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Rotman School Professor Wins 2023 President’s Impact Award from the University of Toronto.

March 10, 2023

Toronto – Ajay Agrawal, a professor of strategic management at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management is one of the recipients of the University’s 2023 President’s Impact Award. The award celebrates and honours faculty members whose research has led to a significant impact beyond academia.

He received the award for his application of economic theory to the problem of market failures associated with transforming scientific inventions into scalable companies that benefit society - now adopted by many other universities around the world. His pioneering research on innovation and entrepreneurship, published in top scholarly journals in economics and management, inspired his design of the ground-breaking Creative Destruction Lab (CDL). With a mission of enhancing “the commercialization of science for the betterment of humankind,” the CDL engages entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, economists, investors, and graduate students to help innovators transition their science projects into financeable companies.

Prof. Agrawal founded the CDL at the Rotman School in 2012. The CDL delivers an objectives-based, not-for-profit program for massively scalable, seed-stage, science-based companies. Since its founding, the CDL has expanded to sites at five Canadian and seven international universities. Participating ventures have created over $25 billion in equity value. Professor Agrawal also founded NEXT Canada, a not-for-profit program for founder development.

Prof. Agrawal holds the Geoffrey Taber Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Rotman School. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA; an academic advisory council member at the Center on Regulation and Markets at Brookings in Washington, DC; an advisory board member for Carnegie Mellon University’s Block Center for Technology and Society in Pittsburgh; and a faculty affiliate at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Toronto.

He is a co-author of two best-selling books, Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, and its follow-up Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence, both published by Harvard Business Review Press with Rotman Profs. Avi Goldfarb and Joshua Gans. He is also co-author of a number of scholarly and popular press articles on the economics of machine intelligence.

Prof. Agrawal has received numerous awards for his research and teaching from the Rotman School. He was recognized by the University of Calgary with an honorary degree in 2022, the highest honor bestowed by the University. He was appointed in 2022 a Member of the Order of Canada, the second-highest honour for merit in the country. The Globe and Mail named him to their “Power 50” list of the most influential Canadians in business.

Bringing together high-impact faculty research and thought leadership on one searchable platform, the new Rotman Insights Hub offers articles, podcasts, opinions, books and videos representing the latest in management thinking and providing insights into the key issues facing business and society.


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Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto