Dr. Reza Moridi, Chair
Dr. Moridi is a former Cabinet Minister in Ontario, Canada, and as both the Minister of Research, Innovation and Science and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, he was instrumental in transforming the innovation ecosystem in Ontario.
While in government, he led numerous science, technology, and nuclear energy trade missions around the world, including to the USA, China, Korea, Germany, Czech Republic, Israel, West Bank, Jordan, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan, to showcase Ontario’s innovation talent.
He advocated for further internationalization of Ontario’s academic and research institutions and signed MOUs with countries such as China, Germany, Czech Republic, UK, Korea, Israel, Denmark, Turkey and Jordan to solidfy relationships and encourage business partnerships between Ontario and these jurisdictions.
He initiated the establishment of Campus Linked Accelerators in all Ontario universities and colleges, expanded the mandate of the Ontario Capital Growth Corporation and helped establish a number of venture capital funds. By securing substantial government funding for the expansion of MaRS Discovery District, He helped it grow into one of the largest innovation commercialization hubs in North America.
He also managed to secure significant funding for transformative technology projects such as Autonomous Vehicles, 5G digital infrastructure, cybersecurity, Big Data and Advanced Manufacturing and helped establish Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.
Through this sustained focus on growth and support for Canadian innovation, Ontario has consistently had one the highest rates of foreign direct investment in North America, and its innovative workforce is a much sought-after talent pool worldwide.
Dr. Moridi holds graduate degrees from Tehran University and Brunel University London. He received an Honorary Doctorate from Odlar Yurdu University, Baku, Azerbaijan.
Prior to entering politics, he worked for 17 years at the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada where he was the Vice-President and Chief Scientist. He also worked in the electrical industry as an executive and in academia as a professor and administrator.