Federation recommends integrating the human dimension in Canada’s Innovation Agenda

September 13, 2016

Federation submission to the federal government on the Innovation Agenda calls for making inclusive innovation a reality

OTTAWA, September 13, 2016 – The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences has submitted recommendations to the federal government in response to the call for input to Canada’s Innovation Agenda. The Federation argues that to address the economic, social and policy challenges facing Canada, we need to bring creativity and imagination to bear on complex problems and understand the human process at the heart of innovation. The Federation’s submission outlines three ways in which the humanities and social sciences (HSS) can help support future Canadian innovation.

  • First: Build creativity, knowledge and skills for innovation in the workforce through expanded experiential learning for all students. With more than half of Canada’s university students enrolled in HSS disciplines, the Federation recommends an expansion of the Post-Secondary Industry Partnership and Cooperative Placement Initiative to include HSS.
  • Second: Spur new ideas and critical perspectives by increasing fundamental research into human thought, behaviour and experiences. The HSS provide education and research relevant to creative industries, social policy, critical thinking and cultural policies among others, fostering a more inclusive and resilient society. As such, the HSS should be a central component of Canada’s inclusive innovation plan. The Federation recommends the government plan for HSS research funding to be a minimum of 20 percent of Canada’s federal research portfolio within 10 years.
  •  Third: Strengthen connections and knowledge flow among HSS researchers and other partners. Leaders in governments, civil society, academia and business all have important roles to play to help Canada find innovative solutions to pressing complex social challenges. The Federation recommends significant federal support for expanding collaborative platforms to link the ideas, knowledge and perspectives developed in universities to leaders in non-academic sectors. The new Chief Science Officer should also play an important role in fueling innovation by bringing together evidence from all research areas to inform the public policy process.

“It is the Federation’s hope that this national conversation on innovation will help shape an ambitious, effective and inclusive national innovation strategy,” said Stephen J. Toope, President of the Federation and Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. “We look forward to continuing our contribution to this valuable dialogue in the months to come.”

See the Federation’s full submission here: www.ideas-idees.ca/issues/research.

Note to media: The Federation’s Director of Policy and Programming, Gauri Sreenivasan, will be at the Waterloo Innovation Summit in Waterloo, Ontario on September 14-15 and will be taking media questions on site. 


About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media inquiries
Nicola Katz
Communications Manager
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Cell: 613-282-3489