The In­no­va­tion Is­sue

Policy - - In This Issue - From the Editor / Lisa Van Dusen

Wel­come to our sec­ond an­nual is­sue on in­no­va­tion, again in part­ner­ship with the Rideau Hall Foun­da­tion. The RHF is an in­de­pen­dent char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion estab­lished by former Gov­er­nor Gen­eral David John­ston to mo­bi­lize ideas, peo­ple, and re­sources to en­cour­age and rec­og­nize ex­cel­lence in in­no­va­tion. In our two years of col­lab­o­rat­ing with the RHF, we’ve come to truly ap­pre­ci­ate its value as both a cat­a­lyst for Cana­dian in­ge­nu­ity and a col­le­gial part­ner. We par­tic­u­larly want to thank Bar­bara Gib­bon, the RHF’s di­rec­tor of in­no­va­tion, for her in­valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to this is­sue. As as­so­ciate editor of Pol­icy, I filled in for our editor, L. Ian Mac­Don­ald, as editor of this is­sue.

This year marks the in­au­gu­ral Cana­dian In­no­va­tion week from May 22-31. Our is­sue opens with Mac­Don­ald’s Q&A with fed­eral In­no­va­tion Min­is­ter Navdeep Bains ahead of that land­mark and on the heels of his re­cent an­nounce­ment of the five su­per­clus­ters cho­sen to re­ceive $950 mil­lion in pub­lic and $950 mil­lion in pri­vate fund­ing to es­tab­lish sec­toral in­no­va­tion hubs across the country.

Former clerk of the Privy Coun­cil and cur­rent BMO Fi­nan­cial Group vice chair Kevin Lynch launches our pack­age of ex­cel­lent con­tri­bu­tions from the five in­no­va­tion su­per­clus­ters, which rep­re­sent a combination of tech­nol­ogy-en­hanced mod­ern­iza­tion of Canada’s legacy nat­u­ral re­source sec­tors and dou­bling down on 21stcen­tury tech wiz­ardry, with Why Su­per­clus­ters Mat­ter.

From the Hal­i­fax-based Ocean Su­per­clus­ter, Matt Hebb writes that the ini­tia­tive will pro­vide a plat­form for col­lab­o­ra­tive R& D and boost in­no­va­tion in the ocean econ­omy by dis­tribut­ing in­vest­ment risk across the con­sor­tium. From the Mon­tre­al­based Scale AI Su­per­clus­ter, Alain Du­doit writes in French that we are help­ing shape a new global sup­ply chain plat­form and bol­ster­ing Canada’s early lead­er­ship in ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI). Jayson My­ers of the Ad­vanced Man­u­fac­tur­ing Su­per­clus­ter says it will en­able us to ad­dress some of the most im­por­tant chal­lenges in­hibit­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness and growth of Canada’s man­u­fac­tur­ing and tech­nol­ogy sec­tors. Bill Tam writes that the Van­cou­ver-based Dig­i­tal Tech­nol­ogy Su­per­clus­ter will sup­port large-scale eco­nomic growth, gen­er­ate jobs and cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties for Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties. And, Pro­tein In­dus­tries Canada CEO Frank Hart ex­plains how the new agri­cul­ture su­per­clus­ter will scale up the in­dus­try’s tech­no­log­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion of re­cent years to take Canada to a new level of global com­pet­i­tive­ness.

Be­yond the su­per­clus­ters, Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Bank of Canada Pres­i­dent Michael Den­ham de­scribes the way in which a ma­jor boost in its Women in Tech fund in Bud­get 2018 will help level the start-up play­ing field for wom­en­led tech com­pa­nies. Kelly McGre­gor, man­ager of Com­mu­nitech’s Fierce Founders pro­gram for women en­trepreneurs, re­ports from the front lines of that ef­fort to help women close the start-up gen­der gap. In an in­valu­able look at in­no­va­tion from the in­side that’s a must-read for pol­icy mak­ers, Amielle Lake, Barry Yates and Laura Lam from En­trepreneur­ship @UBC ask whether in Canada’s start-up ecosys­tem, we’re play­ing “not to lose”. And, we have ex­cel­lent in­sight into the jour­ney of in­no­va­tion and what gov­ern­ments can do to im­prove their in­vest­ments from Questor Tech­nol­ogy CEO Au­drey Mas­caren­has. Mas­caren­has is a 30-year vet­eran of both the oil patch and clean en­ergy, and her per­spec­tive on in­no­va­tion is in­fused with that wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence.

In one of our favourite en­tries in this is­sue, the won­der boys at Mon­treal vis­ual ef­fects and an­i­ma­tion stu­dio Ci­ne­site—Dave Rosen­baum, Nick Glass­man and Tyler Wer­rin—de­scribe the fas­ci­nat­ing in­no­va­tion cul­ture of film­mak­ing (If you’re watch­ing Avengers: In­fin­ity War, you’ll catch Ci­ne­site’s spe­cial ef­fects con­tri­bu­tion in the cred­its). And still in the realm of me­dia, Thom­son Reuters Vice Pres­i­dent Shawn Mal­ho­tra lays out how per­pet­ual in­no­va­tion made one of Canada’s most rec­og­nized brands the world’s largest mul­ti­me­dia news agency. In the so­cial in­no­va­tion sphere, World Wide Hear­ing founder and Gov­er­nor Gen­eral’s In­no­va­tion Award win­ner Au­dra Renyi pro­vides an amaz­ing win­dow on how in­no­va­tion, to her, has been a story of over­com­ing ob­sta­cles and ap­ply­ing les­sons from ev­ery as­pect of life. From the far North, Arc­tic In­spi­ra­tion Award win­ner Trevor Bell tells the fan­tas­tic story of how SmartICE is help­ing Inuit com­mu­ni­ties nav­i­gate melt­ing sea ice with the help of tech­nol­ogy.

In our Canada and the World sec­tion, con­tribut­ing writer Jeremy Kins­man warns that Donald Trump may bring his dis­rup­tive agenda to the Charlevoix G7. And, as of­fi­cials pre­par­ing for Charlevoix pre­pare their ar­gu­ments for sus­tain­able en­ergy, Cana­dian Nu­clear As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent John Bar­rett briefs them on his case for mak­ing nu­clear part of the mix.

Last but by no means least, the great Don New­man has a col­umn about the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line stand­off.

En­joy the is­sue.

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