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Thursday, November 8 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
(90 min) Failure to Thrive: Why Canada Struggles to Grow World Leading Tech Companies / Retard de croissance : pourquoi le Canada éprouve-t-il des difficultés à développer des entreprises de haute technologie de calibre mondial

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Organized by: Council of Canadian Academies, Weronika Zych 

For more than 100 years, successive Canadian governments have bemoaned the country’s inability to grow firms into large, globally successful industry leaders. While much effort has been expended to address this issue, the results have been middling by most informed accounts. Indeed, over the last decade, several large-scale tech companies that Canada has grown have failed to thrive. That said, Canadians have become expert at describing the host of explanations behind the phenomenon: technical and management skills gaps, weak IP policies, inadequate venture capital, too much (or not enough) tax support, small domestic markets, and other factors. But we have not been equally proficient at identifying the causes and consequences of this failure to grow robust domestic tech companies in Canada. Perhaps a different approach is needed, with a different set of questions: Does it matter that Canada does not grow firms into large industry leaders? Do Canadians really want to scale companies? Or are we content attracting foreign subsidiaries with world leading research capacity and infrastructure, and exporting ideas and innovations to be developed in other markets? The panel includes industry and policy leaders, who will draw on current evidence and their own experiences to debate the causes and consequences of Canada’s failure to thrive and what steps (if any) should be taken.

avatar for Eric M. Meslin, Ph.D., FCAHS

Eric M. Meslin, Ph.D., FCAHS

President and CEO, Council of Canadian Academies
Eric M. Meslin is President and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA). He joined the CCA inFebruary, 2016, bringing with him more than 25 years of experience in science policy in both universityand government settings.Dr. Meslin came to the CCA from Indiana University (IU... Read More →


Lisa Crossley

CEO, Reliq Health Technologies, Inc.
Dr. Crossley is an accomplished healthcare technology executive with a proven track record of successfully building and leading global tech companies. She has diverse experience across multiple market segments, including healthcare information technology, therapeutics, medical devices... Read More →
avatar for Pierre Lortie, C.M., FCAE

Pierre Lortie, C.M., FCAE

Senior Business Advisor, Dentons LLP
Pierre Lortie is a Senior Business Advisor at Dentons Canada LLP. He is also a Director of ECN Capital Corp. Pierre is a Director of the Research Center of the McGill University Health Center; Director of the Montreal Cancer Institute; Director of the Marine Biotechnology Research... Read More →
avatar for Judy Fairburn, FCAE

Judy Fairburn, FCAE

Board Director, Public Policy Forum, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Tundra Oil & Gas Inc., Veerum Inc., and Calgary Economic Development
Ms. Fairburn is a champion for Canadian innovation with diverse experience across the corporate, entrepreneurial and government/policy realms.  She proudly serves on the boards of the Public Policy Forum, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Tundra Oil & Gas Inc., Veerum Inc... Read More →
avatar for Victoria Lennox

Victoria Lennox

Co-Founder and CEO, Start-Up Canada
An entrepreneur with a track record of architecting and mobilizing networks, organizations, policy environments and programming, Victoria Lennox has propelled Canada onto the global stage as an ‘Innovation Nation’, as one of Canada’s leading proponents of entrepreneurship and... Read More →
avatar for Iain Stewart

Iain Stewart

President, National Research Council
Iain Stewart was appointed President of the National Research Council (NRC) effective August 24, 2016.Prior to that, Mr. Stewart served as Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada from July 2015to August 2016, and Assistant Secretary of the International Affairs, Security... Read More →

Thursday November 8, 2018 10:30am - 12:00pm EST
Delta Ottawa, International Ballroom