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June 1st - June 4th : 20th Annual Conference Schedule
11:00 - 12:30 EDT
12:45 - 14:15 EDT
12:45 - 14:15 EDT
12:45 - 14:15 EDT
12:45 - 14:15 EDT
14:30 - 16:00 EDT
11:00 - 12:30 EDT
11:00 - 12:30 EDT
11:00 - 12:30 EDT
11:00 - 12:30 EDT
11:00 - 12:30 EDT
June 1st 2021

Conference Opening


Opening Remarks 

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Jeffrey Crelinsten


Publisher & CEO, Research Money Inc

“Nice looking car…. but what’s under the hood?”
Does Budget 2021 Identify and Manage the Right Risks through Turbulent Times?

This panel examines whether the 2021 Federal budget can adequately address a poorly performing Canadian research and development/innovation (RDI) production system or is it essentially the solution in a different package?

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Ömer Kaya


Vice-President, Research and Business Development, Global Advantage Consulting Group Inc

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David Watters
Founder & CEO, Global Advantage Consulting Group Inc

An Industrial Strategy for Canada - Views from Industry

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world, one disturbing effect has been the impact on women and gender-diverse people. The number of deaths for women from the virus has been disproportionately higher because women tend to be on the front lines in caregiver roles. The pandemic has also fueled a she-cession with the majority of the job losses being experienced by women and racialized minorities, thereby dialing back decades of progress in workplace diversity. Now more than ever, Canada needs an economic recovery plan that supports women, gender diverse and racialized communities, because a rising tide lifts all boats.

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Mark Little

President and Chief Executive Officer, Suncor Energy Inc

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John Baker

President & CEO, D2L

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Rhonda Barnet

President & COO, Avit Manufacturing
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Monique F. Leroux

Chair, Industry Strategy Council of Canada

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Moderator: Mark Lowey

Publisher, Managing Editor, EnviroLine

An Inclusive Plan for Economic Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a massive digital transition that is affecting all sectors of society around the world. As digitization races ahead, laws and regulations that protect privacy and set standards are lagging behind. The increasing use of social media platforms has already put a spotlight on data privacy, cyber security and the need for cross-border regulatory models. The pandemic has heightened the need for oversight as governments implement emergency acts, modify existing privacy acts, and issue specific guidance to enable the response to the health crisis. What will happen once the pandemic ends and how will it affect trust in government and institutions (especially in a low-trust climate)? What digital strategies are governments developing to protect citizens while seizing this massive digital opportunity?

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Nadine Letson

Assistant General Counsel, Corporate, External and Legal Affairs, Microsoft Canada

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Vass Bednar

Executive Director, MPP, McMaster University
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Guy Pearce

Chief Digital Officer & Chief Data Officer,

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Moderator: Sebastian Leck

Managing Editor, Research Money
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Noel Corriveau


Senior Counsel, INQ Law

June 2 2021

Navigating Digital Transformation: Data Privacy, Security and Regulation

In October 2017 the federal government launched a new form of collaboration between industry and government, creating six Economic Strategy Tables, chaired by industry leaders in six key sectors: advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital industries, health/bio-sciences and resources of the future. In September 2018 they presented an ambitious plan for innovation-led long-term growth for the Canadian economy. In May 2020, the federal government created the Industry Strategy Council – a forum for business leaders to share challenges they’re facing from COVID-19 and to provide advice on economic policy going forward. In October 2020, the Council presented a growth plan for building a digital, sustainable and innovative economy. In this panel, business leaders spearheading this work will present their priorities in developing a robust industrial strategy for Canada.

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Moderator: Mark Mann

Senior Correspondent, Research Money

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Irene Graham

CEO, ScaleUp Institute

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Dhirendra Shukla


Professor & Chair, University of New Brunswick

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Dominique Gruhl-Bégin

Head of the Start-ups and Next-Generation Innovators Division, Innosuisse

John Ruffolo

Founder and Managing Partner, Maverix Private Equity

Off-the-Shelf or Custom Fit: Best Practices in Supporting Scale-Ups

Governments around the world have developed a variety of mechanisms to support the growth of domestic innovative firms, including R&D tax credits, grants, loans, equity investments, procurement and funding innovation intermediaries. For companies that have grown to significant scale, with global sales, substantial cash flow and rapid growth, what they need to reach the next level varies greatly by industry sector, country, corporate culture and growth strategy. This panel looks at a number of different approaches being used by countries and regions to support their high-growth scaleups.

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Naomi Alboim

Distinguished Fellow, Queen’s University

Senior Policy Fellow, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration Studies, Ryerson University

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Steven Tobin

Executive Director, Labour Market Information Council

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Moderator: Denise Amyot

President and CEO, Colleges and Institutes Canada

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AJ Tibando

Executive Director, Palette Inc.

