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J. André Potworowski, PhD, MBA
Past Managing Partner, Science & Technology

It was with immense sadness that we, at PDI, learned the passing, on October 7, 2015, of our beloved friend, colleague and inspiring mentor Dr. Jean-André Potworowski. André was a warm and genuine soul who touched the lives of many in and beyond our borders. He was an accomplished pedagogue as a professor, a teammate at PDI and a science writer for CBC Radio Canada. We worked together for over 16 years both for PDI and Harvard University Clubs where his commitment was unwavering to CHEO, Haiti, Africa and Tsunami victims, among others. He earned our boundless admiration as an exemplary force for the greatest good as he deeply cared about climate change, social justice, health and education especially for the most vulnerable. Words cannot express how André will be sorely missed.

Alain Paul Martin

Dr. André Potworowski was, till September 2015, the Managing Partner Science and Technology at PDI. He also was Adjunct Professor in the Executive MBA program and a former Associate Director, R&D, Centre for Research in Biopharmaceuticals and Biotechnology at the University of Ottawa.

André was an authority on the management of science and technology, innovation and knowledge capital. He advised on R&D strategy and priority-setting, technology transfer, marketing, innovation, and evaluation of technology solutions and R&D programs. In the course of various assignments, he surveyed, interviewed, and held focus groups with over 2,000 technology companies and government institutions. He has taught management and coached executives for over 20 years.

A former science writer for the CBC/Radio Canada and other media, he wrote numerous articles and reports on science and technology and R&D strategy.

