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Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB)

The Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) is a body of high-level, seasoned and respected individuals from a variety of sectors who understand the national and international challenges associated with Canada’s R&D and commercialization landscape. PSAB was established by the Networks of Centres of Excellence at the request of the Government of Canada in 2007.

PSAB provides the NCE Steering Committee with expert advice and recommendations during the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) and Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) competition processes. PSAB evaluates proposals based on their ability to create a strategic, long-term economic advantage for Canada.


Vikas Arora

Vikas Arora

Vikas Arora was nominated EXFO's Chief Technology Officer in July 2008. He is responsible for the company's technological direction, specifically strategic technology and business initiatives covering next-generation fixed mobile converged networks, 3G/LTE, IMS, SDN/NFV, mobile backhaul, optical networks, Carrier Ethernet/IP and services like VoLTE, video, voice and data. Prior to joining EXFO, Mr. Arora was Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of iPine Networks (acquired by Nakina Systems), which offered IP service assurance products for voice, video and data. He served as CTO of Nakina Systems and also spent 10 years at Nortel in Ottawa and Harlow (UK), where he held senior management and architect positions. Overall, Mr. Arora has over 20 years of technical and business leadership experience working with mobile and fixed network operators, system integrators and equipment vendors globally. In 2004, he was named by the editors of the Ottawa Business Journal to its annual "Forty Under 40" list as one of the region's best and brightest business and civic leaders. Mr. Arora also serves on the advisory board of the Information and Communications Technologies Sector of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Technology from G.B. Pant University in India and a Master of Science (Computer Science) from the University of Saskatchewan.

Jean-Paul Castaigne

Jean-Paul Castaigne

Jean-Paul Castaigne is a senior executive with extensive international experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Prior to relaunching JPCConsulting, a boutique consulting company specialized in biotechnology, as President, he was CEO of Angiochem, COO and CSO of Conjuchem, and previously he was Vice President, Head of Global R&D at the Fournier Group in France. In addition, Dr. Castaigne spent eleven years with Novartis in a variety of management positions, including Corporate Vice President for Canada, President and Managing Director in the Philippines and Director of Medical and R&D in France. Dr. Castaigne has also worked with CILAG (J&J) and Sanofi in France. He received his MD from Paris University in 1975 and held the position of Associate Professor of oncology and pneumology in 1978. Dr. Castaigne received an MBA from HEC Paris in 1987. Dr. Castaigne is member of the board of the following biotech companies and organizations: Ocera Therapeutics, Asmacure and BioQuébec.

Karen Clarke-Whistler

Karen Clarke-Whistler

Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer for TD Bank Financial Group is responsible for developing and implementing an environmental strategy that meets TD’s stated goal of becoming the environmental leader in the banking industry in North America. A respected environmental scientist, prior to joining TD Karen worked as an environmental consultant on projects around the globe relating to sustainable development of the natural resource and energy sectors. She has consulted extensively to global banks and is published on a range of topics relating to sustainable development and corporate responsibility.

Tabitha Creighton

Tabitha Creighton CPA, CMA, is the Senior Vice-President for Payment Solutions, at iQmetrix Software. She is accountable for one of the largest payment processing firms in North America overseeing more than $3B in electronic payments annually, and has two decades of experience in the business and financial technology sector. An experienced CEO and CFO in her field, she has guided the growth of multiple businesses to grow well beyond Canadian borders, navigating the complexities of capital pursuit, mergers and acquisitions, product launches in multiple geographies and multi-million dollar deal structuring and execution. During her tenure at Microsoft, she advised many of Canada's largest publicly traded corporations on how to transform their IT organizations from utility cost centres to become strategic components of their growth plans, leading numerous programs focused on top line growth and advancement of their internal systems expertise.

