Prospering in the 21st Century Economy: Building a Cooperative Model for Success

National Arts Centre  |  Ottawa, ON

For almost twenty years, the R$ conference has been bringing together research and innovation leaders from government, business, finance, academia and the not-for-profit sector to review progress, identify challenges and propose solutions around Canada’s performance in the knowledge-based economy.

Over this period, governments have come and gone, companies have appeared and disappeared, economic conditions have fluctuated and the geopolitical landscape has changed dramatically. Through it all, our understanding of innovation has evolved and deepened, and recognition of its importance to our prosperity and quality of life has steadily increased.

The 19th annual R$ conference will engage speakers and participants in a dialogue that breaks down the traditional silos in which we all operate. Together, we will assess the relevance and effectiveness of our individual and collective efforts to achieve the goal we all share: prosperity and sustainable quality of life for Canadians and the world.

We’ll hear from leading Canadian entrepreneurs about their challenges and successes, analyze the implications of the federal budget for Canada’s innovation ecosystem and learn from public and private sector leaders from Switzerland, the top-ranked nation in international innovation rankings. We’ll also review progress on implementation across the federal government’s innovation portfolio, including Innovation Canada, innovation superclusters, the new digital platform, science advice and coordination of innovation policies and programs within the federal government and between different levels of government.

Conference delegates will have the opportunity to participate in one of three facilitated design challenge workshops. Each workshop will have a challenge that requires diverse stakeholders to work together. Understanding one another’s institutional culture and success metrics will be essential to design viable solutions.

Challenge A:   How do we capitalize on our natural resources strength to grow the green economy?

Challenge B:   How do we capitalize on foreign direct investment to scale domestic tech firms?

Challenge C:  How do we capitalize on research excellence to enhance prosperity and quality of life?

The R$ conference attracts leaders and practitioners from Canada’s research, innovation, investment and policy communities. The resulting cross-fertilization of ideas, expertise and experience always generates fresh thinking, new connections and valuable insights that empower participants to be their best going forward after the conference.

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 28th, 2020.


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

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.

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.

Dominique Gruhl-Bégin

Head of Start-Ups and Next-Generation Innovators and Member of the Executive Committee, Innosuisse

Carole Anne Hilton

Founder & CEO, The Indigenomics Institute

Kendra MacDonald

CEO, Canada’s 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 the Past-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.

Shawn Marshall

Department Science Advisor, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Shawn Marshall

Dr. Shawn Marshall is jointly appointed between Environment Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the University of Calgary, where he held the Canada Research Chair in Climate Change from 2007-2017.  Following an undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics at the University of Toronto, Shawn migrated west for a PhD in Geophysics at the University of British Columbia, specializing in glaciology. He joined the University of Calgary Department of Geography in 2000, where he studies mountain and Arctic environments, paleoclimate, and cryosphere-climate processes. As both a climate modeller and a field scientist, Shawn has spent more than a year of his life camped out on glaciers in the remote beauty of the Canadian Rockies, Yukon’s St. Elias Mountains, Ellesmere Island, Greenland, and Iceland.  His research on glacier and ice sheet response to climate change informs projections of global sea level rise and the sensitivity of water resources to climate change.  Shawn was a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Earth System Evolution Program from 2000-2015, and is deeply engaged in the national and international scientific communities. He is the current Canadian representative to the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) Cryosphere Working Group, Chairs the Board of the Alberta-based Resilience Institute, and serves on the Science Leadership Council of the international Mountain Research Institute (Bern, Switzerland). Shawn joined ECCC as their Departmental Science Advisor in July, 2019.

Lissa Matyas

Vice-President of International Partnerships, Mitacs
Lissa Matyas

Lissa Matyas is the Vice-President of International Partnerships at Mitacs. Funded by the federal and provincial governments of Canada, industry and universities, Mitacs’ mandate is to build domestic and international partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada. Lissa has twenty years of experience spanning international R&D partnership development, graduate program development, graduate student training, university strategic planning, stakeholder relationship management and marketing. She comes to Mitacs from McGill University where she held the position of Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and prior to this, Director of Graduate Enrolment Management. Prior to joining McGill University, she was at Concordia University for ten years. At Concordia she managed the university’s strategic planning exercise in the Office of the President, held the positions of Director of Graduate Student Recruitment for the John Molson School of Business and Associate Director of the John Molson MBA Program, as well as Director of Alumni Relations at Concordia University. Lissa holds a Greenbelt in Lean Six Sigma from Fujitsu Canada, as well as a Master of Science in Administration degree with a concentration in Marketing and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, both from Concordia University. Lissa sat on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies and is a member of several other professional associations.

