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COVID-19 and the Future of Health Research and Innovation: Roundtable Report & Recording

Shift Health Publishes Commentary on COVID-19 and Health Data Ecosystem Challenges

LSO Releases 2020 Policy Forum Report: “Empowering the Life Sciences in Ontario’s Post-Pandemic Future”

 Canada’s health research and innovation ecosystem is at a crossroads. Now is the moment to strengthen critical cross-sector partnerships.


Research Canada, in partnership with Shift Health, recently convened an Expert Advisory Panel to conduct an independent study examining the role of the biopharmaceutical industry within Canada’s health research and innovation ecosystem. The final report emphasizes that Canada needs an active and engaged biopharmaceutical sector if we are to realize the full health, social and economic potential of our health research and innovation ecosystem.

The biopharmaceutical sector plays a unique and irreplaceable role in propelling science and technology, developing Canada’s scientific talent pool, strengthening capacity for product development, and transforming health and healthcare. But this role has been undermined by weaknesses in the partnerships between industry and Canada’s health research and innovation ecosystem. Canada needs a balanced approach to policy and investment to strengthen and sustain these partnerships.

“The pandemic has reminded us of the critical importance of a strong health research and innovation ecosystem—and it has laid bare the weaknesses we must address,” says Dr. Ryan Wiley, President of Shift Health and Policy Advisor to Research Canada’s Board of Directors. Canada’s health research and innovation ecosystem will succeed only if we plan and act as an integrated community of partners focused on a common future. “We cannot return to the status quo. We need to reinvigorate a spirit of trans-sector partnership that will elevate Canada’s health research and innovation ecosystem to a position of global leadership.” 

We thank all members of the Expert Advisory Panel for volunteering their sharp insights, critical review and valuable time.

Expert Advisory Panel

Dr. Rose Goldstein (Chair), McGill University & Research Canada
Dr. Elizabeth Douville, AmorChem & Genome Canada
Dr. Pierre-Gerlier Forest, University of Calgary
Dr. Scott Halperin, Canadian Center for Vaccinology
Jacques Hendlisz, CATALIS Québec
Sue Mack-Klinger, Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Gordon McCauley, adMare BioInnovations
Dr. Catherine Whiteside, University of Toronto
Dr. Bradly Wouters, University Health Network

We feel fortunate to work with leaders who are so passionate about and resolutely committed to advancing Canada’s health research and innovation ecosystem. 

You can read the full report here.

In addition to the report, Research Canada hosted a webinar in May 2021 which featured a presentation of key findings from the report by Shift Health President, Dr. Ryan Wiley, and an insightful panel discussion between members of the Expert Advisory Panel. You can watch a recording of the webinar here.