In 2013, she launched one of the first direct investment models for small businesses in the United States, enabling hundreds of small businesses to access new capital sources, directly tied to the social betterment of the communities in which they operated. Her company won the Outerwall Civic Venture Award, for "being committed to driving innovation and helping our communities thrive... by connecting small businesses and investors at the local level". She has a deep commitment to enabling entrepreneurs to be successful, and invests her time as an Advisor to the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada, as well as being the former co-Chair Woman of CATA's (the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance) Women in Technology (WIT) chapter in British Columbia, as well as the co-founder of Women Powering Technology, and a Board member for the PuSh Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver.

She obtained her B.A. Hon., from Carleton University and holds her Management Accounting designation (CPA, CMA) from the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia.

Kevin Keough

Kevin Keough

Kevin Keough is the Principal of Kevin Keough Consulting Incorporated, a company providing analysis and strategic and operational advice on science and innovation. He also serves, part time, as the Executive Director of the Alberta Prion Research Institute. Prior to joining the Alberta Prion Research Institute, Dr. Keough held various senior positions within the research sector, including: President and CEO of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research; the first Chief Scientist at Health Canada in Ottawa; and, the first Vice-President of Research and International Relations at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is also co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of NovaLipids Inc., and he is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Dr. Keough is Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Memorial University where he has had an active career in research for nearly fifty years. He headed a productive biochemical research laboratory at Memorial University for more than three decades, and has been active in research on biological membranes and lung surfactant for nearly fifty years. Dr. Keough is the author or co-author of 140 published scientific papers, one book, 190 presentations at scientific conferences, and 70 invited scientific presentations at national and international institutions and conferences.

Dr. Keough has been a member of the Boards of Directors and Governing Councils of a large number of agencies and not-for-profit corporations including the Medical Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Genome Canada. He is currently a member of the Boards of Directors of the Alberta Health Industry Association, and the Science Media Centre of Canada. He is a member of the External Advisory Council of Virtual Researchers on Call and Partners in Research. He is on the Governing Boards of two international research organizations, NeuroPrion and the Asia Pacific Society for Prion Research.

He has served as a consultant to national and international research organizations, the pharmaceutical industry and to various levels of government. Dr. Keough continues to participate in research activities and advising, and is frequently consulted on issues of science and innovation policy and management by academia, government and industry.

Brian E. Lowe

Brian E. Lowe is co-founder and director of the First Angel Network Association, Atlantic Canada’s largest association for private investors and is a shareholder and director of several operating companies throughout Atlantic Canada. As an accomplished entrepreneur and business leader with over 35 years’ experience, he has been involved in a number of start-up companies throughout his career. Mr. Lowe raised millions of dollars for these companies. He has been responsible for taking technologies to market internationally resulting in mergers and acquisitions. As a co-founder of Immunovaccine Technologies Inc., Mr. Lowe brought invaluable expertise having been responsible for the incorporation and raising the necessary start-up funding totaling $10 million. On October 5th, 2009, Immunovaccine Inc. (TSX-V: IMV) became a publicly traded company. Past experience includes serving as the President/CEO/Founder of three environmental companies based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Mr. Lowe successfully negotiated the sale of these companies to Laidlaw Environmental Services Ltd. of South Carolina. He is the Chair of Bio Nova’s Board, Nova Scotia’s Industry Life Sciences Association, a past director of the National Angel Capital Organization and the current Chair of Springboard Atlantic’s Board, a network with a mandate to support the commercialization of research throughout the 19 universities and colleges in Atlantic Canada. Mr. Lowe served the past seven years as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship under the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University.

