Plenary Session: Building the Digital Infrastructure - physical, regulatory and funding - Canada needs to Power Scholarship, Research and Innovation

Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 8:30am to 10:00am

As research in all fields and sectors is increasingly collaborative and
data- and compute-intensive, Canadian researchers require an integrated and sustainable digital scholarship and infrastructure ecosystem established within a consistent regulatory and funding framework to power the scholarship, research and innovation Canada needs to be internationally competitive. The breadth of infrastructure needed require a coordinated effort among multiple stakeholders. While significant individual investments have been made in some areas, a comprehensive and strategic framework will ensure that Canadian researchers remain competitive among their international peers, participate in leading-edge global collaborative projects, and fully embrace the opportunities of the digital age.

In this panel discussion, we bring perspectives of funding agencies, university administrators, compute, networking, and expertise providers, international experts, and the private sector to take a comprehensive view of digital scholarship and infrastructure needs and opportunities in Canada. CEOs of Compute Canada and CANARIE will discuss the physical infrastructure needs; Executive Vice President Ted Hewitt of SSHRC will discuss the funding and regulatory infrastructure environment; Wendy Cukier, VPR of Ryerson, will talk about taking advantage of this infrastructure from an university Administration point of view, and Neil Bunn of Scalar Decisions will talk about taking advantage of the national infrastructure - and creating private infrastructure - for business. Jay Black, Co-Chair of the Leadership Council for Digital Infrastructure will moderate the panel. The Leadership Council was established in 2012 with the objective of providing a forum to facilitate and support discussions among the various stakeholders toward a sustainable framework for a digital infrastructure eco-system in support of research, education and innovation in Canada.


Leadership Council for Digital Infrastructure

Jay was appointed Chief Information Officer at Simon Fraser University
in 2009, after spending the earlier part of his career at the University
of Waterloo as a faculty member in the David R. Cheriton School of
Computer Science. Among other roles at UW, he served as CIO ("associate
provost, information systems & technology") from 1996-2003. He earned
his PhD in Computer Science at Waterloo, and has research interests in
ubiquitous computing, middleware, and operating systems. He has been
active in BCNET and CUCCIO, as well as co-chairing the national
Leadership Council for Digital Infrastructure.

President & CEO

Jim is President and CEO of CANARIE. He is a successful entrepreneur
with over twenty-five years of leadership experience, having been a
founding member and General Manager at Newbridge Networks Corporation
(now Alcatel-Lucent), a co-founder and CEO of Tundra Semiconductor (now
IDT), the CEO of CMC Microsystems and the founder and CEO of Stratford
Managers, a company he continues to lead.

In addition to his corporate duties, he serves on numerous boards and
committees including the board of Ocean Networks Canada, the ICT
Advisory Board for DFAIT, the Committee of Research Partnerships for
NSERC, the Expert Panel on Business Innovation for CCA and others. He is
also an Executive-in-Residence at the Telfer School of Management at the
University of Ottawa and is frequently called on to speak about
entrepreneurship, commercialization of innovation, and strategy development.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s
University, where he graduated at the top of his class and won multiple
scholarships. He has added to his management skills through intensive
programs at Stanford, Ivey, Queen’s and elsewhere.

Scalar Decisions

Neil Bunn is a an engineer with Scalar Decisions, with a mandate to
develop creative solutions to a broad base of business problems. He has
more than a decade of experience with large scale systems and previously
spent twelve years at IBM, holding such roles as the National Solutions
Architect for High Performance Computing, and as the lead architect for
several major Canadian retailers and their massively distributed
systems. He has advised both academics and private industry on scale-out
solutions and performance based solutions and in his spare time develops
course materials for the University of Toronto's School of Continuing
Studies' various IT focused offerings.

President and CEO
Compute/Calcul Canada

For more than a decade, Jill Kowalchuk has been an ambitious driver and
advocate for the advancement of Canada’s technology and innovation
sectors. As President of Compute Canada, she currently oversees a
national platform of advanced computing infrastructure and distributed
technical teams that support Canadian research discovery and innovation.
Last year, she spearheaded Compute Canada’s incorporation as a national
not-for-profit organization, identifying and managing key governance and
policy issues throughout the transition, and laying the groundwork for a
new management and governance structure.

Prior to her role with Compute Canada, Jill was the Chief Executive
Officer of WestGrid, one of four regional consortia within Compute
Canada’s national platform. She supported WestGrid’s expansion from
seven to 14 partner institutions, and has provided regular leadership
and strategic input on all aspects of the organization, from proposal
development, to staffing and infrastructure purchasing. Alongside her
role with WestGrid, Jill was also Vice-President, Project and
Partnership Development at Cybera Inc. In 2007, as part of a core
Executive team, she played a key role in developing Cybera’s vision and
strategy when the organization transitioned from Netera Alliance to
Cybera with an expanded mandate to advance the use of
cyberinfrastructure to support innovation and economic development in

She regularly participates in national discussions on developing
Canada’s digital strategy and is an active supporter of initiatives that
encourage youth and women to enter the fields of science and
engineering. Jill studied Computer Science and Management at the
University of Calgary.

Vice President of Research and Innovation
Ryerson University

Dr. Wendy Cukier is Vice-President of Research and Innovation, Ryerson
University and founder of the Diversity Institute, Ryerson University.
Dr. Cukier has served as Associate Dean, Academic at Ryerson's Ted
Rogers Schoolof Management and currently teaches in the MBA in the
Management of Technology and Innovation (MTI). She is the coauthor of
the best seller Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Java to
Jurassic Park.

She holds a PhD in Management Science from York University (2002) and a
Masters degree in history and MBA from the University of Toronto as well
as honorary doctorates from Laval and Concordia University. She was
named one of the "100 Alumni who shaped the Century" by the University
of Toronto . In 2011 she was named one of 25 Transformational Canadians
by the Globe and Mail/Lapresse/CTV. In 1999, she received the Governor
General's Meritorious Service Cross, one of Canada's highest Civilian

Executive Vice President

Ted comes to SSHRC from Western University, where he served as
vice-president, research and international relations, from 2004 to 2011.
Under his leadership, Western’s research funding increased from $125
million to $220 million, and he became a leading figure among
research-intensive universities across Canada.

He has served as public policy scholar at the Brazil Institute at the
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.,
and as professor of sociology at Western University. A leading Canadian
authority on Brazil, his work has appeared in monographs, edited works
and a range of academic journals, including Cities, Journal of Latin
American Studies, Journal of Developing Areas, Third World Quarterly,
and Habitat International. In 2002, he was named commander of the Order
of Rio Branco by Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations.

Ted’s recent research has focused on national and international
innovation systems, with emphasis on the roles played by universities,
industry and government in promoting economic prosperity in the
21st-century economy. He is the academic representative on the
Canada-Brazil Science and Technology Joint Committee, and a member of
the boards of International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada
and the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce.

Ted holds a PhD in sociology from McMaster University