The following are the CSPC 2021 panels that cover

Priority Sectors and Challenges

November 26th, 2021

Organized by: École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP)


Marie-Christine Therrien – Management Professor, École nationale d’administration publique

Jeny Mathews-Thusoo – Program Lead, Inclusive Futures, Resilience & Infrastructure Calgary

Julie Dassylva – Higher Education Advisor, Carrefour de la recherche urbaine de Montréal (CRUM) City of Montreal

David Wachsmuth – Associate Professor, McGill University, Canada Research Chair in Urban Governance

Moderator: Marie-Christine Therrien – Management Professor, École nationale d’administration publique

Context: Cities have the potential to tackle society’s wicked problems, from disease to inequity to climate change. Yet, challenges remain when it comes to weaving science into the implementation of urban interventions. Presented by Collaboratoire Uni-Cité, this panel is dedicated to bolstering collaboration between scientists and municipal decision-makers around urban transformation projects. Focused on solutions and successful practices, this interactive panel explored the opportunities and tensions between municipal and academic contexts. Participants were invited to join a concept mapping exercise to generate ideas around the panel’s key question: What is needed to strengthen science for urban policy?


  • Academics are regularly putting out fires and working within the short-term constraints of their jobs in a way that facilitates the tendency towards pilot projects. 
  • The current system of professional advancement (promotion) relies on government funding and academics must structure their research to fit into that system.  
  • Public policy is made in cities by public servants who have less time to study and implement compared to researchers. 
  • Different stakeholders with varying values and ideologies should be at the table making decisions. They should consider how things will progress past the pilot project stage. 
  • Policymakers sometimes have a tendency to become further entrenched in their preconceived notions in spite of increasing evidence to the contrary presented by researchers. It’s important to find ways of getting around this tendency. 
  • Science should be seen as an essential part of decision-making for municipalities. Elected officials need to engage with scientists and researchers.


  • Create shared tools, places, and spaces for problem solving. Create bridges for newcomers and encourage people to get involved in these processes. 
  • Create adequate and relevant funding schemes: have 1% of the infrastructure budget set aside for evaluation of impacts of research outcomes. 
  • Create funding schemes with longer timelines (not for just one or two years, but over many years) to create higher impact projects that can be tracked over time. 
  • Create programs to increase awareness and training for individual actors in science policy. Generate more relevant research by immersing researchers in cities.
  • Create formal channels for recognition of the impacts that research is having.  
  • Create clear governance systems that give power to cities and city dwellers. 
  • Communicate information in accessible and relatable ways while recognizing that the audience is made up of people with different ideologies, different experiences, and varying levels of knowledge in science.

Proceedings prepared by Kaj Sullivan

November 23rd, 2021

Organized by: Concordia


Madelyn Capozzi – Creative Researcher at The Office of Rules and Norms, Research Assistant, Integrated Design, Ecology, Art and Sustainability for the Built Environment

Stéphane Chayer – Senior Executive in Siemens Canada and a Vice President, Smart Infrastructure

Simon Racicot-Daignault – President / Chief Executive Officer, InnovHQ

Mary Rowe – President / Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Urban Institute

François Bédard – Senior Advisor, Numana

Moderator: Ursula Eicker – Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC), Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Cities and Communities, Concordia University

Context: This panel comprised major stakeholders from energy, real estate, communication technology, and key actors from non-profits, municipal government, and community activist groups who discussed approaches on how to catalyze the sustainable transformation of society. Within three discussion blocks, the panelists and attendees focused on challenges, solutions, and methods for action to accelerate neighbourhood-level transformations. Within the discussion, the panellists shared insights and brainstormed about regulatory sandboxes, multi stakeholder commissions, new governance structures and the potential of digital twins of cities that allow fast modelling of alternative scenarios to enable informed decision-making processes to realize pilot projects.


