A strategic partnership to consider the future of manufacturing

December 15, 2017

Paul Boothe, Managing Director, Trillium Manufacturing Network

A new provincially-funded organization has set-up shop in the Social Science Centre, with the goal that the collaboration goes beyond just being neighbours.

The Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the growth of Ontario manufacturing. The organization is funded through the Ontario government. Working with its partners, Trillium connects, convenes and collaborates with like-minded individuals and organizations to support the growth of Ontario manufacturing.

Trillium’s offices are hosted on the sixth floor of the Social Science Centre. Paul Boothe, Managing Director of the organization, foresees that Trillium will be able to work closely with members of the Faculty.

“I think we’ll find it a great place to be based,” said Boothe. “It’s all about talent. One of the things that encouraged us to move was to have access to that talent, and a lot of the research talent in Social Science overlaps with the interests of Trillium.”

Boothe has spoken with the Chairs of each of the Social Science departments, and has hired students from the Faculty to assist with the work.

Trillium, Boothe said, can help facilitate connections between researchers and CEOs, “so researchers can hear what CEOs are doing to prepare for Industry 4.0.”

These connections are important, said Boothe, to give people outside the university insight into how social science research can improve their approach to business.

As an example, Boothe points to the sociology of work, with consideration of how the evolution of existing and development of new industries will impact workers, and change approaches to training them.

Boothe feels these collaborations do not needs to be limited to business oriented disciplines, such as Economics and DAN Management. History students could help businesses with research or writing, he said, or Geography researchers could support mapping or GIS-related projects.

Changes in manufacturing, said Boothe “have big implications, and there are all sorts of different perspectives to bring to it.”

Boothe completed his BA in Economics at Western in 1976. He then completed a PhD from the University of British Columbia in 1981.

After graduation, Boothe spent many years working between academia and the public service, including four years as an economist with the Bank of Canada, three years as Deputy Minister with Saskatchewan Finance and two years as Deputy Minister with Environment Canada. Before taking on role of Managing Director of Trillium, Boothe was a Professor in the Richard Ivey School of Business and Director of the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management.

In December 2016, Boothe was named as a Member of the Order of Canada. He was invested into the Order in November 2017. His citation notes that he “helped bridge the gap between economic theory and the practical realities of policy implementation,” and states “he is best known for his leadership promoting fiscal reform in Saskatchewan and for supporting the Canadian auto industry during the financial crisis.”