Technology and Innovation Policy

The Conference Board actively addresses innovation and commercialization, and the functional management of knowledge, skills, and technology within organizations—as well as strategic policy issues that relate these factors to competitiveness. The practice integrates Conference Board expertise in the management of technology, knowledge management, connectedness, information technology, organizational effectiveness, leadership, partnerships, education, learning, economics, regulation and taxation. We nurture and deliver this expertise through an interactive mix of executive networks, public conferences, workshops, study tours, publications and customized research.

How We Can Help You

  • Learn and explore best practices that you can apply directly within your organization to improve performance
  • Grow your professional network and enhance your personal development through joining our Executive Networks and Councils
  • Tap into and leverage our expertise in science, technology, innovation, commercialization, and SME issues
  • Engage us to compete research work, providing you with critical insights
  • Request us as a speaker for your event or with your team
  • Take part in our executive study tours to places like Israel, MIT and Stanford/Palo Alto
  • Learn and engage with executive peers in your field from across the country

Upcoming Activities


Canadian CIO Outlook - Call to Action
There are still two weeks remaining to have input into our annual Canadian CIO Outlook.  We are conducting a study on the trends, challenges, and opportunities facing Canadian Chief Information Officers (CIO). A key part of the study is a nation-wide survey of CIOs and senior IT leaders to measure changing priorities, challenges, concerns, and strategies for success. As a leader in the space, we would be grateful if you could take the time to participate in the survey.  Responses will be kept confidential and the results will be analyzed and reported in aggregate with no identifiers in the report. Completing the survey will give you a chance to win a Sonos Smart Speaker!

Network Meetings

Council for Information Technology Executives
 April 16-17, 2019 in Ottawa, ON

Council for Innovation and Commercialization
May 16-17, 2019 in Halifax, NS

Council for Chief Data and Analytics Officers
May 29-30, 2019 in Ottawa, ON

Council for Chief Information Officers
June 18-19, 2019 in Saint John, NB

Technology and Innovation Policy Blog

Latest Research and Reports

Blockchain Summit 2018 Report

Blockchain is an emerging technology with the potential to disrupt every industry—wherever a transaction occurs, there is an opportunity to use blockchain. On May 2–3, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, The Conference Board of Canada brought together experts from Canada and abroad to discuss all things blockchain at its Blockchain Summit 2018. The Summit aimed to provide a forum for concrete, analytical discussions on the state of blockchain development, and to showcase the wide range of potential blockchain applications, distinguishing between hype and true value creation.

This report was prepared for The Conference Board of Canada’s Council for Chief Data and Analytics Officers, Council of Chief Privacy Officers, and Council for Security Executives. Funding was provided by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).

Innovation Report Card

We have released the May 2018 version of the Innovation Report Card that evaluates the performance of Canada, the Provinces, and the Developed Countries.

Watch the CBC interview with Paul Preston of the Conference Board of Canada, on the Innovation Report Card.

Lessons Learned From a World Innovation Leader: Understanding Israel’s Innovation Ecosystem   Driving Knowledge Management for Innovation
Navigating and Managing Technology-Driven Change—Brochure  

Available Now

The Changing Nature of Clusters: Implications for Canada

Join HEC Montréal Associate Professor Ari Van Assche for his analysis of the changing nature of clusters. With the federal government preparing to invest more than $950 million in its Innovation Supercluster Initiative, this session is not to be missed.

Canada’s Innovation Performance: Finding Rays of Light

In this recorded webinar Paul Preston presents the findings of The Conference Board of Canada’s How Canada Performs Report Card on Innovation. For the second time, the Conference Board’s How Canada Performs analysis compares the innovation performance of individual provinces with that of 16 advanced peer countries. Learn how the provinces and peer countries fare on indicators of three dimensions of innovation performance—capacity, activity and results. 

Lessons Learned From a World Innovation Leader: Understanding Israel’s Innovation Ecosystem Report

This newly released report is based on research and a recently embarked upon study tour of Israel’s world-class innovation skills, capabilities, and performance. It aims to help Canadian innovation stakeholders learn from Israel’s experiences.

The Privacy Dilemma: Is Good Technology Bad for Privacy?

In this 60 minute webinar, Ms. Lefkovitz will explore:

  • The relationship and the important distinctions between security and privacy
  • How to build a better bridge between organizations’ privacy policy and compliance teams and IT teams
  • The tool the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology is developing to assess and prioritize privacy risk in information systems

From Knowledge to Innovation: Building Canada's Competitiveness Through Knowledge Management

Don’t miss this chance to learn about the critical nature of knowledge management as a management discipline, and its potential to unlock the value of technology investments, collaboration, and the critical role it plays in driving innovation. Paul will outline leading practices from several Canadian organizations that are attempting to access the full potential of human capital, offering participants a menu of possible strategies to implement. 

