In addition to being Chair of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Council (STIC), Kenneth Knox is the CEO of Knox-Vannest Inc., providing strategic advice and advisory services to non-profit and public sector organizations managing complex issues. Dedicated to public service, Mr. Knox served in numerous positions in the Government of Ontario from 1972 until leaving in 2000 after serving as Deputy Minister, Energy, Science and Technology. On the science and technology file, Mr. Knox established and led a ‘virtual ministry’ charged with the mandate to foster a “culture of innovation” in Ontario, through investment in scientific research and the application of new technologies. Under his leadership, the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, the Ontario Innovation Trust, and the Premier’s Research Excellence Awards were established.
After leaving the Ontario government, Mr. Knox served in leadership positions in a number of science and innovation related organizations. He was the founding CEO of the Ontario Genomics Institute; the President and CEO of the Innovation Institute of Ontario; the President and CEO of the Ontario Innovation Trust; a Founding Director of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute; and the first General Manager of MaRS Discovery District. He also played a crucial role in the formation of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies and, more recently, the creation of the Ontario Brain Institute, and he assisted in structuring the Ontario BioAuto Council. Mr. Knox has also served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Ontario Bio Council, the Ontario Science and Innovation Council, the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, the Leaders’ Forum on Innovation of The Conference Board of Canada, Ontario Hydro, the Ontario Jobs and Investment Board, and the Special Advisory Panel on Creating an Innovation Culture.
Mr. Knox has provided strategic advice to federal ministers and deputy ministers, including completing reviews for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, as well as two assignments for the president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Most recently, Mr. Knox was the chairman of the CFIA’s audit committee.
Mr. Knox graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College of the University of Guelph in 1972. In 2011, he was inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame and given an Honorary Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, by the University of Guelph. In 2006, he received the Toronto Biotechnology Initiative Community Recognition Award and, in 2008, he received the Ontario Amethyst Award (Public Service): Sandra D. Lang Lifetime Achievement.