions today. As Canada develops the skills portion of its Innovation and Skills Plan, what policy levers and programs are being developed to address this critical need? How can we strike a balance between helping job seekers (supply side) and meeting the talent needs of Canadian companies (demand side)?

17:00 - 17:30

Fireside Chat - Getting engaged: How governments can connect with startups

Moderator: Dan Sinai, Senior Executive, IBM Canada

Vibhu Bhan, Founder & CEO, hiwave

Tanya Seajay, Founder and CEO, Orenda Software Solutions Inc

17:30 - 18:30

Reception and exhibits

18:30 - 21:00

Dinner - With Special Guest Speaker and Panel

Jonathan Margolis, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space and Health, US Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs

18:30 - 21:00

Dinner Panel - Whither science advice: A conversation with Canada’s science advisors

Moderator: Paul Dufour, Senior fellow, University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy and Principal, PaulicyWorks

Sarah Gallagher, Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Western University, Science Advisor to the President of the Canadian Space Agency

Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor

Dan Wayner, Science Advisor & Chief Science Officer, National Research Council (NRC)

Canada’s Chief Science Advisor and her colleagues share their thoughts and experience on providing science advice to government. What has been the demand for science advice so far? How does one create more demand? How are the advisors coordinating their “intelligence” on cross-cutting issues facing government?

Day 2 - April 17, 2019

07:30 - 08:30

Registration and exhibits

A hot breakfast will be served.

08:30 - 09:30

Plenary Panel – Superclusters: Post-launch plans and strategies

Moderator: Marc Fortin, VP Research Partnerships, NSERC

Julien Billot , CEO, SCALE AI

Bill Greuel, CEO, Protein Industries Canada

Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Ocean Supercluster

Jayson Myers, CEO, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada

Sue Paish, CEO, Digital Technology Supercluster

The Innovation Supercluster Initiative is up and running. They’re going into their second official year – but functionally, this will be their first year of full operation. Now that the five supercluster organizations are established, how are they planning for the coming year and beyond? What programs are in place and being planned? How are they coordinating their efforts on cross-cutting issues? What will success look like after their five-year mandate is complete, and beyond?

09:30 - 11:00

Plenary Panel – Superclusters: Industry perspectives

Moderator: Martha Crago , VP Research, McGill University

Moya Cahill, CEO, PanGeo Subsea

David Dzisiak, North America Commercial Leader for Grains & Oils for Corteva Agriscience

Stephany Lapierre, Founder and CEO, Tealbook

Warren Wall, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, D-Wave

Industry leaders involved with one or more of the five superclusters share their business goals and their hopes and dreams for the superclusters. What challenges do their companies and their industry sector face in Canada and how can the supercluster help? How do they define success for their business and for the supercluster? What opportunities do they see for growing a vibrant ecosystem in their sector, including supporting the establishment of large anchor firms? On what timeframe do they think these advancements are feasible?


Special Announcement

Tom Hughes, Manager, Innovation Exploitation, Defence Research and Development Canada

11:00 - 11:30

Networking break and exhibits

Apr/17/2019 11:30 - Jan/14/2020 12:30

Plenary Panel – Mixing Ingredients: Whole-of-government initiatives in supporting innovation

Moderator: Christine Trauttmansdorff, Vice-President, Government Relations and Canadian Partnerships, Colleges and Institutes Canada

Nancy Hamzawi, Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology at Environment and Climate Change Canada

Andrea Johnston, ADM, Innovation Canada - Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Wayne Moore, Director General, Strategic and Regulatory Science Directorate, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Rob Wright, ADM, Science and Parliamentary Infrastructure Branch, Public Services and Procurement Canada

Gilles Saindon, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today’s world has major societal and economic problems that require many different players with diverse interests and perspectives to creatively work together on solving them. On this panel, senior government policy makers will review their strategies and progress in interdepartmental collaboration, as they work to tackle challenges that cut across departmental mandates and areas of responsibility.

Apr/17/2019 12:30 - Jan/14/2020 13:00

Conference Close

Partners & Exhibitors



Emerging Technology Partner

Canadian Science Policy Fellowship Partner


Corporate Dinner Table

Association Partners

Proceedings & Presentations

2019 Conference Proceedings

Click here to download file

A Nation of Innovators? Decoding the 2019 Federal Budget for Canadian R&D and Innovation - DAVID WATTERS

Click here to view