Headshot of David Wolfe

David Wolfe

Co-Director, Innovation Policy Lab
Professor, Political Science University of Toronto Mississauga



Room 367S, 1 Devonshire Place

David A. Wolfe is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Co-Director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto. He was the Royal Bank Chair in Public and Economic Policy from 2009-2014. His research interests include the political economy of technological change and the role of local and regional economic development, with special reference to Canada and Ontario. Since 2014, he is lead investigator on the Creating Digital Opportunity Partnership (CDO) SSHRC-funded project to study how Canada can best respond to the challenges posed by a rapidly changing digital landscape, while benefiting from emerging opportunities to promote our economic prosperity. From 1999-2011 he was national coordinator of the Innovation Systems Research Network (ISRN), funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and was principal investigator on two Major Collaborative Research Initiatives, the first on Innovation Systems and Economic Development: The Role of Local and Regional Clusters in Canada, followed by a six year study on the Social Dynamics of Economic Performance: Innovation and Creativity in City Regions which ended in 2011. He is the editor or co-editor of ten books and numerous scholarly articles.

He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Political Science from Carleton University and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. From October, 1990 to August, 1993 he served as Executive Coordinator for Economic and Labour Policy in the Cabinet Office of the Government of Ontario. Upon his return to the University of Toronto from 1993 until 1997, he was a research associate in the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s Program on Law and the Determinants of Social Ordering. He has acted as an advisor to the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada, the Ontario Premier’s Council, the E-Business Opportunities Roundtable and the Electronic Commerce Task Force of Industry Canada, the National Research Council, the LEED Program of the OECD, the Ontario Panel on the Role of Government, the Ontario Research and Innovation Council, DG Region of the European Commission, and the Toronto Region Research Alliance. He was the CIBC Scholar-in-Residence for the Conference Board of Canada in 2008-2009 and published a book for the Conference Board, entitled 21st Century Cities in Canada: The Geography of Innovation.

Academic Publications:

With Elena Goracinova and Peter Warrian, “Challenges of Coordination: Automotive Innovation in the Ontario Supply Chain in Comparative Context,” Canadian Public Policy43:S1 (January 2017): S90 -S102.

With Allison Bramwell and Nicola Hepburn, “Growing entrepreneurial ecosystems: Public intermediaries, policy learning and regional innovation,” Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy8:2 (July 2019): 272-292.

“Innovation by Design: Impact and Effectiveness of Public Support for Innovation,” Annals of Science and Technology Policy3:3 (November 2019) 1-88.

“Why Global Supply Chains are Going Local, in New Thinking on Innovation: A CIGI Essay Series, edited Rohinton P. Medhora, (Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo, 2017), pp. 43-50.

With Neil Bradford, “Learning through Governance: Innovation in the Knowledge Economy,” The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation, Editors: Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon. (Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, Northampton (MA), 2017). pp. 723-38.

With Elena Goracinova, “Regional Resilience and the Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector in the Age of Digital Disruption,” RENIR Working Paper No. 2019-02, Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin, Italy, April 2019.

Policy Reports:

With Richard DiFrancesco and Econometric Research Ltd., Collaborating for Investment Attraction in the Toronto Region, Innovation Policy Lab, Research Paper, No. 2018-01.

Creating Digital Opportunity for Canada, Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ryerson University and Innovation Policy Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, April, 2018.

A Digital Strategy for Canada: The Current Challenge, IRPP Issues Paper No. 25, Institute for Research on Public Policy, Montreal, February 2019.