Shiri Breznitz

Director of Research
Roz and Ralph Halbert Professor of Innovation
Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
Room 368S

Trinity College
1 Devonshire Place 
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3K7 Canada

Headshot of Shiri Breznitz — photo by Alexis MacDonald

Current affiliations

  • Director of Research
  • Innovation Policy Lab

Areas of interest

  • Entrepreneurship in general and students’ entrepreneurship in particular
  • Higher education
  • Incubators/accelerators
  • Innovation and technology
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Regional economic development


Main Bio

Shiri M. Breznitz, an economic geographer, specializing in innovation, technology commercialization, and regional economic development.  Shiri is a Professor, Director of Research, and the Ralph and Roz Halbert Professor of Innovation at Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. In addition, she is an editor in Progress in Economic Geography Journal, a member of the Executive Leadership Team at Medicine By Design and a member of the Scientific Board of the Journal of Technology Transfer. Her research is at the critical intersection of theory and policy to fit the new realities of globalization: Professor Breznitz’s work has informed policymaking at the local, national, and international levels. She has advised on the role of universities in the larger story of innovation, on the economic impact of biotechnology and Intellectual Property, and on the role of clusters in driving innovation. Her current projects include a study on intellectual property and technology commercialization policies at higher education institutions, a study on the regenerative medicine cluster in Toronto, and the economic impact of entrepreneurship education.

Professor Breznitz’s book, “The Fountain of Knowledge” with Stanford University Press (July 2014), analyzes universities’ relationships with government and industry, focusing on the biotechnology industry as a case study. She has also co-edited the book, “University Technology Transfer:  The Globalization of Academic Innovation,” with Routledge Press (September 2015). Professor Breznitz was a member of the Ontario Expert Panel on Intellectual Propertya member of the Ontario IP implementation panel and, in 2018, was a Co-PI on the University of Toronto Alumni Impact Survey.

Select publications

  • Breznitz, S. M., Denney, S. and Zhang, Q. 2023. “The role of intermediaries in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.” Accepted at the Journal of Technology Transfer.
  • Hassink, R., Trippl, M., Breznitz, S., Coenen, L., Fitjar, R. D., Gong, H., and Zook, M. 2023. Progress in economic geography: Inaugural editorial. Progress in Economic Geography, 1(1).
  • Breznitz, S. M., Lawton Smith, H, and Bagchi-Sen, S. 2022. “The contribution of students to regional economies: reframing the regional innovation systems approach.” Regional Studies Journal. Published online: 28 Apr 2022. 
  • Breznitz, S. M. and Zhang, Q. 2021. "Entrepreneurship education and firm creation." Regional Studies Journal. Published online February 23, 2021. 
  • Noonan, D. S., Breznitz, S. M., and Maqbool, S. 2021. “Flocking to the Crowd: Cultural Entrepreneur Mobility Guided by Homophily, Market size, or Amenities?” Journal of Cultural Economics. 45(4): 577–611. 
  • Noonan, D. S., Breznitz, S. M., and Maqbool, S. 2021. “Looking for a Change in Scene: Analyzing the Mobility of Crowdfunding Entrepreneurs.” Small Business Economics. 57(2):685–703. 
  • Breznitz, S. M., and Noonan, D. S. 2020. “Crowdfunding in a Not-So-Flat World.” Journal of Economic Geography. Accepted. 
  • Zhang, Q., Clayton, P. A. and Breznitz, S. M. 2019. "The Hope Fulfilled? Measuring Research Performance of Universities in the Economic Crisis." International Regional Science Review. Published online: August 22, 2019. 
  • Breznitz, S. M. and Zhang, Q. 2019. “Determinants of graduates' entrepreneurial activity.”  
  • Small Business Economics. 
  • Breznitz, S. M. and Zhang, Q. 2019. “Fostering the Growth of Student Start-ups from University Accelerators: An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Perspective.” .Industrial and Corporate Change. 28(4): 855–873. 
  • Breznitz, S. M. and Kenney, M. 2018. Can the “Public” Endure in the Public Research Universities? A Challenge for America’s Research Enterprise. Issues in Science and Technology. Spring 2018. 
  • Breznitz, S. M. and Noonan, D. S., 2018. “Planting the Seed to Grow Local Creative Industries: Cultural Districts’ and Arts Schools’ Impacts on Supply and Demand.” Environment and Planning A. first published online: May 15, 2018. 
  • Silvestre, B., I. McCarthy., A. Von Nordenflycht., and S. M. Breznitz., 2018. “A Typology of University Research Park Strategies: What Parks Do and Why it Matters.” Journal of Engineering and Technology Management. 47:110-122. 
  • Breznitz, S. M., Clayton, P. A., Defazio, D. and Isett, K. R. 2018. “Have you been served? Have you been served? The impact of university entrepreneurial support on start-ups’ network formation.” Journal of Technology Transfer. 43(2): 343-367.