Intellectual Property Strategy: Managing Risk and Optimizing Benefits for SMEs

Join Intellectual Property experts Myra Tawfik and Karima Bawa for this 60-minute webinar on the importance of having an IP strategy for small and medium-sized business in Canada. This session will explore:

  • What an IP strategy is and how it differs from traditional approaches to IP
  • The different forms of IP protection and how various forms of IP can be used in combination to achieve optimal results
  • How IP can be: ◦a valuable business asset: used offensively (to deter competitors),used defensively (to deter third party suits or to offset payment of royalties to third parties); used to generate revenue
  • The risks associated with IP and how to seek to manage them especially in a global environment

Ensuring Successful Transformation: Harnessing Knowledge

When it comes to knowledge management, change is the only constant. Technology innovations can improve how we work and communicate, but each new platform or capability requires a corresponding shift in employee processes and behaviors. Furthermore, a good knowledge strategy needs to align with the challenges and opportunities that are top of mind for executives, so KM goals and priorities are always shifting to reflect changes in the broader business strategy.

How to Effectively Navigate and Manage Technology-Driven Change

The Conference Board’s Annual How Canada Performs Report Card ranks the country on a number of factors, and compares those scores to others worldwide. While Canada performs well in many areas, our track record on productivity growth in recent decades has been dismal, achieving grades of "C" or "D" relative to international peers. In fact, Canada has consistently ranked near the bottom of 16 countries assessed for nearly two decades.

How Can Knowledge Management Drive Innovation?

Knowledge management is often thought of as simply a function within an organization, a necessary but fairly straightforward task akin to accounting. What if effective knowledge management essentially brings ideas and creative communities together in a way that drives innovation forward?

Free Webinar: Innovation and Technology—Increasing Canadian Competitiveness

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME's) are commonly considered the economic and innovation engine of the Canadian economy. A staggering 99.9% of Canadian companies are classified as SMEs, making up 89.9% of all jobs within the Canadian private sector. When SMEs innovate and adopt new technologies, it can have a profound impact on the global competitiveness of Canadian industry. But how can we promote and encourage such a diverse group of organizations to adopt new digital technology and take Canada to the next level?

Driving Creativity and Commercialization: Innovation by Design

Representatives of The Conference Board of Canada and a group of innovation-focused executives travelled to Cambridge, Massachusetts, for a study tour at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The tour provided an experience not only to "see" and "feel" the day-to-day workings of MIT's innovation ecosystem, but also to hear from experts in the field.

Innovation by Design: Lessons from MIT Webinar

MIT has invested in creating the space and conditions needed to breed innovation, and scholars at the university have taken the time to study the results of their investment and turn it into something that can be taught, learned, and done by design. This webinar will outline three specific initiatives at MIT (innovation ecosystems, sandboxes, and big data) that exemplify the power of cross-pollination and lessons learned through innovative design and implementation.

Adopting Digital Technology: the Path for SMEs—Complimentary Webinar

The Adopting Digital Technology: the Path for SMEs report addresses how the adoption of technology amongst SMEs has greatly improved their productivity. During this 60 minute webinar, Sarah Dimick, report author, brought the report findings to life.

What Canadian CIOs Can Do to Help Drive Innovation

The New CIO Value Proposition: Leading Innovation for Business Value and Growth report addresses how the human element impacts innovation at a corporate level. This webinar with Sarah Dimick, report author, brings the report findings to life. She hones in on the role of Chief Information Officers (CIOs)—once the knowledge base touch point and key strategist, and now changing and growing to include innovation.


“The Council for Innovation and Commercialization provides an outstanding forum for networking with experts in technology and innovation. The thought provoking seminars and discussions provide a wealth of ideas which can be applied within your own industry.”

—Dr. Paul Smith, Vice President and Centre Manager, Xerox Research Centre of Canada

“A wise investment for extremely valuable open and unbiased peer networking not found anywhere else in Canada!”

—John A. Hill, Senior Vice President, Consumer IT, Rogers Communication

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What is Innovation?

The Conference Board of Canada defines innovation as a process through which economic or social value is extracted from knowledge—through the creation, diffusion, and transformation of ideas—to produce new or improved products, services, or processes.

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Learn More

For more information or to join our mailing list, please contact:

Dianne Williams
Head of Strategy

Marianne Fotia
Manager, Executive Networks
613-526-3090 ext 446

Vanessa Thomas
Senior Research Associate, Innovation and Technology
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Darren Gresch
Senior Research Associate