Since 2009 Canada’s Public Policy Forum has served as the leading convener in Canada for dialogue on innovation. Beginning with a cross-sectoral conference in May 2009, organized at the prompting of Preston Manning and with the participation of the Government of Canada, the Forum has continued to lead discussions across the country on how we can advance a Canadian culture and approach to innovation.

The Forum now works in several discrete areas of innovation practice, including natural resources, financing, regional systems, social innovation and public service innovation.

Each of these areas is interlinked with our central goal of improving governance in Canada by creating opportunities for leaders to interact, collaborate and support change-leading action. Throughout the course of our innovation work, the Forum has become a key point of reference for policy leaders at the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government, as well as those from the private, academic and non-profit sectors.

As we move into exploration of new areas for innovation leadership, the Forum will continue to convene this cross-country discussion as it gains momentum. Innovation is now a key objective within government as well as the private sector, and collaboration across all sectors will remain an important point of focus as we work to build better government.


The Public Policy Forum is involved in a new Canadian-European initiative to raise awareness of partnership opportunities for Canadian and European researchers and innovators. The ERA-Can Plus project will promote science, technology and innovation collaboration between Canada and the European Union through policy dialogues, research exchanges and information sharing about funding opportunities

Leading Innovation: Insights from Canadian Regions
From September 2011-March 2012, in partnership with BMO Financial Group, BDC, Deloitte, the Government of Ontario and the Canadian Tourism Commission, the Forum launched a series of discussions exploring the challenges and opportunities facing innovators seeking to be successful on a global scale, and efforts being made in regions across Canada to drive innovation. This report identifies the directions we must follow in order to tangibly advance innovation in Canada’s regions, and across the country.
Towards a More Innovative Future: Insights from Canada's Natural Resources Sector
This report synthesizes the results of six roundtable discussions held between June and November, 2011 with leaders from the Canadian mining, forestry, oil and gas, energy, agriculture and fishery sectors along with senior government officials, scientists, and academics. The report frames key areas and strategies for action to fully leverage innovation to enhance a sector that is competitive, resilient and sustainable from all standpoints: economic, environmental and social.
Innovation, Investment, and Global Mandates
In November 2011 the Forum convened stakeholders from some of Canada's leading firms to discuss how multi-national firms award regional and global mandates and how governments might help support the efforts of Canadian operations to win mandates and attract strategic investment in Canada. This session brought together 35 senior leaders from government, business, the research community, and business associations to share and discuss recent research on how firms make investment and mandate decisions, how Canada fairs on key decision drivers and the roles governments could play in helping attract more mandates to Canada.

Past Work

The Forum’s most recent innovation-related work is built upon a strong program of past innovation activities, including several national publications on the various facets of innovation.

Application of Genomics to Hydrocarbon Resource Development

The International Forum on Research and Development was convened in partnership with McMaster University and brought together R&D leaders from several countries, including Canada, to explore means to enhance international collaboration in academic and industry research.

Innovation and the Human Brain was a conference among top researchers and institutional leaders in the field of brain research aimed at finding new means to make Ontario a leading global center in this type of innovation.

Innovation Next  is the 2011 capstone report on the Forum’s year-long national roundtable series aimed at building an understanding of Canada’s innovation challenges and proposing means to address them.

Innovation in Canada's Resource Sectors reports on the initial conference that kicked-off the Forum’s exploration of resource sector innovation in 2010.

Accelerating Social Innovation: Smart ideas for Canada reports on the 2010 conference which served as a platform to explore ways to build on existing innovations and develop new approaches to improve the way we support and work with each other in the 21st century.

Innovation Nation: Building a culture and practice of innovation in Canada is the 2009 conference report from Science Day in Canada, the kick-off to the Forum’s innovation program. The Forum brought together senior policy leaders and politicians for a day-long conference to begin to look at Canada’s innovation culture.


Innovation should be a priority
Op-ed in the Montreal Gazette, March 29th, 2012

Canadians need to take economic risks
Article in the Globe and Mail, March 28th, 2012

Don't just cooperate on innovation, collaborate too
Globe and Mail editorial, March 13, 2012

Lack of Innovation Holding Canada Back
Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew, Toronto Star, September 9, 2011

Government can work smarter
David Mitchell and Paul MacMillan The Ottawa Citizen, July 5, 2011