  • It is important to work with inclusive stakeholders to create human-centric and empathetic neighbourhoods, and to design with the future in mind.
  • An energy transition will result in the energy grid itself changing. We will likely see a shift towards decentralized production, bidirectional transmission, and the use of microgrids. This will allow communities to have local autonomy over their energy ecosystem.
  • In order to gain the support and involvement of communities, it’s important to use a people-centred design that focuses on how the energy transition can support people’s needs and wants. This type of collaboration will allow communities to find solutions to problems by tapping into the knowledge of everyday people.
  • Following the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to rethink how we use our space. Many factors have been strongly impacted by this crisis, and we will need to focus on local priorities when redesigning our neighbourhoods and cities to better suit our current needs.


  • Governments should make space for individuals/communities to pilot small community projects that will allow them to identify which ideas are working and spread awareness of these ideas to other locations.
  • To support an energy transition, governments need to collaborate openly and empathetically with their local communities to determine how to create a solution that best fits the needs and wants of their region.
  • Cultivate diversity and allow cities to each develop their own ideas of what the future should look like.
  • Consider affordability, accessibility and equity and ensure that no one is left behind when building cities of the future.

Proceedings prepared by Gabby Noble

November 22nd, 2021

Organized by: Université de Sherbrooke / Institut quantique et CRSH/SSHRC


Allison Marchildon – Professeure titulaire / Full Professor, Éthique appliquée / Applied Ethics, Université de Sherbrooke

Shohini Ghose – Professor of Physics and NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, Wilfrid Laurier University

Nipun Vats – Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Research Sector at ISED

Martin Laforest – Director, Quantum Strategy, ACET

Moderator: Ted Hewitt – CRCC Vice-Chair and President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Context: A multisectorial and multidisciplinary approach to quantum science is essential in Canada to address the emergence of new disruptive quantum technologies and their potential commercial applications. These technologies will have significant ethical, environmental, economic, social and legal implications that need to be explored in the early stages of their development in order to foster socially responsible development. This panel brought together experts from various backgrounds (academic, business and government sectors) and the public to discuss the socio-economic dimensions of quantum technologies, starting from different implementation scenarios, to ensure their responsible development and to maximize benefits of their implementation.


  • Security and ethics are important to take into consideration when dealing with quantum technology. Government frameworks can provide guidance on encryption, ownership of data and how data is used. 
  • Technological advancement cannot slow down to wait for society and regulations to catch up. Policy must stay on top of new innovations and address concerns as they arise. To do this, the government must work in collaboration with researchers (including researchers in humanities and social sciences), developers and entrepreneurs.
  • Many corporations have been taking ownership in ensuring the ethical use of technologies, but state regulation is still important. 
  • Hacking is an inevitability. It’s important to be proactive and consider what can happen and be prepared for when it does. 
  • Policy must address the ethical and equitable distribution of technology. Not everyone needs to have access to quantum computing, similar to high performance computers. However, it can be a useful tool when used properly.


  • Governments must act now to address the potential implications of algorithms that can break RSA encryption. 
  • We need policies that focus on broad principles surrounding privacy and data protection, ownership of data and the role of government in dealing with quantum technology, rather than narrow scope policies about individual technologies. 
  • Implement feedback loops for policy regulation. As new technologies are developed, reflect on what issues are arising, how policy is impacting these issues, and adjust accordingly. 
  • Quantum cryptographic algorithms exist, but implementation will take at least a decade, so it is crucial to start now. Policy must facilitate this implementation. 
  • Policy makers and researchers, especially those in the humanities and social sciences, should be engaged with teams and businesses where technology is being developed, to observe development from close quarters.
  • In order to overcome the mysticism of quantum technology, it’s important to define the concrete impacts it may have. This type of technology will remain a mystery for most people, but reframing the discussion and making it more easily understandable will help the decision and policy making process.

Proceedings prepared by Abdul Wasay

November 23rd, 2021

Organized by: Ontario Genomics


Alison Sunstrum – CEO, Founder, CNSRV-X Inc.

