March 29, 2018

Smart Prosperity Institute, a national economic think tank based at the University of Ottawa, has secured $10 million over 5-6 years in new funding to build an international network of academic and applied research expertise on clean economic growth. The new research network includes more than 50 internationally-recognized experts and puts the University of Ottawa on the map as one of the world’s premiere hubs of expertise on the environment and economy.

The new funding targets Smart Prosperity Institute’s research capacity, and will feed into and complement its broader work on policy engagement and communications.

Here is an overview of the grants, and the global expertise that they are being used to enlist:


  • Government of Canada’s Canada Research Chairs Program ($2.45 million over seven years), to appoint a Canada 150 Research Chair in Climate Economics, Innovation and Policy:
    • Carolyn Fischer is one of the world’s leading experts in climate economics and policy. She is currently Sr. Fellow at Resources for the Future (Washington DC), and Professor of Economics at VU-Amsterdam.


  • A major grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council ($2.5 million over six years) to support a Greening Growth Partnership, which includes confirmed research partners, including internationally recognized experts like:
    • Antoine Dechezleprêtre – Senior Economist at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics
    • Richard G. Lipsey – Professor Emeritus, Economics Department, Simon Fraser University


  • Additional private and public sector partner contributions ($3 million over six years) to support the Greening Growth Partnership


  • A grant from the Jarislowsky Foundation (up to $250,000 per year) to appoint six Global Fellows. Confirmed Global Fellows include:
    • Mariana Mazzucato – Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, University College London
    • Margaret Taylor – Senior researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory & Stanford University’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center
    • Paul Ekins – Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy and Director of the Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London


  • Environment and Climate Change Canada ($1 million over five years) to support the Economics and Environmental Policy Research Network, which funds cutting-edge research by Canadian academic research teams. Confirmed participants in 2018 include:
    • Andrew Leach – Professor, Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta
    • Olaf Weber – Professor, School for Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED), University of Waterloo


  • Fulbright Canada ($300,000 over five years) to attract two US scholars on the environment and the economy per year. The current Fulbright Visiting Chair is:
    • Ben Cashore – Professor & Director of the Governance, Environment, and Markets Initiative, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies


In addition, Smart Prosperity Institute has become a Canadian node for the World Bank’s Green Growth Knowledge Platform, the world’s leading hub for environment-economy research and policy innovation.

The purpose of Smart Prosperity Institute’s new research network is to aggressively ramp up the state of knowledge in Canada on building a prosperous, clean economy – including hot button issues like carbon pricing, accelerating clean innovation, valuing nature and biodiversity, economic approaches to reducing waste and buiding the circular economy, and making the transition to a green economy more inclusive.

Smart Prosperity Institute’s new research network will be focused primarily on Canadian opportunities and challenges but will also generate and disseminate knowledge of worldwide importance and application. The network will begin generating content immediately, including webinars, reports, working papers and blogs.


More information on Smart Prosperity’s Research Network here.