Canada’s federal government recently stated that innovation is “essential in shaping our future.” Moreover, it recognizes that this country “needs an inclusive plan to foster a confident nation of innovators—one that is globally competitive in promoting research [and] translating ideas into new products and services” (Government of Canada 2016a). But reaching that goal involves dealing with complexities and imbalances that might render many current policies, initiatives and instruments ineffective or in some cases counterproductive. 

Our approach

The Centre for the Study of Science and Policy Innovation (CSIP) is engaging in research, developing collaborations, and supporting dialogue on many policy factors and mechanisms affecting, and in many cases impeding, progress in the area of science and innovation in Canada.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Political and economic issues affecting research and its application,
  • Funding from public and private sources,
  • Regulatory matters,
  • Legislative initiatives, and
  • Partnership-building. 

In addition to the above, CSIP researchers are considering the impact of public opinion in evidenced-based decision making, and in stimulating and addressing perceptions of risk as it relates to science in and across multiple sectors.

We have analytical capacity in:

Strategic Assessment

CSIP is examining innovations through prospective analysis and retrospective assessments to test governance systems and identify potential options to improve performance. This involves improving the understanding between scientific definitions of risk, public understanding of uncertainty and institutional evaluative methods for assessing new technologies and techniques.

Societal Engagement

CSIP is actively investigating how society is engaged in discussion around science to better understand how the public perceives risk and makes choices. Our researchers are analyzing knowledge mobilization and democratic engagement strategies to determine and improve their impact on informed public participation in controversial debates relating to innovative technologies.

Support for Decision-Making

CSIP is focusing on understanding how perceptions about risk and benefits intersect with science-based and evidence-informed policy and regulatory decision-making systems. Our researchers are focusing on how stakeholders use evidence within decision-making structures and how new knowledge is accessed, interpreted and translated into policy.