NEW RESEARCH: A bold new approach to innovation policy designed to tackle our greatest societal challenges

New insights + recommendations on how moonshot innovation policy can help solve our world’s most pressing collective challenges and strengthen our economy.
NEW RESEARCH: A bold new approach to innovation policy designed to tackle our greatest societal challenges
February 23, 2022
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Governments spend billions to foster innovation, but the economic, environmental and social return on this investment is not always evident.


Despite producing world-leading research to tackle our world’s most pressing challenges, our current innovation policy framework does not support the conditions needed to catalyze breakthrough inventions and bridge them through the transformational innovation process— commercialization, scale, widespread adoption and global export.

A new report produced by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (BII+E), Canada’s Moonshot: Solving grand challenges through transformational innovation, seeks to better understand how Canada can best use its innovation policy toolkit to intentionally direct, support, and fund innovation that solves the big challenges we face as a society, from COVID-19 to climate change, ​​and along the way, solidify our place in the global economy as a leader in innovation. 

“There is huge potential to rethink how we can intentionally align innovation policy in Canada to solve real-world challenges. This report sets out key global lessons and makes some recommendations for how we can apply them here,” said Thomas Goldsmith, report author and research collaborator at the Brookfield Institute.

Key recommendations from the report: 

The following five policy recommendations address some of the key governance, operational, and design frameworks that should be considered when seeking to select and deploy moonshot innovation policies in Canada.

  • Define a clear grand challenge anchored in unaddressed real-world needs, through an open and inclusive consultation process
  • Facilitate policy innovation through providing delivery agencies with lean, agile, and independent governance structures
  • Develop a portfolio of moonshot projects that are cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral, embrace a range of different risk levels and types, and are inclusive of different types of individuals, organizations, industries, and regions
  • Support the full innovation continuum, and the full value chain, from invention through manufacturing, commercialization, and deployment, using the full policy toolkit of supply- and demand-side levers
  • Focus on the metrics that matter for the success of the grand challenge

For media requests, please contact Nina Rafeek at Click here for the full report

The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) is an independent, nonpartisan policy institute, housed at Ryerson University. We transform bold ideas into real-world solutions designed to help Canada navigate the complex forces and astounding possibilities of the innovation economy. @brookfieldiie