Creative Destruction Lab’s (CDL) mission is to transform science projects into massively scalable products and services that benefit humankind. 

CDL engages leading entrepreneurs, economists, scientists, inventors, business leaders, and investors from around the world in team-work and cooperation for the purpose of accelerating the idea-to-deployment cycle via a rigorous, objective-setting process. 

CDL will now turn its attention to contributing to the crisis response, applying its proven model to assist with public health and economic recovery.

“Novel crises require novel responses,” says Ajay Agrawal, Professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and founder of the Creative Destruction Lab. “Novel responses require innovation, often predicated on insights from science. For example, in November of 1944, President Roosevelt wrote a letter to Dr. Vannevar Bush reflecting the central role played by science-based innovation in WWII – not just the Manhattan Project, but radar, jet engines, penicillin, and many others:

“DEAR DR. BUSH: The Office of Scientific Research and Development, of which you are the Director, represents a unique experiment of team-work and cooperation in coordinating scientific research and in applying existing scientific knowledge to the solution of the technical problems paramount in war. Its work has been conducted in the utmost secrecy and carried on without public recognition of any kind; but its tangible results can be found in the communiques coming in from the battlefronts all over the world. Some day the full story of its achievements can be told.”

Today, many industry leaders, policy-makers, and academics express the need to assume a wartime footing in response to COVID-19. Thus, our launch of CDL Recovery – a new program designed to rapidly transform technological innovations into useful products and services in the areas of public health (e.g., diagnostic tests, vaccines, remote treatments, telemedicine) and economic recovery (e.g. virtual work, retraining, remote operation, automation, food supply) in response to the global crisis.”

CDL Recovery is designed to anticipate and address some of the most pressing needs that will arise over the next six to eighteen months.

Support from Scale AI, a Canadian investment and innovation hub, will bolster CDL Recovery’s capacity to respond nimbly to these evolving needs, scaling products and services for market as quickly as possible. 

Applications for the program open today. All types of innovative teams may apply – startups, corporations, informal collaborations, sole inventors, social impact ventures, and not-for-profit initiatives. The program design is described here. CDL Recovery follows the traditional CDL program structure at twice the regular cadence.


Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a nonprofit organization that delivers an objectives-based program for massively scalable, seed-stage, science- and technology-based companies. Its nine-month program allows founders to learn from experienced entrepreneurs, increasing their likelihood of success. Founded in 2012 by Professor Ajay Agrawal at the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto, the program has expanded to eight sites across four countries: Oxford (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford), Paris (HEC Paris), Atlanta (Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology), Vancouver (Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia), Montreal (HEC Montréal), Calgary (Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary), and Halifax (Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University).

For more information:

Amarpreet Kaur
Marketing Lead
Creative Destruction Lab