P6: Canadian Innovation: Understanding the role of IR&D

Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 10:30am to 12:00pm
The Council of Canadian Academies

Industrial research and development in Canada (IR&D) is a cornerstone of long-term sustainable economic growth. Today, Canada’s science policy community is challenged with translating science and technology and research and development into innovation and wealth creation. An in-depth understanding of the state of IR&D is critical for determining how to set future Canadian policies in a rapidly evolving global environment. On August 22, 2013, the Council of Canadian Academies will release its assessment on the state of Industrial Research and Development in Canada. While many reports have documented Canada’s historical weakness in industrial R&D, this report sheds new light on the subject by examining areas of strength and how these strengths are distributed regionally. The report also overviews how R&D strengths align with Canada’s areas of excellence in science and technology research and economic performance. Evidence related to the barriers and gaps that limit the translation of Canada’s S&T strengths into innovation and wealth creation are also examined.

This evidence-based report complements the Council's 2012 assessment of Canada’s S&T research strengths. It reviews a wide-range of evidence characterizing the current state of IR&D in Canada, including measures such as IR&D expenditures and personnel, patents and scientific publications, and measures of innovation, productivity and other economic outcomes. This new report is one of the most detailed and systematic studies of the state of industrial research and development ever undertaken in Canada. It will serve as an important benchmark and tool for future policy and decision-making.

This session will take the format of a panel discussion and Q&A with four participants. Three participants sit on the Council’s Expert Panel, while the fourth is a well-respected expert in the innovation field. The Panel’s report articulates a clear understanding of the current state of IR&D, and Panel members will use this as a foundation for their comments. They will also be asked to put forward three ideas on how to strengthen Canadian IR&D in the short, medium, and longer terms.


President and CEO
The Council of Canadian Academies

Elizabeth Dowdeswell’s eclectic public service career has spanned provincial, federal and international borders and transcended traditional disciplinary lines.
Ms. Dowdeswell served as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations, Assistant Deputy Minister of Environment Canada, responsible for the National Weather and Atmospheric Agency and led a number of public inquiries, including into Canada’s unemployment benefits program and federal water policy. Her early career included terms as Deputy Minister of Culture and Youth for the Province of Saskatchewan, educational consultant, university lecturer and high school teacher.
Ms. Dowdeswell was appointed a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation mentor, is a Corporate Director, and contributes in an advisory capacity to a number of not-for-profit organizations
Ms. Dowdeswell holds a Master of Science degree in behavioural sciences from Utah State University, a Bachelor of Science degree in home economics, a teaching certificate from the University of Saskatchewan and nine honorary degrees.

Institute for Public Economics, University of Alberta

R.J. (Bob) Fessenden, Panel Member on the Council’s Expert Panel on the State of IR&D, Fellow of the Institute for Public Economics, University of Alberta(Edmonton, AB)

R.J. (Bob) Fessenden, formerly the Deputy Minister of the Premier's Council for Economic Strategy of the Government of Alberta, is a Fellow of the Institute for Public Economics of the University of Alberta.
Previously a staff member at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Forestry, Dr. Fessenden taught courses in forest soil science from 1967 to 1978. Following this, he became Head of the
Terrestrial Environment Section in the Environmental Affairs Department of Syncrude Canada Ltd where he was responsible for land reclamation planning and research and environmental impact assessment. Later, from 1982 to 1995, Dr. Fessenden held a variety of positions at the Alberta Research Council, including Head of the Soils and Terrain Sciences departments and Vice-President of Natural Resources, Resource Technologies, Development & Planning, and Research Operations.

Appointed as President of the Alberta Science and Research Authority in October 1995, Dr. Fessenden served in that position until 1999 when he took on the position of Deputy Minister of Alberta Economic Development for the Government of Alberta. Subsequently, from 2001 to 2008, Dr. Fessenden served as Deputy Minister in three different departments -- Sustainable Resource Development, Innovation and Science, and Advanced Education and Technology. He was then appointed as Deputy Minister of the Premier's Council for Economic Strategy in March 2008.
Dr. Fessenden completed his B.Sc.F. at the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Toronto in 1965, his M.Sc. in Microbiology at the University of Guelph in 1967, and his PhD in Microbiology at McGill University in 1976.

VitalHub Corp.

Lisa Crossley, Panel Member on the Council’s Expert Panel on the State of IR&D,
CEO, VitalHub Corporation (Toronto, ON)
Lisa Crossley is the CEO of VitalHub Corp., a Toronto-based startup that provides clinicians with mobile access to patient information through an intuitive, easy to use interface on the iPad or iPhone.

Dr. Crossley is a serial entrepreneur with a track record of successfully building and leading global technology companies. She has diverse experience across multiple markets, including therapeutics, medical devices, life science tools, diagnostics, healthcare IT and cleantech. She was previously CEO at Quantum Dental Technologies, President & CEO at Natrix Separations and Founder & Principal at BioVentures.ca among other roles, and has held numerous board appointments. Dr. Crossley has raised over $30 million in venture capital and angel financing, negotiated channel partner agreements with multinational market leaders and built customer bases in North America, Europe and Asia.
She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario.

CGG/ENMAX/Alberta Innovates

Kathleen E. Sendall, C.M., FCAE, Chair of the Council’s Expert Panel on the State of IR&D,
Director, CGG (Paris, France); Director of Enmax Corporation (Calgary, AB); Vice Chair, Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions (Calgary, AB); Trustee, Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation, Member, Hatch Advisory Board, Chair of the Expert Panel on the State of Industrial R&D in Canada

Kathleen is an experienced director and seasoned executive with a broad base of experience. She is a Director of CGG based in Paris, ENMAX, and Alberta Innovates - Energy and Environment Solutions. In 2013, Kathleen was appointed to two federal advisory councils – the Sustainable Development Advisory Council and the Advisory Council for Promoting Women on Boards. She
was also appointed Trustee for the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation and joined the Hatch Advisory Board. Previously, Kathleen was Senior Vice-President of Petro-Canada's North American Natural Gas. She was named as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011.