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Industry is undergoing significant change with the advent of disruptive technologies, globalization and the pace in which new ideas are emerging every day. CIFAR works with organizations, across sectors and borders, to help them understand the frontier research in CIFAR research programs. Our objective is to help corporate research leaders and entrepreneurs tap into the research driving potential future technological disruption, ultimately enabling industry to be more creative as they strive to develop new products and services to improve the lives of people everywhere.

Global Trends in Industry Innovation

Research of the 21st century is conducted in a manner that is open, flexible, and diverse. For years, the exchange of scientific and research material was conducted in a one-directional manner. Ideas generated in academia were exchanged through publication in specialized journals and discipline-specific conferences. If industrial researchers were attracted by the topic, a research agreement was struck. These types of collaborations still exist, but due to the advent of digital networking and globalization, the exchange of research ideas among various stakeholders is dramatically faster.

From the launch of artificial intelligence into the mainstream to the development of quantum computers, the ability to see previously undefined patterns and connections is becoming a reality that will alter the processes of a multitude of industries. The integration of new technology into existing workflows has long had impact on every corner of society.

Researchers are developing and commercializing novel materials for energy storage; untangling the details of complex molecular processes which underlie disease; developing new understandings to explore the frontier of quantum computing; generating new superconducting materials; and directing the development of engineering feats to understand the cosmos. The understanding and manipulation of these systems will create novel opportunities for industry to explore aspects of biological, chemical and physical diversity that cannot be accessed through current mechanisms.

Industry Innovation at CIFAR

CIFAR actively works to connect academic researchers with thought leaders in industry. By actively engaging global leaders in R&D, government and academia, from a cross-section of industrial and research sectors, CIFAR is creating opportunities for exchange that advances understanding and creates opportunities for innovation.

Current Knowledge Mobilization Areas

  •   How will new insights and technology from superior computing platforms affect the way we do business? How can we effectively harness the power of these resources, while maintaining an ethical balance for their use?

  •   What are the cues from nature which can be translated into useful resources for society? How will these new materials augment or replace existing technology?
  •   How will developing technologies affect current industries and business practices? What new insights can industry gain from an improved ability to understand biological, chemical and physical systems?


Deloitte (2018) Tech Trends 2018 Article

US Department of Energy (2017) Basic Research Needs for Quantum Materials PDF

Government of Canada (2016) Positioning Canada to Lead: An Inclusive Innovation Agenda Site