Innovation: A desire to make things better

Block letters spell out a narrative beginning with the words “Innovation starts with an idea.” b

Innovation: A desire to make things better

A collection of stories to illustrate the breadth of ways in which innovation changes our world
April 24, 2017

Innovation can perhaps be defined; but how it touches our lives can hardly be confined. In the broadest sense, innovation is the desire to make things better. This innately human drive changes our world and transforms us in ways we sometimes are not even aware — from our health, our economy and our planet, to how we understand our past and how we envision our future.

In this knowledge era, innovation is integral to nation building and there is almost no limit to what research can teach us. This audacious vision is what inspired the Canada Foundation for Innovation in 1997, and this collection of stories recalls the resolute spirit of our origins.

Two decades ago, the CFI was itself an experiment — a way to encourage researchers to reach higher, think bigger, and a moment in time when political and research leaders came together to create a turning point in Canadian research by building world-class facilities and stocking them with state-of-the-art equipment. The results have been transformative. In this collection, we present just a handful of the thousands of research projects supported by the CFI since its inception, and aim to illustrate the breadth of ways in which innovation changes our world.

Illustration of a signpost and arrow pointing to the left which represents past guides

INNOVATION: A DESIRE TO MAKE THINGS BETTER

A commemorative book to mark 20 years of the Canada Foundation for Innovation

  • Community is the place we live, the shared experiences that bind us to other people. It’s where we come from, it shapes where we are headed. And community is built of many things: the physical spaces around us, the roads and communication lines that connect us, the beliefs and policies that guide us, and above all, that intrinsically human desire to reach out, to be supported by others, to understand our neighbours, to help. Research, ultimately, is one way we do all of these things better. In the social sciences and humanities, we delve into who we are, what makes us human, what drives us,...