About Us

Innovation policy insights that Canada can act on. 

The Brookfield Institute (BII+E) is a non-partisan public policy think-tank working to prepare Canadians for the opportunities and risks in the shift to an innovation-driven economy. We provide insightful research that informs thoughtful policy.

Technological-driven growth has become the dominant driver of new economic activity around the world. Right now, ideas, ingenuity, and talent are paramount. Understanding how to create, protect, and commercialize these strengths can reap tremendous gains for Canada.  

Conversely, failing to leverage these assets risks economic stagnation, and countless opportunities lost for millions of Canadians willing to participate and prosper in the innovation economy.  

Smart policy informed by sound research can unlock our country’s potential to become an innovation leader in the global economy while ensuring economic growth is inclusive and equitable. 

Our Mission

To influence economic policy in Canada by examining the contribution of innovation on the economy and by creating leading edge policy responses.

Our Vision

A country that harnesses the power of innovation resulting in economic growth that leads to greater well-being for everyone in Canada.

Our Approach

Working at the intersection of innovation and economic policy, we examine Canada’s contribution to the innovation economy and propose pragmatic approaches to better include people of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. 

We test assumptions with credible research to ensure Canadian governments and businesses are focusing on the most relevant issues and opportunities.  We generate insights through the following four Work Streams which we believe are critical to Canada’s future economic growth and success. 

Jobs, Skills + Technology Change

We seek to understand how jobs and skills across Canada are being impacted by technological change, such as automation and digital augmentation, while helping companies and people gain the skills they need to adapt and thrive in an innovation-driven economy.

Technology, Technological Adoption, and R&D 

How can we track and harness emerging technologies for Canada’s prosperity? A critical component of this understanding is what drives Canadian businesses to invest in R&D and tech, how they are adopting emerging technologies, and how policies can be optimized for Canada’s investment in R&D. 

Scale-ups 

This area is focused on understanding how scale-ups contribute to Canada’s economic prosperity, how we can better support scale-ups and who benefits from scale-up growth. 

Understanding Canada’s Innovation Economy 

Building on our shared understanding of Canada’s innovation economy, we seek to improve it by examining Canada’s economic performance and activity through key indicators of innovation.   

Key indicators include the emergence of innovation activity in geographies and sectors across Canada. We seek to harness and support this activity through sound policy recommendations.

Our Team

Team

Angus Lockhart
Senior Policy Analyst
Claire Raymond
Administrative Assistant, Operations
Erin Ellis
Manager, Strategic Partnerships
Graham Dobbs
Senior Economist
Ibrahim Abuallail
Innovation Policy Intern
Karim Bardeesy
Executive Director
Lily Galati
Manager, Finance + Operations
Mahmehr Hamza
Research Assistant
Mariana Rodrigues
Creative Communications Coordinator
Mark Hazelden
Senior Director
Michelle Park
Manager, Strategic Initiatives
Nina Rafeek
Marketing + Communications Specialist
Viet Vu
Manager, Economic Research
Vivian Li
Senior Economist

Collaborators

At BII+E, we believe strongly in an open and collaborative approach to problem-solving. We are deliberately building opportunities to engage external experts early in our research process. If you are interested in exploring a collaboration with BII+E, please contact Erin Ellis, Manager of Strategic Partnerships, at ellis.erin@ryerson.ca.

