News Release

Former Prime Minister of Finland, Esko Aho, to Chair the Expert Panel on the Socio-economic Impacts of Innovation Investments

The Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Esko Aho as Chair of the Expert Panel on the Socio-Economic Impacts of Innovation Investments.

The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation has asked the Council of Canadian Academies to assess best practices in measuring socio-economic outcomes and impacts of government spending on research and innovation activities that could be applied in the Ontario context. The Council’s assessment will attempt to answer this question by drawing on experiences from other provinces and countries and adapting them to the Ontario context.

As the former prime minister of Finland, and the Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations and Responsibility at Nokia, Mr. Aho brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise to this assessment.

Before joining Nokia in 2008, Mr. Aho enjoyed a long and distinguished career in government service. He served as a member of Finnish Parliament for 20 years, from 1983. He was elected to the Prime Minister’s Office in 1991 at the age of 36, making him the youngest prime minister in Finland’s history. Under his leadership, he brought Finland into the European Union. After leaving the office in 1995, Mr. Aho spent a year as a Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University, leading a weekly study group on the European Union and its political and economic implications for global relations. He then served as the president of Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, from 2004-2008.

As Chair of the Expert Panel, Mr. Aho will work with the panel to address the question posed by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation: How can the actual and potential outcomes and impacts of Ontario government spending on innovation and scientific activities be measured?

The Council, under the guidance of its Scientific Advisory Committee, is now beginning to assemble an expert panel to complete this assessment. The panel will consist of experts from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds to ensure the most authoritative, credible, and independent response to the question.

For continued update on the status of the assessment visit the Socio-economic Impacts of Innovation Investments page.

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