UTM to host the Desmond Morton Research Excellence Lecture 2023
Professor David Wolfe will provide insights on Canada's challenges and opportunities.

The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) is set to host the 2023 Desmond Morton Research Excellence Lecture on November 30 at the Collaborative Digital Research Space in the Maanjiwe Nendamowinan building. The limelight is on Professor David Wolfe, an esteemed individual from UTM’s Department of Political Science and the co-director of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy’s Innovation Policy Lab

Professor Wolfe will be the recipient of 2023’s Annual Desmond Morton Research Excellence Award. This year’s lecture will capture the critical topics that Professor Wolfe has been researching over the past 15 years: the resurgence of industrial policy, Canada’s struggle with innovation strategy, and the role of governance relations in place-based development policy.

In an email interview with The Medium, Professor Wolfe revealed a glimpse of the issues he will delve into during his presentation. The lecture will explore the implications of the Biden administration’s revival of industrial policy and its ramifications on Canada. He will also delve deeply into the rationale behind Canada’s struggles to institute a prosperous innovation policy during the last few decades. Finally, he will highlight the role of place-based economic development policies in Canada.

Professor Wolfe pointed out that successful innovation strategies vary across countries—and that every situation requires a unique approach. He highlighted the general principles of successful strategies, embracing a tactic tailored to competitive industry sectors, a vigorous research framework, and meticulously crafted policies designed to incentivize desired economic action. He emphasizes that these strategies are pivotal for forging cultural landscapes and making progress. 

Unpacking Canada’s contemporary industrial and innovation strategy, Professor Wolfe accentuated the obstacles posed by its scattered and decentralized structure. The three distinct federal departments—Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada, ECC, and Natural Resources Canada—each delve into disparate aspects of innovation and strategy with little coordination. The absence of synergy amplifies the difficulty of illustrating Canada’s innovation strategy concisely. 

The place-based development policy, as delineated by Professor Wolfe, sheds insight into the unique characteristics of individual city regions. These policies are based on their institutional support for innovation and their potential in distinct economic sectors.

The 2023 Desmond Morton Research Excellence Lecture assures an extensive exploration of pivotal concerns relating to industrial policy, innovation, and place-based development. Through his expertise, Professor David Wolfe will be sharing augmented insights into the challenges and opportunities that steer Canada’s future with the community of UTM.


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