  • M.B.A. Harvard Business School (1981)
  • Ph.D. (Physical Chemistry and Computer Science), U. of Toronto (1974)
  • B.Sc. (Honours Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude), Loyola College, Montreal (1968)
  • Teamed-up with Alain Paul Martin, in 2014 and 2015, to advises the government on large-scale risks in Canada’s North and Arctic since 2014.
  • Led a multi-year project in analyzing the drug approval and clinical trials system in Canada and its major stakeholders. The report “Accelerating access to best medicines”, was presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, and discussed at a regional conference.
  • For Aventis-Pasteur (now Sanofi-Pasteur) a global vaccine manufacturer, led a project to develop the business case for a new $10 million integration/globalization strategy for laboratories at the R&D level, working in Canada, the US, and France.
  • For CANMET, the Canadian Mining and Energy Technology of Natural resources Canada, created the first Office of Technology Transfer, and developed the first framework for R&D that recognized the three mandates of policy, regulatory (safety and environment), and industrial productivity.
  • For RES International, a medium-sized IT management consulting firm, succeeded in raising over $2 million from various government including IRAP, ITAC, Renaissance Eastern Europe, and Technical Assistance Programs, for advanced software development including artificial intelligence.
  • Led a major feasibility study for modernizing and automating the Russian Patent Office (ROSPATENT), a 3,500 employee institution. Project included analysis of the flow of documents, the extent of holdings of patent documents, potential for automation, and the full economic impact of modernization.
  • Helped develop a complete privatization strategy for an Environment Canada Laboratory at the Environmental Technology Centre. This included developing a business plan, evaluating key options and directions, and holding an awareness session with employees. The unit is now successfully integrated in one of the largest technology consulting firms, SAIC.
  • For the National Water Research Institute in Burlington, developed a strategy for increasing revenue from commercial activities throughout the research institute. Led teams in developing business plans for six major business lines, with realistic future opportunities and limitations to private revenue generation.
  • Health Canada: Review of health risk management cases & developing skills development program on risk assessment
  • Office of Knowledge Management - Therapeutic Drug Directorate: Evaluation of knowledge management process (with Alain Paul Martin)
  • Health Canada Legislative Review of new drug screening and approval process
  • Biotechnology Research Institute: Strategic planning facilitation
  • Environment Canada: Carried out a five-year review of integrated World-Bank projects in watershed management
  • Research strategy and product focus definition for major Web-based company
  • Business strategy for a software developer with new web-based product
  • Created joint ventures in Europe with a Canadian eCommerce firm
  • Product development and research strategy for Hi-tech Canadian Medical Devices company
  • Worked with major PC lap-top manufacturer to develop client service programs and focus sales efforts
  • Institute for Research in Construction: R&D planning
  • National Water Research Institute: Technology transfer and commercialization strategies
  • National Hydrological Research Institute: Modeling and collaborative research strategy
  • Environment Canada: Led workshops to develop national R&D strategy for acid rain research for next decade, pesticide policy, and science capacity
  • Helped develop joint interdepartmental strategy for water-based certified reference materials
  • National Laboratory on Environmental Testing: Business plan development
  • National Research Council: Facilitated dialogue between physics and biotechnology research institutes
  • Led a workshop to create a major national research program on toxics in the environment
  • Public Service Commission: worked to establish a knowledge management program
  • Led two national workshops to create a new Guide for Municipal Infrastructures
  • Russian Federation: Feasibility study of a complete IT overhaul for the patent office, and advanced IT training for senior officials of Russian Standards Office
  • Queens’ University: Helped the Computer and Information Sciences department establish long-term goals
AUTHOR (Books, Papers and Presentations)
  • “Accelerating Access for Patients to Best Medicine: The system, the Challenge” with Monique Bégin, Judy Erola, and George Wells, Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa, March 2003
  • Clinical Trials In Canada : “What Should We Do If We Want More Of Them?”, Biotechnology Focus, November 2003
  • Conference Proceedings, Editor: Ottawa Regional Conference “Building excellence in clinical research and clinical trials”, February 2005, Ottawa, Canada
  • “Robotics and Automation in the Mineral Industry” CANMET, 1984
  • “Managing Technology: The Canadian Challenge”, 1988
  • “Challenge is to manage results of our R&D”, Financial Post, June 17, 1988
  • “Accessing University Research: The Canadian Experience”, International Development Research Centre 1989
  • “A Utilisation Framework for IDRC Projects”, International Development Research Centre, 1989
  • “Eight Steps to a bigger bang from the university research dollar”, in Canadian Laboratory, Vol.1, no.3, December/January 1990, p.10
  • “A Technology-Utilisation Framework For Developing Countries”, The Journal of Technology Transfer, Vol.16, No.1, Winter 1991, pp.33-40
  • “Market Barriers to Industrial Energy Efficient Technology in Ontario: A Case Study of a Government-led Technology Initiative”, with T.L. Birkenheier, published in the Proceedings of 3d International Conference on Management of Technology, February 1992, Miami
  • “After Two Decades of Government Efforts to Promote Renewable Energy Technologies - What have we learned?” Fourth International Conference on Management of Technology, 1994, Miami
  • “Why are Mining Companies Interested in Third World Countries” Fourth International Conference on Management of Technology, 1994, Miami
  • “Environmental Solutions for the Mining and Mineral Processing Industries”, Editor, Hickling Corporation, April 1994. Compendium of environmental technology products and services for mining and mineral processing companies
  • “Best Practices in Co-operative Industrial R&D and Technology Transfer” report prepared for CANMET, November 1994
  • “Application of Creative Problem Solving Techniques to R&D Planning --A Case Study in Urban Roads Research”, with Guy Felio and Laverne Palmer (presented at the annual general meeting of the Canadian Research Management Association, Halifax, September 1997)
  • Edited and Compiled “Innovation in the New Economy: Building Productive Relationships” Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Canadian Research Management Association, Ottawa, September 13-15 1998
  • “Achieving Client-Centered R&D Organizations”, in OPTIMUM, Vol.28, no.3 1998, pp1-11
  • “Case Studies in Achieving Client-Centered R&D Organizations” presented at the Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology, July 1999, Portland State University
  • “Strategic Mapping: Creating a Partnership between Evaluator and Client”, with Robert Czerny, Agora Management Associates, Canadian Evaluation Society, National Capital Chapter 13th Annual Workshop, December 1999
  • “Setting Common Objectives in Collaborative R&D and Technology Programs: Selected Case Studies”, presented at the Aerospace Technology Collaboration Forum of the AIAC (Aerospace Industry Association of Canada), May 2000, in Ottawa
  • “Creating and Growing Technology Clusters: Observations and Best Practices from NRC Managers engaged in the creation and development of technology based clusters”, J. André Potworowski, National Research Council of Canada 2004
  • “Forget 'Consumer' Society - Try 'Conserver' Society”, Special to Globe and Mail Update, February 13, 2007
  • “The Transition to a Conserver Society: The Role of Business”, presented at the Walter Gordon Symposium, Massey College, University of Toronto, October 4 2007
  • Past President, Harvard Business School Association, National Capital
  • Steering Committee of the Friends of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa
  • Regional Director of the Massey College (University of Toronto) Alumni Association, National Capital Region
  • Canadian Institute for Mining and Metallurgy
  • Ottawa Carleton Research Institute (OCRI) and Ottawa Life Sciences Council (OLSC)
  • Innovation Management Association of Canada
  • Founding Secretary Treasurer of the Canadian Association for Management of Technology (CANMOT) and member of the International Association for the Management of Technology

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