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FSN Seminar – March 17 at 1 pm EST via Zoom

We are pleased to introduce our second speaker of the 2022 season, Professor David Wolfe of the University of Toronto’s Innovation Policy Lab.

Recent years have taught us many things but one of them is the importance of successful innovation. The challenges of today and tomorrow are complex and coming fast. While Canadian research is world class, our performance at translating to commercial success through innovation that grows our economy and helps Canadians and the world is much less than we should expect. 

Please join us on March 17th to learn more about Canada’s innovation challenges and opportunities by registering in advance for this meeting:
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Link on youtube for recording:

Canada’s Innovation Challenge: Current State of Industrial R&D in Canada

David A. Wolfe, PhD

Professor of Political Science and Co-Director, Innovation Policy Lab

University of Toronto

This presentation will discuss both the extent and the sources of weakness in Canada’s innovation system. The shortcomings of Canada’s innovation system are well documented in a series of recent reports on the state of innovation in the Canadian economy, particularly those from the Council of Canadian Academies, including its most recent report Competing in the Global Innovation Economy. The reports underline Canada’s failure to keep pace with some of its leading competitors. What is less evident is why Canada has failed to improve the performance of its innovation system over the past 40 years. Neither is it clear why Canada’s political institutions have failed to respond to the combined challenge of globalization and rapid technological change with a more effective policy framework to improve the innovative performance of domestic firms. The urgency of both these questions is accentuated by the growing strength of the platform economy and the rise of what the OECD labels ‘superstar firms’, as well as the pressures of climate change. The presentation will include some working hypotheses about why Canada has lagged the other members of the G7 in this respect and present some ideas about what needs to be done.

David A. Wolfe is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Co-Director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. From 1990 to 1993 he served as Executive Coordinator for Economic and Labour Policy in the Cabinet Office of the Government of Ontario. From 2009 to 2014 he was the Royal Bank Chair in Public and Economic Policy at the University of Toronto. He has served on three Expert Panels for the Council of Canadian Academies. He recently completed a six-year SSHRC-funded partnership grant on Creating Digital Opportunity for Canada. He has been a Research Associate for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and is the editor or co-editor of ten books and numerous scholarly articles. He is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Council of Canadian Academies.

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