Current Projects

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) – (Holbrook and Wixted)

Innovation is the principal driver of wealth creation in society, and the entrepreneur is the agent of innovation, either in a small company or a large organization. Innovation by institutions (business, academe, etc.) is widely studied, but little is known about the innovators themselves. Similarly entrepreneurship is a studied as a factor in successful businesses, but its link to innovation is rarely discussed. Following Schumpeter’s definition of innovation, an entrepreneur is automatically an innovator. Entrepreneurship is a social indicator of innovation and innovativeness. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) program is an annual international study of entrepreneurship started in 1999 and which in 2012 covered 59 countries. More details can be found at:


Creating Digital Opportunity (CDO) (Holbrook, Smith and Wixted)

CDO is a major partnership grant funded by SSHRC looking at the challenges to Canadian digital industries in Canada, being carried out by over 20 researchers Across Canada. CPROST is the BC centre for this project: Holbrook and Smith are looking at the vibrant software industry in Vancouver; Wixted is working on the digital industries based in Saskatoon (with Prof. Peter Phillips of the Johnson-Shoyama Centre for Public Policy at U.Sask.)based on the resources sectors.


Joint Program of research into digital media with Korean researchers (Jin)

CPROST is in the process of setting up a joint program of research with Korean researchers (through the Centre for Science, Technology and Democracy, at the Catholic University of Korea) to examine the effects on society of the rapid advances in social media as a consequence of technological advances in digital media technologies.


Recent Projects

Technology Transfer from the Academic System to Industry (Holbrook and Wixted)

This project, funded by SSHRC, carried out with Dr. Beaudry of Ecole Polytechnique has looked at both Canadian university technology transfer practices and equivalent transfer practices in similar developed nations. This project culminated in a conference on the issue held in Waterloo, Ontario in 2012.


First Mile Project – (Smith, McMahon)

Across Canada, First Nations are building broadband systems and using them to deliver services to their communities. To be effective, these systems must be designed and implemented with local communities from the very start, which means community members need access to bandwidth and proper training so they can help shape technologies to meet local needs. The ‘First Mile’ refers to local broadband systems: infrastructure It focuses on local connectivity from the perspective of a community. The First Mile project is conducting research and publishing the stories of how First Nations are putting First Mile concepts into action so that we may learn and grow together. The First Mile project is a partnership between First Nations ICT Regional Networks and university-based researchers. Partners include: Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO), First Nation Help Desk (FNHD).


Evaluation of Formal Research Networks – SSHRC Presidential Fund Grant (Lewis, Holbrook and Wixted).

Science policy has increasingly turned to formal research networks (those with an organizational structure and mandate) such as NCEs and MCRIs as a mechanism to meet objectives such as collaboration, multi-disciplinarily and more importantly, the linking of researchers and perceived relevant stakeholder communities (industry and population groups). The project by Lewis, Holbrook and Wixted, aims to develop an approach to evaluate the core policy objective of networks; that is, the networking. Our framework is to conceive of the different stakeholders in formal networks as clusters of actors, rather than as individuals connecting within social networks. From this starting point the goal is develop tools to evaluate how well formal networks connect researchers to stakeholder communities, and these channels carry information (communications). One important dimension of our work program is to consider the effects of strong (established centres or associations) and weak (geographically diffuse or nascent in development) clusters of researchers or stakeholders on the performance of the network.


Innovation Systems Research Network – (Holbrook)

The ISRN was funded by SSHRC in 2001 to carry out a five year project to analyze industrial clusters in the different regions of Canada. The network has been successful in bringing together an interdisciplinary team, and in developing a cadre of graduate students. ISRN has provided policy advice to officials at both the federal and provincial levels. The project confirmed the importance of place and geography in the regional innovation systems of Canada, particularly at the city, or census metropolitan area (CMA) level. The new ISRN is examining three factors in a number of Canadian city-regions (CMAs): social dynamics of innovation, factors affecting the attraction and retention of talent, and social inclusion and civic engagement.


Determining the Return on Investment for Public Funding of Research in the University Sector – (Holbrook)

The Ministry of Advanced Education (AVED) of the Province of BC is funding a study on the returns on the investments in university research in BC. This project is based on the hypothesis that while there are measurable, but often small, returns from license fees, patents, etc., coming from university research, the real return is in the increased value of the human capital of post-graduate students trained in university research programs. More importantly there is incremental value to both graduate students themselves, and society in general, of obtaining research experience that was at least partially funded by an agency external to the university, since this experience is not self-funded, but selected by an arm’s-length agency.


Disaster Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness – (Anderson)

The convergence of computers and communications, and the accelerating growth of global information networking is beginning to have profound impact on the organization of disaster mitigation, planning and response at all levels of society. During the past decade, Peter Anderson, through CPROST and its associated Telematics Research Laboratory (TRL), has been participating in these developments through applied disaster communication research in Canada and abroad in collaboration with civil emergency organizations at all levels of government and with the United Nations and international disaster relief organizations.