Hadi Mahabadi

Hadi Mahabadi is an innovation leader and a world-renowned scientist with extensive and successful experience in management and commercialization. Dr. Mahabadi received his doctorate in the field of polymer engineering from the University of Waterloo in 1976 and held various academic positions, including Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department of Tehran University of Technology, before joining Xerox in 1981. During his forty-year career, including seven years as Vice President of the Xerox Innovation Group and the Director of the Xerox Research Centre of Canada, Mahabadi has had many scientific discoveries and has been instrumental in successful commercialization of many breakthrough technologies. He has published over 200 papers, presented in many international conferences as an invited /plenary lecturer and authored over ninety U.S. patents.His scientific achievements, managerial capabilities and innovation leadership efforts were recognized by many awards, including his 2012 appointment as Officer of the Order of Canada as an innovation leader and for his commitment to promoting scientific development in Canada. He has also received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Andrée-Lise Méthot

Andrée-Lise Méthot

Andrée-Lise Méthot, founder of Cycle Capital Management, boasts almost 20 years of experience in corporate financing, management and engineering. She has set up an investment platform specialized in cleantechs totaling more than $230 million, which brings together industrial, institutional and strategic investors. During her career, she has developed a network of top-notch partnerships, from businesses, political affiliations and environmental backgrounds. In addition to serving on portfolio companies’ boards of directors, she is Ecotech Québec’s co-founder and Chair, and sits on the boards of directors for SWITCH, the Alliance for a Green Economy in Québec, Société québécoise des infrastructures, Fonds Capital Culture Québec and Natural Gas Technologies Centre. She is also a member of the External Advisory Committee to the Vice-Principal Research and International Relations at McGill University. She co-chaired a Task Force under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. She has chaired and has been a member of many panels of judges, in particular the Grand Prix du génie-conseil québécois, the Canadian Consulting Engineers Awards and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 2011, Andrée-Lise was recognized as one of Canada’s Clean16 and was named La Presse/Radio-Canada Personality of the week, while in 2013 she was named one of the Top 20 cleantech investors by CleanTechnica and one of the most influential women in sustainable development and in the cleantech industry by Corporate Knight. Ms. Méthot created the first Quebec-based venture capital fund specializing in the cleantech sector: the Fonds d’investissement en développement durable, which gave birth to Cycle Capital. She also launched a fund specializing in sustainable development: the Fonds d’action québécois pour le développement durable. Among others, she previously worked at Groupe Axor, CINBIOSE, and at the Commission de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail. She has an MSc from the Université de Montréal and a Bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering from Université Laval. She also studied atmospheric physics at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Ron Schwartz

Ron Schwartz

Ron Schwartz is the managing partner of Adante Consulting. He is a senior executive with experience in business strategy and execution, analytics, technology strategy, and the management of large change programs. He has served, on several occasions, in an interim management role as a line executive with operational responsibility. He also serves on a number of Boards or Councils, giving him a very broad view of enterprise stewardship and governance. He is actively involved in the delivery of consulting engagements, both at Adante and its subsidiary RiskOnBoard, which focuses on Enterprise Risk Management. Equally comfortable with hands on, in a leadership role or as an advisor, he is a skilled leader who can match operations to strategy, and resolving complex business- and technology-related matters. He specializes in working with senior management and large project teams to map out critical business-improvement technologies and approaches, and to strategize, plan, guide and on occasion help recover complex and important projects. He is a former PwC Partner and IBM Executive, and has spent over 25 years in the management consulting industry. He has an MBA and holds the CMC designation, which indicates the highest degree of commitment to consulting as a profession. He has taught business courses at the university level, speaks at conferences, and has had many articles published.

Martin Walker

Martin Walker

Martin Walker, media and entertainment technology executive, has been involved in commercial software development in Montreal from the mid 1980s. He has spent most of his career in the multimedia arena, working for companies like Matrox Electronics, Softimage, Behaviour and others. He has been a key player in building tools and environments for video productions including special effects and 3D computer graphics. His venture in the gaming industry has evolved into the creation of several generations of multiplatform game engines and the elaboration of optimized production pipelines to unleash the creative power of artists, designers and programmers on over 120 titles. Currently CTO for Fuel Industries, a youth engagement company specialising in brand gamification through mobile and web applications, Martin has been board executive for l’Alliance Numérique, and a member of advisory committees for Concordia University, Champlain College in Burlington, Université de Sherbrooke and Collège Bois-de-Boulogne to help improve art and game production programs.