AJ Tibando
Fellow
Executive Director, Palette Inc.
Amos Zehavi
Research Fellow
Anne-Marie Mulumba
Collaborator
Asher Zafar
Project Lead, Data Science
Ashleigh Montague
Collaborator
Brent Barron
Director, Public Policy, CIFAR
Brian Bohunicky
Vice-President of Policy, Public Policy Forum
Dan Breznitz
Research Fellow
Daniel Munro
Research Advisor
Darren Elias
Collaborator
David Rubinger
Data Scientist, Polar
Denise Hearn
Co-author of The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition
Emma Loewen
Research Assistant
Gaga Boskovic
Public Policy Associate, CIFAR
Heather Russek
Collaborator, Innovation Design + Futures
Jessica Thornton
Collaborator
Jill Earthy
Principal, Risery Consulting
John Knubley
Fellow
Consultant and former Deputy Minister, Government of Canada
Jon Medow
Project Advisor
Josephine Tsui
Collaborator
Kenan Fikri
Research Director, Economic Innovation Group
Kim de Laat
Postdoctoral fellow at Brock University, Department of Sociology
Linda Nguyen
Collaborator
Collaborator
Mark Zekulin
Founder and Director, Happy Roots Foundation + Former Chief Executive Officer, Canopy Growth Corporation
Marlena Flick
Policy Lead, Public Policy Forum
Matthew Mendelsohn
Co-founder of First Policy Response at Ryerson University and a Senior Advisor to BCG’s Global Public Sector Practice
Noah Zon
Co-founder and Principal of Springboard Policy
Rob Willoughby
Data Analyst
Robert Asselin
Collaborator
Sarah Doyle
Chief Of Staff, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose
Sean Speer
Collaborator
Sheldon Levy
Special Advisor to the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion
Simona Ramkisson
Collaborator
Stephanie Fielding
Policy + Research Analyst
Steve Denney
Research Collaborator
Tara O’Neil
Futures Researcher
Thomas Goldsmith
Collaborator

Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board is comprised of thought leaders, prominent academics, distinguished business leaders, philanthropists and senior public leaders—all with a connection to the topics of innovation and entrepreneurship. Members of the Advisory Board provide guidance on the Institute’s overall direction and strategy.

Janice Fukakusa C.M.
Janice Fukakusa C.M.
Chancellor, Toronto Metropolitan University
Nadir Mohamed
Nadir Mohamed
Former CEO and President, Rogers Communications
Sachin Shah
Sachin Shah
Chief Investment Officer, Brookfield Asset Management

Our Story

T

he Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) was made possible by the vision of two prominent Canadian leaders: Sheldon Levy and Jack Cockwell.

As a former President of Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson University), Sheldon had overseen an explosion of innovation and entrepreneurial talent within the university. He saw the need to continue translating these successes to a larger, national stage. 

As a long-time collaborator of Sheldon and a strong supporter of the university, Jack Cockwell, along with the Brookfield Partners Foundation, helped turn this vision into reality by providing a generous $16 million donation to seed the Institute.

BII+E is continuing to partner and collaborate with various levels of government, community organizations, private-sector enterprises, Indigenous groups, along with a wide network of researchers and experts who share an interest in the Institute’s work.

Funding Relationships

The Brookfield Institute proudly engages a diverse group of funders to support, inform, and catalyze our work, consistent with our values, and subject to a thorough internal review. As a non-partisan, public-interest institute, we only accept funds from organizations that support our mission and enable us to undertake work independently with full editorial control. The names of all financial supporters are publicly and transparently displayed on all online and printed material. 

We are always looking for new partners. Interested in working with us? For more information, contact Mark Hazelden, our Director of Business Development, mark.hazelden@ryerson.ca.

Relationship with Toronto Metropolitan University

The Brookfield Institute is housed within Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson University), one of Canada’s most prominent universities and a national leader in integrating innovation and entrepreneurship into its core educational mandate.

The Institute’s focus is external-facing and national in scope. To achieve our mission, we intend to work with all parties—academics, students, entrepreneurs, business executives and public sector leaders—across all organizations, without limitations or restrictions.

The Institute is governed by an independent Advisory Board, which provides strategic direction and oversees the Institute’s leadership team.

The Brookfield Institute and Toronto Metropolitan University are strong partners, but with separate voices. We are immensely proud of this relationship and believe it will mutually benefit both partners— and Canada—for many years to come.

Contact Us

On Location

Suite 921
20 Dundas St W.
Toronto, ON M5G 2C2

Entrance: Atrium on Bay, just west of Yonge Street on Dundas West. Just west of Dundas subway station.

Media Inquiries

Contact Nina Rafeek Dow to arrange an interview with one of our leaders, Fellows or staff, or for additional information on our events, publications or other related material.