Welcome to CanInnovate

I am a Canadian biophysicist, entrepreneur, and a Vanier Scholar. I hold a PhD from the University of Ottawa in nanoscale biophysics, and I’ve spent about 10 years as n academic researcher and 4 years as CEO of Northern Nanopore Instruments, a recently-acquired nanotechnology company that my colleagues and I spun out of our research. Currently, I have a foot in both academia and entrepreneurship, and I’m involved in the startup community as a mentor and advisor focused on supporting companies navigate the valley of death between academic research and early commercial operations.

In the course of turning my academic research into a commercial enterprise in the form of a deep tech company I ran face-first into numerous challenges that exist in the Canadian innovation ecosystem. As my network grew and I connected with other entrepreneurs and founders, I heard the same stories, over and over. The fact that my experience seemed to be nearly universal inspired me to start writing about them, in the hopes of improving the situation.

I sometimes wonder if I missed my calling as an economist, as you will find that the fundamental economic maxim “people respond to incentives” informs the vast majority of the opinions on this blog. All of the challenges and problems that exist, on both the academic and industrial side of the equation, exist because incumbent policy frameworks incentivize the wrong behaviors. The solutions are usually simple, though it’s important to not conflate “simple” and “easy”.

This blog is a compendium of my thoughts on the various moving parts in the innovation ecosystem, with the goal of using the challenges I faced as a productive input to the conversation around how to make it better.

Because the point of my writing is to be heard by those who can address these challenges, the vast majority of what I write here will be free. If you do choose to support the blog through a paid subscription, you will mainly be incentivizing me to create more content, rather than unlocking access to anything hidden. The intention is to post once a week on various aspects of the Canadian innovation policy, scientific publishing, entrepreneurship, intellectual property, research ethics, and other related topics.

If my writing and experiences resonate with you, I am also very accessible. I’m always open for a Zoom call or coffee chat. Don’t hesitate to reach out directly if you would like to discuss.

To learn more about the tech platform that powers this publication, visit Substack.com.

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I write about innovation policy, scientific publishing, entrepreneurship, intellectual property, and research ethics. I comment on the incentives created by existing policy structures for the sake of recommending practical ways to enact positive change.


I am a biophysicist and entrepreneur operating between academic research and early stage commercialization of deep tech. I write in the hope that my experience can help others navigate the Canadian innovation landscape.