Bettina Hamelin – President and CEO, Ontario Genomics

Lavanya Anandan – Senior Director, Head of Group Innovation Portfolio Management and Operations

Giuliano Tolusso – Deputy Director within the Innovation and Growth Policy Division, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Moderator: John Kelly – Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Ministry of Agriculture

Context: The global population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Novel and sustainable food systems are essential to meet this growing global food demand. The alternative protein industry, including cellular agriculture, uses ground-breaking techniques including cell cultures, tissue engineering, or fermentation, to create foods and new products such as meat, dairy, eggs, and ingredients, and even textiles like silk, wool and leather. This industry is expected to reach $290 billion in global revenues by 2035. As a rapidly emerging and innovative industry, cellular agriculture is poised to revolutionize and augment Canada’s strong agriculture and food industries. With expertise from industry, venture capital investment, government, and not-for-profits, this diverse panel discussed Canada’s advantages, key recommendations, and necessary next steps to compete in the global cellular agriculture market.


  • Ontario Genomics launched their new report, Cellular Agriculture – Canada’s $12.5 Billion Opportunity in Food Innovation, at CSPC 2021.
  • The cellular agriculture industry has the potential to help Canada reach its economic and sustainability goals, with long term estimates predicting revenues of up to $12.5 billion a year and the creation of 142,000 jobs. 
  • There is currently a window of opportunity for Canada to be competitive in the cellular agriculture industry. Canada has several advantages that put it in a unique position, including market dominance in the global agriculture industry, a reputation as a producer of safe food products, research and scientific expertise, a well-developed manufacturing and transportation infrastructure, trade partnerships, and access to feedstock and land. 
  • Like elsewhere in the world, Canada has a wealth of research and scientific expertise, but lack of information sharing on a global scale means that the Canadian cellular agriculture industry is not progressing as quickly as it could be. 
  • The development of a domestic cellular agriculture industry requires substantial and sustained investment. Connections between government, academia, industry partners, and other key players are critical to its development. 
  • While there are many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Canadian cellular agriculture industry, they are limited in scale. Commercialization remains a key challenge for Canadian start-ups.


  • Canada must develop a national strategy to provide guidance for the creation of a sustainable cellular agriculture industry. 
  • Canada is encouraged to proactively develop an agile, iterative and innovative regulatory framework for cellular agriculture products in Canada.
  • Canada could provide supporting mechanisms for research and commercial development and should invest in critical infrastructure including pilot facilities.
  • More should be done to encourage entrepreneurship, public-private partnerships, and facilitate networks and information sharing between various stakeholders in the cellular agriculture industry. This can include the creation of government-funded consortiums and research networks. 
  • Governments should also focus on intangible methods of stimulating investment and innovation, such as intellectual property rights, trading strategies, and digital adoption.
  • Advantages and opportunities in cellular agriculture must be balanced and fair. Cellular agriculture products must be delivered transparently and realistically.

Proceedings prepared by Marta Jacyla

November 25th, 2021

Organized by: University of Saskatchewan


Simon Lambert – Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies, University of Saskatchewan

Melanie Mark-Shadbolt – Co-Founder and CEO, Te Tira Whakamātaki

Brenda Parlee – University of Alberta

Moderator: Douglas Clark – Associate Professor and Assistant Director, Academic, University of Saskatchewan’s School of Environment and Sustainability

Context: This panel explored the implications of biosecurity (defined here as effective control of zoonotic diseases, deliberately- or accidentally-imported pathogens, and invasive species) for Indigenous rights and livelihoods. Through a sharing circle format, panelists compared and discussed Canadian and Aotearoa (New Zealand) case studies of biosecurity issues that affected Indigenous livelihoods and cultures. We highlighted policy responses to those situations, especially how those affected communities and peoples have responded and how empowered biosecurity can be seen as a Treaty right.


  • Biosecurity is critical to Indigenous communities. Biosecurity risks to the environment threaten the physical-spiritual relationship between Indigenous communities and the land, the security of food and other resources, the economic wellbeing of Indigenous communities, and the preservation of Indigenous culture and way of life. 
  • Biosecurity issues are complex transboundary issues which require collaboration across jurisdictions and between governments and communities. 
  • Policymaking should be done in engagement with Indigenous forms of knowledge in addition to other science and data-led approaches. 
  • Discussions surrounding biosecurity incursions should acknowledge and affirm Indigenous self-determination. 
  • Data and information sharing between Indigenous communities and governments (both the sharing of government data with Indigenous communities and the sharing of Indigenous knowledge with governments) is important to effectively mitigate biosecurity threats.


