What We Do


Studying, strengthening and growing the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem within Canada is critical to our country’s economic prosperity and social well-being.

Our Approach

Our policy-focused approach supports innovation and entrepreneurship in three ways:

  • Forward-thinking research and analysis, grounded in our network of experts and in the experiences of actual innovators and entrepreneurs;
  • Testing, piloting and prototyping projects and policy solutions in controlled environments to reduce risk, demonstrate feasibility and inform our policy advice;
  • Leadership and advocacy, informed by our research and piloting work, on behalf of supporting innovators and entrepreneurs across the country.

Our focus is on the how, and not just on the what.  We aspire to move beyond just diagnosing Canada’s challenges, and focus on producing tangible solutions to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.

Key Strengths

What makes us unique?

Independent and Nonpartisan:

  • We are self-funded, able to act as a trusted partner and honest broker within the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
  • Housed within Ryerson University, we resonate with its applied focus and innovative learning environment. Yet, we are distinct and have an independent mandate and advisory board.

Connected to Innovators and Entrepreneurs:

  • We maintain strong relationships with an extensive, informal network of current entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovators who serve as sounding boards and provide feedback on the work of the Institute.
  • We focus on the end user, anchoring our work in the daily experiences of actual innovators and entrepreneurs.
  • We tailor our outcomes to real-life solutions to ensure they are useful and thus, more likely to succeed.

Use of innovative policy tools and techniques:

  • In addition to traditional research and analysis, we employ numerous innovative policy tools in our daily work. For example, user-centred design, data analytics, open collaboration tools, coding and digital techniques, visualization and mapping, rapid prototyping and experimentation.
  • We are committed to continuously learning and pursuing the most cutting-edge policy tools and techniques to ensure our work produces the best possible outcomes.

Extensive network of experts and thought leaders:

  • Our expanding network of collaborators includes knowledge experts, thought leaders, academics, experienced industry executives, successful entrepreneurs, public sector leaders, Brookfield Senior Fellows and Fellows who are prominent members of the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
  • They act as a platform for voices, opinions, insight and ideas to complement and extend our in-house capacity.

Deep understanding of government and policy:

  • Successful public policy requires knowledge of what works and what does not at the government level.
  • Our leadership team combines over 20+ years in senior government roles, developing and implementing policy solutions
  • Our collaborators and Fellows include people with extensive government experience, among them several former Deputy Ministers at the provincial and federal levels.

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