Research and Innovation
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In Ontario’s rapidly changing economy, innovation is key. Over the last year, we consistently heard research and innovation cited as crucial elements of transformation and growth. Today’s world requires bold thinking across sectors and disciplines, Ontarians told us, and it requires supporting researchers in developing new ideas and inventions and getting them to the public so all Ontarians can benefit.

What We Heard
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Our Top Priorities
Read about our strategies for Research and Innovation, including our recommendations for how to ensure Ontario continues to develop groundbreaking ideas and inventions.
What Ontarians Want
A breadth of innovation that helps find solutions to our multi-faceted challenges that span from the economy, to the environment, and social policy.
Collaboration between government, universities, employers and industry to commercialize research.
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Support to help startups and small businesses grow.
Incentives and policies to keep innovators and inventors in the province and ensure their ideas benefit the lives of Ontarians.
It is clear that technology plays an important role in shaping the future landscape, and it is critical that we use technology to its full potential to help the province.
- A student responding to our survey
Ontarians highlighted that forward-thinking research, inventions, technology and science are fundamental to keeping Ontario competitive and creating a better future for the province.
Innovation is the ‘secret sauce’ driving productivity across the economy, and is often the foundation of job-creating clusters and Canadian champions.
- Federal Government’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth
We heard from experts and leaders across sectors that groundbreaking research and innovation are central to thriving in today’s world.
For too long it's been the goal of Canadian companies to get just big enough to get bought out… and be moved to Silicon Valley or be moved to New York. “[When those entrepreneurs] get rich and then go to start their next companies, they start in the Valley and they start in New York and they start in Israel. We need those companies to be here.
- Fab Dolan, Head of Marketing, Google Canada, at the Ontario’s Universities Roundtable on Innovation and the New Economy.
Various tech leaders and experts also spoke out about challenges we face, including the trouble that Ontario startups have in scaling up beyond a mid-level size into large companies.
When a university can use the tremendous intellectual resources at its disposal to help provide real-world, timely solutions to local problems, those solutions can be scaled up and the lessons learned applied to provincial problems.
- A parent responding to our survey
We also heard about the importance of focusing on the full discovery-to-innovation process, including the all-important step of commercializing research and inventions so that they reach Ontarians in their homes, hospitals, and offices.
Scientific/technological innovations have a greater chance of going to scale and achieving global impact and sustainability if they are developed from the outset in conjunction with appropriate social and business innovations.
- Grand Challenges Canada, explaining their concept of "integrated innovation"
Fulfilling Ontario’s innovation potential requires a diversity of talent and experience – and an acknowledgement that new ideas spring from hiring a range of graduates from the humanities, engineering, hard sciences, social sciences, arts and more.
Innovation doesn’t only happen in your or our R&D departments. Innovation happens everywhere. We can make the transformation only work when we collaborate between the private sector, academia and government.
- Rick Huijbregts, then-VP of Digital Transformation and Innovation at Cisco, at the Ontario’s Universities Roundtable on Innovation and the New Economy
Ontarians also highlighted that fostering groundbreaking research and innovation requires strong postsecondary institutions, and it also requires partnerships across all sectors to ensure Ontario is producing the knowledge, the ideas and the inventions that will help Ontarians thrive in the future.
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Our Top Priorities

Read about our strategies for Research and Innovation, including our recommendations for how to ensure Ontario continues to develop groundbreaking ideas and inventions.

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Environment and Natural Heritage

Learn about what Ontarians have to say about our environment.
read the report

In our report, you will find a comprehensive summary of what we heard from Ontarians and how Ontario's universities are working across all sectors to help students thrive, support our communities, and drive a growing, dynamic province.