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Trevin Stratton


chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Policy, CanadianChamber of Commerce

Building Skills for Recovery, Innovation and Growth

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated labour market trends that policy makers have talked about for years. Simultaneously, it has up-ended much of what was previously understood about the composition and resilience of the workforce. Skills and talent are the oxygen that will breathe life into plans for recovery and growth, but coming up with a skills strategy in a country like Canada is more fraught than ever with risks and unknowns. This panel will examine some elements of a skills strategy, from both supply and demand perspectives: what are the prospects and limitations of industry investments in upskilling and reskilling? What gaps should be targeted by immigration policy? Are business and higher education connected in the right ways? Are equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives part of a social agenda, an economic agenda, or both? And do we have the underlying base of labour market information – current and predictive - on which to build such a strategy? Representatives from business, government and academe will discuss how their interests and actions must intersect to create a robust and nimble labour force.

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Marcie Hawranik

Founder & President, Canadian Equity Consulting

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Moderator: Kelly Nolan


Strategic Partnerships Manager, Simon Fraser University

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Diana Rivera

Senior Economist, Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneur-ship, Ryerson University

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Lynn Barr-Telford

Assistant Chief Statistician, Social, Health and Labour Statistics Field, Statistics Canada

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Anjum Sultana

Director of Public Policy & Strategic Communication, YWCA

On day one of this conference we heard from Canadian industry leaders about their recommendations for a Canadian industrial strategy. This panel brings together leaders from the European Union and other countries that are preparing large-scale industrial strategies.


Traditional approaches tend to focus on specific industrial sectors that build on domestic strengths and promise global leadership if supported adequately. Increasingly, governments are using a challenge-focused approach to drive their industrial strategies. Decarbonization and digitization are two global challenges receiving much attention. The COVID-19 pandemic has also added the challenges of public health, economic recovery, supporting SMEs hurt by the pandemic and investing in innovation.

June 3rd 2021

Conference Closing

Closing Remarks

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Thomas Park

Partner, Deep Tech Venture Fund, BDC Capital
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Charmaine Dean

Vice-President, Research & International, University of Waterloo
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Swaroop 'Kittu' Kolluri

Founder & Managing Director, Neotribe Ventures

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Moderator - Geneviève Tanguay


Vice-President, Emerging Technologies, National Research Council Canada

Robert Asselin

Senior VP, Policy, Business Council of Canada

Crossing the Chasm: Commercializing Deep Tech

This panel explores how to create a support system that facilitates long-term application development within deep areas of fundamental research. Trying to create commercial value from academic research is hard enough in disciplines that lend themselves fairly easily to applications; but for fundamental research in fields such as physics and biology, it’s usually hard to envision potential applications. Even if the potential is there, the interesting developments are very long-term and the lead researchers are typically more interested in discovery than applications. Some institutions have found ways to assemble the patient capital and the business and regulatory expertise to support this kind of deep tech commercialization.

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Saskia Sivananthan

Chief Research & Knowledge Translation Officer, Alzheimer Society of Canada

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Moderator: Lindsay Borthwick

Senior Correspondent, Research Money

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Carole Mundell

Chief International Science Envoy, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
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Darrell Bricker

CEO, Ipsos

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Rémi Quirion

Chief Scientist, Quebec

Research and Public Trust in the Post-Pandemic Economy

While people around the world have been sequestered in their homes during the past year, the thrust and parry of scientific debate about COVID-19 and how to deal with it has been readily available in news reports, commentaries, blogs, social media and public announcements.


The narrative shared with the public constantly evolves in face of a continuous flow of new research and experience with the virus. What has been the impact on public trust in science and research? How has the health crisis affected the role of science advice in government? And to what extent do national cultural differences play a role?

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Peter Gluckman

President Elect, International Science Council
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Moderator: Paul Dufour

Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa

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Jean-Pierre Bourguignon

President ad interim, European Research Council

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Roseann O’Reilly Runte

President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

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Sara Wilshaw

Chief Trade Commissioner and Assistant Deputy Minister, Global Affairs Canada

Global Science: International Research Collaboration Post-COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the benefits of international collaboration, not only among academic and government researchers but also with entrepreneurs, SMEs and multinational companies. This panel will explore various international efforts to increase international research collaboration around global problems such as climate change and cyber security. 

June 4th 2021
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Matthias Krämer

Head of Foreign Economic Policy, Federation of German Industries

Kerstin Bock

Co-Founder & CEO, Openers

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Felicity Burch

Director of Innovation and Digital, Confederation of British Industry

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Roberto Alvarez


Executive Director, GFCC

Robert Asselin

Senior VP, Policy, Business Council of Canada

National Industrial Strategies – Changing Sector-Focus to Challenge-Focus

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Jeffrey Crelinsten


Publisher & CEO, Research Money Inc

Mitch Davies

President, National Research Council of Canada

10:45 - 11:00 EDT
20th program
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