University talent and innovation can accelerate GTHA recovery: Toronto Region Board of Trade

Over the past year, the Toronto Region Board of Trade (TRBOT) has convened hundreds of leaders in industry, postsecondary institutions, and government to develop recovery plans.

As reopening begins, the Board has now specifically addressed the impacts and recovery frameworks necessary in five economic sectors.

This report focuses on the Knowledge Creation District (KCD) - a critical sector in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area’s (GTHA)  innovation ecosystem. The report identifies that postsecondary institutions and teaching hospitals employ nearly half of the total workforce in Toronto’s regional innovation corridor.

Three assets position the region for recovery: it is a  global talent magnet, it is rich in globally-ranked postsecondary institutions  with the University of Toronto as Canada’s leading university, and innovation is an engine of regional economic growth. To  support these pillars, the report proposes several measures:

Recovery efforts

  • Leverage strengths in Life Sciences. Biopharmaceuticals is “one of the most promising areas for the Innovation Corridor,” the report states. Strong partnerships between academia and industry can be bolstered through additional investments.
  • Accelerate global market outreach. Governments can promote Canada’s universities to the world as safe places for international students.
  • Facilitate safe return to work and school. Collaborative efforts will be required from all stakeholders for safe reopening that includes safe transit and buildings.
  • Futureproof Canada’s workforce. Universities are taking on the challenge of digitization and automation, including through advanced training in sectors such as AI, as well as upskilling initiatives.

Read more about the report here: