The Institute for Collaborative Innovation (ICI) assists both public and private organizations to assess and strengthen collaborative arrangements to innovate new products, services or processes for domestic and global markets.


By enabling new and more productive forms of collaboration between key stakeholders in Canada’s innovation system, ICI seeks to stimulate Canadian research and development activities, catalyze the development of new products and services for world markets, and develop better public policy support for innovation, and science and technology diffusion in Canada.

With more effective collaboration among Canadian researchers, entrepreneurs, academics, and policy makers, the Canadian economy can become more productive, prosperous, and sustainable, and ICI is committed to realizing this goal and supporting and encouraging all types of innovation and innovative partnerships in Canada.

Core Activities


ICI will conduct research into: innovation and S&T policy, programs, and best practices; effective collaboration models, networks, and frameworks relevant to innovative firms and organizations; new and emerging markets and technologies; and needs, gaps, and opportunities within the Canadian Innovation System.


ICI will actively seek to educate Canadian policymakers, entrepreneurs, and researchers on important issues and concerns relevant to innovative activity in Canada; educate them about new forms and models of collaboration and engagement; and educate stakeholders within the Canadian innovation system about significant aspects of innovation systems, policies, and forms of collaboration in other countries

Collaborative Engagement

ICI will seek to actively catalyze and create new opportunities for collaboration and innovation among Canadian organizations and institutions in Canada.  To this end, ICI will create forums (real and virtual) relevant to particular areas of innovation in Canada; organize and carry out conferences and seminars to provide additional opportunities for networking and engagement; provide direct assistance for organizations interested in creating new networks and collaborative frameworks for particular projects, products, or services; and create new channels of communication between the academic, policy-making, and business communities in Canada.


Dan Wayner – Executive Director

Recently retired after over 30 years at the National Research Council, Dan Wayner is an experienced executive, R&D manager and world class scientist. His contributions as a scientist have been recognized with a number of awards including election as Fellows of both the Royal Society of Canada and the Chemical Institute of Canada. As an R&D manager he was the founding Director General of the National Institute for Nanotechnology in Edmonton and later the DG of the Steacie Institute for Molecular Science. In 2010 he took on the role of VP, Emerging Technologies, where he oversaw NRC programs that carried out leading scientific research and technology development in a wide range of areas that included quantum information, nanoscale materials, optical telecom, machine learning and astronomy. His success has always been underpinned by a strong commitment to collaboration, personal accountability and integrity.

Dan brings significant experience in strategic planning, science and innovation policy, building research partnerships, performance planning and measurement and organizational change management. Over the years he has provided strong leadership and a credible voice for NRC and the Government of Canada, building R&D partnerships and collaborations with industry, academia, other government departments and with international organizations. Of particular relevance to the mission of ICI, in 2015, he oversaw a crowd-sourced foresight study to discuss technology risks and opportunities in seven areas of future socio-economic importance for Canada – a collaboration with over 1000 people in an on-line dialogue.

David Watters

David’s 30-year career in the Government of Canada included responsibilities in a variety of Economic Ministries including as Assistant Deputy Minister in Industry Canada, Treasury Board and Finance Canada.  As the Assistant Deputy Minister in Finance Canada for Economic Development and Corporate Finance, where he helped to shape Canada’s economic and innovation investments.

David holds an Economics degree from Queen’s University as well as a Law degree in corporate, commercial, and tax law from Queen’s Law School.  As an adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa, School of Management he has taught International Negotiation to MBA students for seven years.

Dawnita Spac

Dawnita’s 30+ year career in the federal government included responsibilities as Director in Health Canada, Industry Canada, and at Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Public Works and Government Services, and the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Dawnita holds a B.A. from McGill University and the University of Vienna, an Executive MBA from Queen’s University, and an Advanced Facilitation Certification from Windsor University and Harvard University.


Adam Jarvis

As a professor at Algonquin College, Adam taught a diverse array of subjects including web development, graphic design, and data journalism. Through his career as a prof, he also led as principal investigator a number of applied research projects, connecting students and employers to create new and innovative products, processes, and services.

Adam holds a B.A. from Carleton University, a diploma in interactive multimedia from Algonquin College, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Education from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.


Collaborative Innovation-
Thought Piece

by Sue Roppel

R&D Investment

 by Danial D.M. Wayner

What Is Innovation And
How Do You Measure It?

by David B. Watters

Understanding the
Human Role in Innovation

by David B. Watters

Striking a Balance

by Dan Wayner