  • Indigenous communities should be consulted and included as treaty partners in all aspects of biosecurity systems, including surveillance, response, and readiness. 
  • The policy process should be slowed down to allow for consultation with Indigenous communities and the integration of Indigenous forms of knowledge. 
  • The Indigenous right to self-determination can be exercised through Indigenous communities generating their own knowledge and implementing their own solutions, with resources and support from governments. 
  • Engagement with Indigenous communities must be respectful and ethical. Communities have institutional memory, and it is vital to maintain good relationships. 
  • Governments must consider the effects of biosecurity-related policies on Indigenous communities.

Proceedings prepared by Marta Jacyla

November 8th 2021

Organized by: University of Guelph


Sylvie Cloutier – CEO, Quebec Food Processing Council (CTAQ)

Connor Williamson – Farmer, Food System Researcher

Gisèle Yasmeen – Executive Director, Food Secure Canada

Joseph LeBlanc – Associate Dean, Equity and Inclusion, Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Moderator: Evan Fraser – Director, Arrell Food Institute, University of Guelph

Context: COVID-19 revealed much about the Canadian food system’s strengths and weaknesses. Food continued to fill grocery store shelves while farm workers tested positive for the virus; food prices stayed relatively stable while rates of food insecurity skyrocketed. Addressing these sorts of complex and inter-related challenges requires policy making that cuts across government ministries, scales of government and stakeholder groups. In this panel, the members of the newly inaugurated Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council introduced the audience to the federal government’s Food Policy for Canada, presented their opinions on key priorities for the new government, and reflected on barriers to be overcome.


  • Creation of a Canadian food policy has been a process that has spanned decades, and non-governmental organizations have played a significant role in adding food policy to the national agenda.
  • Inequalities exacerbate the existing problems in Canadian food policy, particularly in terms of access.
  • A key issue identified is the underrepresentation of communities in food systems. 
  • The contrast between interests of commercial extractors and interests of the Indigenous populations illustrates the difference between stakeholders and rightsholders and highlights the transition towards a rights-based approach.
  • The impact of climate change is profound on food systems and its effects are causing transitions in food access and distribution.
  • Incongruence in jurisdictional responsibilities across levels of government in Canada adds additional layers of complexity to food systems.


  • Measures need to be taken to address the issues of inequality and underrepresentation in food systems.
  • Case studies of food systems around the world can offer insights and solutions for problems faced in the Canadian food system.
  • Improve the food systems approach through the assessment and identification of components in the food system. Determine areas for improvement. 
  • A philosophical shift in food policy towards a rights-based approach can ameliorate issues such as food access and food waste.
  • Truth and reconciliation vis-à-vis food production, access and distribution is essential for progress towards food sovereignty. 
  • Improve inter-provincial coordination for trade and food policy.

Proceedings prepared by Anoop Balachandran

November 10th, 2021

Organized by: Genome Canada


Naveed Aziz – Chief Executive Officer, CGEn

Stephen Scherer – Chief of Research at SickKids and Director, The Centre for Applied Genomics

Sarah Jenna – Co-founder and CEO, My Intelligent Machines

Chonnettia Jones – VP Research, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research

Moderator: Rob Annan – President and CEO, Genome Canada

Context: Twenty years after the Human Genome Project, genomics is delivering on its promise: a big data science that—combined with AI, gene editing and biomanufacturing—is revolutionizing our wellbeing and economies. The U.K., U.S. and others are launching genomics strategies to maximize impact for their citizens. Canada is doing the same. Budget 2021 announced $400M for a new Pan-Canadian Genomics Strategy to build on the excellence Canada has built in genomics. This session explored what it will take to build an effective Strategy, opportunities for Canada’s continued leadership in genomics, and the confluence of genomics with other transformational technologies.