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.

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.

Sue Paish

CEO, Canada’s 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 and industries while making Canada a world leader in digital technology. The Digital Technology Supercluster brings together organizations of all sizes, from industry, academia, the private and the public sector, to work together on solving some of the most significant economic and social issues through the development and implementation of world leading digital technologies.

The Supercluster is leveraging Canada’s expertise in data analytics, genomics, quantum computing, mixed and augmented reality, the Internet of Things and AR and VR to deliver technologies in data commons, digital twins and all aspects of precision health while creating jobs and growing Canada’s international competitiveness. Over 300 organizations are working with the Supercluster from diverse sectors including manufacturing, mining, healthcare, agriculture, research, forestry, aviation, software development, telecom and more.
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, University of Victoria Distinguished Entrepreneur, 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.

Vik Pant

Chief Science Advisor, Natural Resources Canada
Vik Pant

Vik Pant joined Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) as Chief Science Advisor on August 19, 2019. In his role, he plays a leadership role in developing and promoting NRCan’s S&T priorities, providing oversight and strategic policy advice on cross-cutting science issues and opportunities.  He is to accelerate the adoption of Artificial Intelligence in the department in order to enhance NRCan’s ability to conduct science, economic analysis, and provide evidence-based policy advice via modern advanced analytical techniques

Vik earned a master’s degree in business administration with distinction from the University of London, a master’s degree in information technology from Harvard University, and is currently completing his doctorate at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information (iSchool). His research, featured in numerous peer-reviewed journals and juried international conferences, has focused on conceptual modelling of strategic coopetition in complex socio-technical and multi-agent systems.

Vik joined NRCan from the MaRS Discovery District, a technology start-up accelerator in Toronto, where he was a Senior Technical Advisor of Applied Artificial Intelligence. Prior to that, he had held strategic positions in leading software enterprises including Oracle, SAP and Open Text.

Dr. Cara Tannenbaum

Departmental Science Advisor, Health Canada & Scientific Director, Institute on Gender and Health at CIHR
Dr. Cara Tannenbaum

Dr. Cara Tannenbaum is the Departmental Science Advisor for Health Canada and the Scientific Director of the Institute on Gender and Health for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. An internationally recognized physician and researcher, Dr. Tannenbaum holds the Michel Saucier Endowed Chair in Pharmacy at the Université de Montréal where she is a Professor in the Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy. She is the Director of the Canadian Deprescribing Network and serves on scientific advisory boards for the European Commission’s Horizon Europe Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and Radio-Canada.


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.

Conference Program

Day 1 - April 28, 2020

07:45 - 09:00

Registration and exhibits

Continental breakfast will be served.

09:00 - 09:15


09:15 - 09:45

Opening Keynote

Carole Anne Hilton, Founder & CEO, The Indigenomics Institute

09:45 - 10:30

Federal Budget 2020

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

10:30 - 11:00

Networking Break

11:00 - 12:00

Plenary Panel: Lessons from Switzerland - an international innovation leader

Dominique Gruhl-Bégin, Head of Start-Ups and Next-Generation Innovators and Member of the Executive Committee, Innosuisse

Moderator Lissa Matyas, Vice-President of International Partnerships, Mitacs

12:00 - 13:00

Networking lunch

13:00 - 15:30

Parallel sessions | SESSION A | How do we capitalize on our natural resources strength to grow the green economy?

13:00 - 15:30

Parallel sessions | SESSION B | How do we capitalize on foreign direct investment to scale domestic tech firms?

13:00 - 15:30

Parallel sessions | SESSION C | How do we capitalize on research excellence to enhance prosperity and quality of life?

15:30 - 16:00

Networking break

16:00 - 17:30

Workshop synthesis and discussion

17:30 - 18:30


18:30 - 21:00

Dinner and panel: Update on Canada’s Science Advisory Network

Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor

Shawn Marshall, Department Science Advisor, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Vik Pant, Chief Science Advisor, Natural Resources Canada

Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, Departmental Science Advisor, Health Canada & Scientific Director, Institute on Gender and Health at CIHR

Day 2 - April 29, 2020

07:30 - 08:30

Registration and exhibits

08:30 - 09:30

Opening panel: Government-Industry Collaboration in an Age of Disruption

09:30 - 11:00

Supercluster update

Sue Paish, CEO, Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster

Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Jayson Myers, CEO, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada

Bill Greuel, CEO, Protein Industries Canada

Julien Billot , CEO, SCALE AI

11:00 - 11:30

Refreshment break

11:30 - 12:30

Government panel - Major collaborative initiatives

12:30 - 13:30

Conference Close

Partners & Exhibitors

Gold Partner