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Nov 25

Reviewing the Innovation Superclusters Initiative: Success or Failure?

Webinar with Dr. Catherine Beaudry, Daniel Herman and John Knubley

Sponsored by:

The Innovation Superclusters Initiative was introduced by the federal government in its 2017 budget with the purpose of creating 50,000 jobs across Canada, accelerating innovation, and increasing GDP by $50 billion over the next 10 years. A PBO report released last year indicated that the superclusters were missing both the job creation and GDP growth targets. The C.D. Howe Institute invites you to join us on Thursday, November 25 to hear an expert panel discuss the superclusters’ successes and challenges, as well as what Canada needs to do to better support an innovation economy.

C.D. Howe Institute events and webinars are open to members and their guests.

Please contact Tammy Trepanier, Senior Event Planner, to register: ttrepanier@cdhowe.org.

Dr. Catherine Beaudry, Professor of Economics of Innovation and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Creation, Development and Commercialization of Innovation, Polytechnique Montréal

Catherine Beaudry holds a master’s degree and PhD in economics from the University of Oxford. From her studies in electrical engineering specializing in spatial technology, she has retained a profound interest in technology, science and innovation. She is a full professor at the Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering and holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in the Creation, Development and the Commercialization of Innovation (Innovation Chair) at Polytechnique Montréal, and leads the Partnership for the Organization of Innovation and New Technologies (4POINT0). She also serves on the Governing Council and Programs Committee of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and is a member of the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (interuniversity centre for research on science and technology – CIRST), a fellow of the Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations (CIRANO), an associate professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and a founding member of the Global Young Academy. From 2015 to 2018, la Catherine Beaudry led with Johann Mouton of the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, a vast and comprehensive study on young scientists in Africa.

The Innovation Chair focuses on the impact of research and collaboration on the development of innovations and their commercialization, and interaction between local and international networks. Its work is aimed at taking a global look at innovation, from concept to commercialization, and decompartmentalizing the innovation process. Among other things, Professor Beaudry studies partnerships, networks and collaboration among academic researchers, businesses and government organizations.

The 4POINT0 team strives to identify the best industrial practices and processes and design new adapted public policies and innovation support mechanisms, with a view to ensuring: (1) the best conditions for the emergence of innovation ecosystems; (2) the efficient operation of innovation ecosystems, particularly collaborative innovation practices; (3) the successful evolution of innovation ecosystems to benefit from new disruptive technologies via new innovation configurations, spaces and networks; and (4) the sustainability of innovation ecosystems, maximizing benefits and impacts while minimizing obstacles to and risks of collaboration. To this end, 4POINT0 will co-develop new innovation indicators by means of big data analytics.


Daniel Herman, Special Advisor, Intellectual Property Support, Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities

Dan Herman is a Toronto-based entrepreneur and policy advisor to governments on innovation and economic growth. He is currently the special advisor to the Government of Ontario on the establishment of a central resource for intellectual property support, as well as the founder of Go To Jupiter Productions Inc., a production company that specializes in telling the stories of the people and places shaping the future of the global economy. He has previously held executive roles in both the public and private sector, including having been the Executive Director of Innovation Policy at the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), Vice President Strategy and Partnerships at Myant Inc., and having co-founded the Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance (DEEP Centre). Dan holds a PhD focused on the role of government in the promotion of innovation and commercialization from the Balsillie School of International Affairs and a MSc in Development studies from the London School of Economics.


John Knubley, Former Deputy Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

John Knubley is a Senior Advisor with McKinsey & Company and Longview Communications, and a Corporate Director, Strategic Advisor, and former senior civil servant.

From 2012 to 2019, John served as the Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED Canada). Prior to ISED Canada, John was Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Privy Council Office, Associate Deputy Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, as well as Associate Deputy Minister of Natural Resources. John’s career in public service began in 1980 at the Economic Council of Canada.

In 2020, John founded InnovAction Advisory Services. InnovAction provides strategic counsel to organizations across a variety of sectors and verticals including agriculture, food production, technology, innovation, and sustainability.

John holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, a Master of Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He also received a post-graduate diploma in Nice, France, from the Institut Européen des Hautes Études Internationales.

A resident of Ottawa, John also serves as a Director on the Conference Board of Canada, the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute, Genome Atlantic, and the Ontario Energy Board, and is a member of the Selection Committee of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards.

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