  • The time is right to invest in genomics. The world is moving towards developing more practical applications for genomics (e.g., in precision medicine, agriculture, biodiversity, diagnostics), the rapid improvements in sequencing efficiency have created more opportunities, there is now a possibility of utilizing AI and big data in genomics, and COVID-19 has pushed genomics to the forefront.
  • Data generation on a large scale, data stewardship, technology development, and talent development will all become increasingly important elements of the genomics ecosystem.
  • Canada has advantages and talent in genomics, owing in part to funding and support from the Government of Canada, Genome Canada and Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) over the past 20 years.
  • Creation of a centralized Canadian multi-use genomic database will be important for the future of genomics in Canada. Public buy-in and funding are still needed.
  • Canada can keep talent within the country by providing access to a diverse set of Canadian genomic data, recognizing the value of centres of excellence, and providing continuous training and opportunities.


  • Provide funding and support for a genomics database with Canadian data.  
  • Incorporate key elements of other national strategies that have supported international success in genomics e.g., strong industry partnerships, long-term strategic plans, projects such as the UK BioBank.
  • Consult numerous stakeholders and help build connections and networks with special attention to EDI and industry collaboration. Coordinate partnerships between academia and Genome Canada. 
  • Provide more support for genomics product development and testing.
  • Recognize and reward institutions for addressing EDI issues.
  • Understand the potential that genomics has to transform many aspects of Canada’s society and economy.

Proceedings prepared by Camden Meek

November 22nd, 2021

Organized by: Fonds de recherche du Québec


Al Mussell – Research Lead/Founder, Agri-Food Economic Systems Inc.

Natasha Kim – Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Bernard Verret – Assistant Deputy Minister of Biofood Processing and Policy, Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec.

Stéphanie Lord-Fontaine – Vice-President Scientific Affairs, Génome Québec.

Moderator: Michele Marcotte – Senior Director, Science Advisory Services (Science Branch), Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Context: Agriculture and Agri-Food is relatively unique in Canada in that responsibility is shared between Federal and Provincial and Territorial Governments. This means that governments need to work together, and with stakeholders, to move agri-food policy forward. As governments ramp up negotiations on the next 5-year agriculture policy framework, agriculture faces a number of challenges related to climate change,  evolving consumer demands, and geo-political tensions. How can Canada’s agricultural sector ensure resilience, sustainability, safety and profitability of agri-food production, while reducing its impact on climate and the environment? What policies should be implemented to address key issues and keep Canada at the forefront of global agricultural science and technology? In this panel, speakers  discussed research and development policies that support strategic partnerships, helping Canada’s agri-food sector adapt to the new reality and prosper over the coming years. With appropriate policy tools and programs, the agri-food sector will meet and surpass these challenges through the adoption of new and innovative technologies.


  • The federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) partnership has set the agricultural policy framework to support the growth and sustainability of Canada’s agricultural sector for the years 2023-2028 in the following areas:
    • Climate change and environment
    • Science research and innovation
    • Market development and trade
    • Building sector capacity, growth and competitiveness
    • Resilience and public trust
  • Scientific research and development are fundamental to innovation in Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sector. To ensure continued profitability, the sector must respond to key challenges like market volatility, climate change, geo-political tensions and public opinion on agriculture’s environmental impact.
  • Strategic research collaborations and knowledge transfer among governments, industry and international partners have yielded tangible benefits for Canadian agricultural sustainability, competitiveness and output.
  • Genomics, the common language to all organisms, has transformed agricultural science over the last 20-25 years. It will continue to play a game-changing role as a transformative technology to drive post-pandemic economic recovery for the agri-food sector.
  • Precision agriculture (combining emerging technologies like robotics, sensors and artificial intelligence with traditional metrics) is supporting agile evidence-based decision making on farms. Precision agriculture techniques have been implemented by 40% of farms above 500 acres in Canada.


