Canada’s mediocre innovation performance calls for a broader policy approach if we want to be a global economic powerhouse. But what should that approach be? Join our expert panel to learn about where Canada ranks and what policies are impeding growth, as well as, participate in the discussion on what policies we should be enacting to support innovation in the Canadian economy.
Innovation Policy: Making Canada an Economic Powerhouse
Mitch Davies, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Innovation Canada, within the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)
Mitch Davies is the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Innovation Canada, an organization within Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), that leads the government’s collaborative platform to help Canada’s innovators and entrepreneurs find and access government programs and services. In this role, Mitch leads delivery of new programs under the Innovation and Skills Plan including the Innovation Superclusters Initiative, the Strategic Innovation Fund and Innovative Solutions Canada.
Since 2006, Mr. Davies has held a number of senior executive positions at the department. Prior to his current role, he served as the Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Sector, responsible for the policy development on the Innovation Agenda, providing policy direction for Canada’s marketplace framework policies, including telecommunications, intellectual property, internal trade, competition, corporate law and insolvency. Previously, he concurrently served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Investment Review, responsible for policy development and administration related to the Investment Canada Act, and as Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of the Science and Innovation Sector, providing policy support and delivering programs under Canada’s science and technology strategy, including the delivery of the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI). Mr. Davies has also served as Acting Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister of the Comptrollership and Administration Sector, Director General of the Human Resources Branch, Director General of the Service to Business Branch, and Director General of the Investment Review Division.
Prior to joining the department, Mr. Davies was Director General of the Corporate Secretariat at Human Resources and Social Development Canada and held a number of other executive positions in the federal government, including Acting Director, Operations, Economic and Regional Development Policy Secretariat, in the Privy Council Office.
Mr. Davies holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Queen's University and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Manitoba.
Councillor Michelle Holland, Chief Advocate for the Innovation Economy
Councillor Michelle Holland was elected to Toronto City Council in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. She has served on the most important City Council Committees including Executive Committee, Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, Budget Committee and Economic Development Committee. She is currently Chair of Scarborough Community Council, Vice Chair of the Economic Development Committee and Chair of the City’s Corporations Nominating Panel where she has been leading efforts to facilitate gender equality on boards. As a graduate of the Director's Education Program she has considerable board experience including the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Design Exchange and the Art Gallery of Ontario among other boards. For several years she has been a leading voice on the innovation and technology file. In 2016, Michelle was appointed by Mayor John Tory to serve as the City’s first Advocate for the Innovation Economy. She will lead the City’s efforts to encourage growth in the sector, promote and protect innovation and technology jobs, encourage greater gender diversity and position Toronto as a leader in the innovation economy in all respects.
Allan Miranda Ph.D., MBA, Head, JLABS Canada
As Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS in Canada, Allan is responsible for external engagement, innovation sourcing, company onboarding, portfolio management, operational excellence, educational programming and P&L. He catalyzes and supports the translation of science and technology into valuable solutions for patients and consumers across the pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and healthtech sectors.
Allan joined the JLABS team from Janssen Canada, where he has spent the last 12 years in positions of increasing responsibility in business development, marketing and market access. His most recent role was Therapeutic Lead Immunology and Primary Care where he was responsible for market access strategy for a complex product portfolio exceeding $1 billion. Allan started his career at PARTEQ Innovations, the technology transfer arm of Queen's University at Kingston where he was responsible for technology assessment and new company start-up. He then moved to Paladin Labs, where he successfully completed numerous in-licensing transactions for specialty pharmaceutical products for the Canadian market. Allan subsequently worked in business development for two early stage biotechnology companies in Canada leading their business development and partnering initiatives prior to joining Janssen.
Allan received his Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario and his MBA from McGill University in Finance and Strategy.
Daniel Schwanen, Vice President, Research, C.D. Howe Institute
Daniel Schwanen earned degrees in economics from the Université de Montréal and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He began his career in the financial services industry, becoming International Economist at the CIBC in 1986.
Daniel first joined the C.D. Howe Institute in 1990, producing widely-cited research on international trade. His work on this topic earned him foreign visitorships in the United States, Japan and Australia.
While working at the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Montreal in 2001, Daniel earned the Policy Research Initiative’s Outstanding Research Contribution Award for his paper “A Room of Our Own: Cultural Policies and Trade Agreements.” He subsequently served in a number of senior research and executive positions at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, Ontario.
Daniel returned to the C.D. Howe Institute in March, 2011 as Associate Vice President, Trade and International Policy. He currently holds the position of Vice President, Research, as of June 2014.