When we hear the word innovation, it’s tempting to equate it with entrepreneurship and start-up companies. But Professor Dan Breznitz, the Munk Chair of Innovation Studies, points out that innovation is significantly more complex than this. For instance, how can inventions and ideas be turned into economic growth so that all citizens will prosper? As co-director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, Breznitz leads boundary-crossing research into innovation and its impact on the economy and our society. Since much of the lab’s work is experimental in nature, it’s not always easy to find funding.
Now, thanks to a $1.05 million gift from the Lupina Foundation in support of an initiative on the social determinants of health, social innovation and innovation studies, the lab—just four years old—will move closer to achieving its vision.
Peter Warrian, Managing Director of the Lupina Foundation, explained why they decided to support the lab: “Different innovation policies have important distributional impacts, which this new collaborative partnership will be examining. And public- health issues both reflect and contribute to socially sustainable growth.”
Breznitz elaborated, “To reach a stable, just society we need efficient innovation policy, which will lead to sustainable economic growth. The Innovation Policy Lab is grateful to the Lupina Foundation for sharing this vision, and for recognizing the importance of basic research to bringing about change.”
(left to right) Professor Stephen Toope, Margret Hovanec, Peter Warrian. Photo: Jackie Shapiro