  • Invest in infrastructure for multidisciplinary research centres to support long-term strategic research and knowledge transfer to better prepare for future challenges. 
  • Incorporate industry liaisons who can build networks among domestic and international stakeholders.
  • Increase funding for technological innovations and “big data” projects to capitalize on genomics, promote precision agriculture and facilitate informed decision-making. This will improve sustainability, adaptability, quality and yields while reducing costs and environmental impacts.
  • Improve surveillance of the Canadian agricultural system for more accurate information about the current needs and challenges of farms in order to develop relevant policy frameworks for the future.
  • Develop and expand policy frameworks that enforce responsible and credible scientific research to establish Canada as a globally recognized agricultural innovation leader and bolster public trust in Canadian scientific output and agricultural products.
  • Expand access to broadband for rural farmers to provide better access to the advantages of agricultural technologies.

Proceedings prepared by Nadine Wellington

November 26th, 2021

Organized by: Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ)


Remi Quirion – Chief Scientist of Quebec c and President of INGSA

Fabrice Berthereaux – Deputy General Manager, Société d’aménagement de la métropole Ouest Atlantique

Kate Fleming – Project Director, LC3 – Low Carbon Cities Canada, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

François William Croteau – Outgoing Mayor, Montréal’s Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie

Moderator: Marie-Christine Therrien – Director of Cité-ID Living Lab, École nationale d’administration publique (ÉNAP)

Context: Municipalities are key agents of change in building a more resilient society and achieving sustainable development goals. To that end, they strive to integrate the innovations generated by scientific research, insofar as they are accessible and applicable on a territorial scale. How can we ensure that cutting-edge research conducted in the scientific community has a significant local impact? Can innovations be used to generate economic, social, and ecological benefits for citizens? This panel explored different formulas for integrating and co-constructing innovation in municipal territories. It also explored the complexity inherent in municipal governance and how this can translate into the establishment of sustainable relationships between the municipal sector and the research and innovation communities.


  • Cities are well-positioned to lead greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction efforts, especially regarding industrial manufacturing, construction and mobility, as the majority of GHGs in Canada are emitted in urban areas. 
  • We need a transformational shift in how we, as global citizens, approach climate change, and how we communicate and demonstrate the benefits of thinking globally and acting locally.
  • Cities have strong technological and social innovation capabilities that will prove essential in a transition to low-carbon, equitable, healthy, resilient communities.
  • There can be multiple obstacles in the transition to new policies in a municipal context, especially at the administrative, technical, social acceptability, and financial levels. Cities do not own the land on which they are located. This means they may need to build on citizens’ innovative capacities.


  • Focus not only on GHG emissions, but also on high quality and equitably distributed jobs, affordable housing, transportation, health, and big-picture land use policy to make decisions.
  • Implement policy and administrative innovations that can contribute to low-carbon cities, such as carbon accounting and natural assets evaluation, as well as tiered energy and building codes.
  • Develop long-term city planning visions to support enduring transition outcomes and multi-level cooperation.
  • Work with communities who drive social innovation, including marginalized and vulnerable populations, to design and carry out local transformational projects that will be welcomed by the population and will improve the sense of belonging.
  • Improve funding for municipalities to make sure they have the resources to work on the transition.
  • Build good quality and open databases as well as data analysis and scientific advisory capacities to drive innovation and decision-making at the city level.

Proceedings prepared by Antoine Zboralski

November 24th, 2021

Organized by: National Research Council of Canada


Mark Ritter – Chair of the Physical Sciences Council, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

Kimberley Hall – Canada Research Chair in Ultrafast Science; Professor, Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University

Nick Werstiuk – Chief Executive Officer, Quantum Valley Ideas Lab

Eric Santor – Advisor to the Governor on Digitalization, Bank of Canada

Rachel Taylor – COO and co-founder, SBQuantum, Sherbrooke

Closing Remarks: Sharon Irwin – Acting Director General, Automotive, Transportation and Digital Industries Branch, Industry Sector at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Moderator: Geneviève Tanguay – Vice President Research, Emerging Technologies, National Research Council of Canada

Context: Quantum technologies promise to be among the next enabling and foundational technological platforms, spanning potential transformative applications in Canadian industries such as finance, communications, and defence and security. This panel discussion provided the opportunity to move the conversation beyond research, and toward the dilemma of market readiness, commercialization, and adoption of quantum technologies in key industries.


  • Quantum technology is a disruptive breakthrough technology that shows great potential for a number of tech applications and could be a multi-billion-dollar industry by 2025.
  • Canada can remain a world leader in quantum technology by making strong investments in fundamental quantum research now so that it is ready to take advantage of commercialization in the near future.
  • Better communication among all stakeholders is needed for knowledge transfer and to identify potential applications of quantum technology, due to the scope and difficulty of developing quantum-based tools.
  • There is strong competition for a small number of skilled trainees in quantum development, and this is limiting the growth of the field in Canada. Attracting new, diverse talent, building human capital and providing opportunities for careers across STEM are all key. 
  • Education will also be key: entrepreneurial education for scientists and quantum education for technical experts inside organizations who can benefit from quantum technology. 
  • Early adopters of quantum technology need to be engaged in order to better understand the advantages, increase risk tolerance, educate others, and increase knowledge and acceptance of quantum tech.


  • Significantly increase funding for fundamental research to help Canada remain a research and innovation leader that is competitive against other entities conducting quantum technology research.
  • Recruit high-quality quantum technology researchers and establish a communication strategy for academia, industry, government and end users of quantum technology.
  • Develop educational frameworks to train candidates both inside and outside of traditional research pathways to increase the number of quantum researchers in Canada and make quantum research and careers more inclusive/diverse.
  • Revise graduate education to give trainees the entrepreneurial skills needed to launch a business or take a product to market.
  • Establish clear benchmarks for quantum performance so that its value is easily demonstrated as technology improves; this will boost awareness and integration of quantum tech.
  • Provide funding and support to help enterprises develop their products for market entry.

Proceedings prepared by Nadine Wellington

November 22nd, 2021

Organized by: adMare BioInnovations


Nadine Beauger – President and CEO, IRICoR, a Centre of Excellence in Commercialization and Research

Rob Annan – President and CEO, Genome Canada

Cate Murray – Executive Director and COO, Stem Cell Network

Moderator: Gordon McCauley – President and CEO of adMare BioInnovations

Context: COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the need for a strong domestic life sciences industry – both to address and secure the health of Canadians, and to drive economic recovery and growth going forward. The federal government has recognized this imperative through historically strong support for life sciences in Budget 2021 – $2.2B over seven years spanning the innovation continuum – from basic research, translation/commercialization, capital generation, clinical trials, and biomanufacturing. But Canada is too small to compete on a global scale unless these investments and the organizations behind them are well-aligned and are collaborating in a very meaningful way. In this panel, we heard from some of the publicly-funded organizations coming together and leading the way in making Canada a global life sciences leader.


  • Access to both federal and provincial funding is key to advancing research objectives to a point where they can attract private support. When private partners come in too early in academic partnerships, assets have not reached their full potential for adequate returns for public sector stakeholders. 
  • Canada has expertise in milestone-based project management such as IP strategy, drug discovery and development, and business development. Regulations need to be flexible enough to support innovative new approaches. 
  • Much of Canada’s private sector financial contributions comes from abroad, primarily from the U.S. and Europe. 
  • COVID-19 has made clear the importance of life sciences. In the context of the pandemic, life sciences can help inform public health decision-makers by giving them a greater understanding of the risks of variants of concern.
  • Mission-driven approaches can help promote greater understanding of the areas in which genomics can make a significant impact. Working from the bottom-up to identify these opportunities and using the capabilities we have in our ecosystem can drive progress forward. Communities should be involved in the design of projects that will make a change in health, climate, environment and agriculture.
  • The intersection between climate change and genomics is an area where there is enormous opportunity (e.g., soil health, carbon capture, adaptation of livestock and biomanufacturing).


  • Work hand in hand with research teams and pair them with world class innovation infrastructures and industry-rate talent. Apply a hybrid research and business model to different projects to bring them to their next value inflection point, while developing a joint pool of business-savvy scientific talent. 
  • Promote knowledge transfer between academic groups and industry groups. Encourage partnerships between sectors. 
  • Collaborate with programs that are geared towards entrepreneurship development in life sciences. 
  • Work with federal and provincial governments and industries across the country to facilitate investments in genomics projects across Canada. 
  • Build on the transformative work that has happened over the last year. We have a responsibility to ensure the ongoing health of the infrastructure around surveillance for future pandemics.
  • Support and build talent to address the labor shortage. 
  • Take a broad and inclusive approach to talent development, especially when it comes to building out collaborations and asking questions.

Proceedings prepared by Maïa Dakessian

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Organized by: Hoffmann-La Roche Limited


Alex Mihailidis – Associate Vice-President – International Partnerships & Professor, University of Toronto

Laura Tamblyn Watts – President and CEO, CanAge

Megan O’Connell – Clinical Psychologist, Neuropsychology Team, Rural and Remote Memory Clinic Professor, Department of Psychology and Health Studies Associate Member, Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, Medicine

Craig Ritchie – Chair of the Psychiatry of Ageing at the University of Edinburgh and Director, Brain Health Scotland

Moderator: Robyn M. Saccon – Manager, Access and Health Policy, Roche Diagnostics

Context: As Canada’s population continues to age, our healthcare systems will need to adapt to effectively provide care for the growing number of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and dementia. In this panel, panelists discussed approaches to improve the efficiency of the healthcare system in caring for patients with AD and dementia and improving the outcomes and quality of life of these individuals through effective policy planning and technological innovations, including lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Canada’s current dementia strategies are abstract, with a wide range of goals and a lack of a clear champion. This makes the effective implementation of these strategies difficult.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic caused a shift to virtual healthcare options, which has largely been accepted by older adults in Canada. The high demand for virtual services is expected to grow in the future.
  • Scientific advancements have allowed for the identification of early biomarkers and risk factors for AD and dementia, which can enable personalized intervention in pre-symptomatic stages.
  • Technological innovations, including at-home movement and physiological monitoring, have the potential to improve the care and quality of life of individuals with AD and dementia and can even predict their later physical and cognitive outcomes. However, there is difficulty in translating many of these innovations from research labs into the marketplace.
  • Although adults in rural and remote regions would benefit most from virtual healthcare options, they experience a double digital divide. This includes both a primary physical barrier caused by a lack of access to information and communications technology (ICT) and a secondary psychological barrier caused by lower comfort levels with ICT, lower perceived ease of use of ICT, and lower perceived utility of ICT.
  • Current healthcare approaches may not be culturally safe for Indigenous peoples. For example, Indigenous peoples often experience a triple digital divide, with a cultural barrier due to Canada’s ongoing colonialism. Additionally, cognitive screening tests commonly fail to account for culture and colonization, and they may not be appropriate for use in Indigenous communities.
  • Learnings from an international perspective as highlighted through Brain Health Scotland can provide opportunities for Canada to set the stage for innovative pathways and health system readiness.


  • Implement the Canadian National Dementia Strategy and ensure adequate investment to facilitate its operation.
  • Invest in research and innovation in the search for a cure, early biomarkers, and effective interventions for AD and dementia. Provide additional support to facilitate the translation of these findings to clinical settings.
  • Create partnerships between researchers, policymakers, and industry members to facilitate the translation of technological innovations for AD and dementia care to the marketplace. This includes enhancing AD models of care/care pathways to meet both current needs and future needs.
  • Continue to adapt AD and dementia care for the virtual healthcare setting, including the development of cognitive assessments for a remote setting. 
  • Recognize access to digital infrastructure as a basic right and invest in grants to make it financially accessible for all.
  • Invest in training and support for older adults in ICT and other healthcare technologies, with sensitivity to the double digital divide experienced by folks in rural and remote areas.
  • Co-develop culturally safe healthcare policies, programs, and assessments (such as the Canadian Indigenous Cognitive Assessment [CICA]) with Indigenous peoples.

Proceedings prepared by Kaitlyn Easson

Organized by: NRC

Organized by: University of Ottawa