Knowledge & Research

The CIB’s Knowledge and Research initiative is an additional way to have a meaningful impact on the evolution of infrastructure investment in Canada. High quality research supports the development of good projects by the CIB, its public and private sector partners and can lead to better informed policy and investment choices.

As we build a centre of expertise, our goal is to partner with leading experts from across Canada. We want to develop and distribute knowledge and research relevant to the CIB and our stakeholders. We aim to enhance understanding and acceptance of infrastructure investment approaches involving the private sector and expand our thought leadership within the sector.

Our strategic priorities:

  • accelerating strategically identified research topics/themes;
  • engaging with a network of thought-leaders, including academics and think-tanks, to define and deliver knowledge and research that is net new to the Canadian infrastructure landscape;
  • engaging with federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments and Indigenous communities to develop and execute policy research initiatives; and
  • building our capacity as a centre of expertise.

As part of investment planning, we encourage innovative research which can lead to better informed policy and investment choices. As such, we supported the paper, Secure Smart Cities: Making Municipal Critical InfrastructureCyber Resilient, from Ryerson University’s Cyber Policy Exchange.


March 11, 2022 – The Atlantic Provinces and the federal government developed a roadmap for how jurisdictions can work together to achieve a clean power future for the region. Governments explored the full range of options for an enhanced, reliable power grid, including alternative financing mechanisms involving the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Clean Power Roadmap may require shared investments across participating utilities and governments as well as innovative financing solutions to control costs and avoid volatility in electricity rates.

Transit can reduce GHG emissions and provide citizens with cleaner and faster commutes, particularly for those living in cities. The CIB is proud to support a study by the University of Toronto’s, School of Cities’ Infrastructure Institute. Their work will examine the potential to capture increased land value from new transit and using proceeds to pay for the upfront capital costs of high-quality public infrastructure.

Climate Impacts on Canada’s Electricity Systems

Changes to Canada’s climate will be on average about double the global average, and have significant impacts on Canada’s electricity systems. While system planners have traditionally looked to historical data when planning for new investment, changes in temperature and an increased prevalence of adverse weather events mean this can no longer be the case. New infrastructure will cost more and must be built to withstand climate impacts as they change over the next century.

Research by the Canadian Energy Research Institute quantifies the magnitude of an array of climate impacts on electricity systems in Canada under a variety of different emission scenarios. The research looks at impacts by province and in select municipalities, showing that localized climate impacts will vary across the country and this needs to be taken into account. The CIB is investing in sustainable clean power infrastructure as one of its priority sectors.

A Microgrid Playbook: Conditions and Opportunities for Investment

The challenges of building and providing clean power in rural and remote locations can be daunting. They include lack of capacity, limits of economic scale and difficulty in securing access, among others. As a result, many off-grid communities rely on diesel generation, which bring with it emissions, the risk of spills and air quality impacts. Microgrids relying on solar or wind power could be part of the solution.

This research by the Conference Board of Canada sets out a playbook that identifies positive outcomes that could be achieved with microgrid solutions, including a reduction in the use of diesel, GHG emission reductions and new employment. Microgrids are also an opportunity to provide for community led energy in Indigenous communities. The CIB has identified clean power as a priority sector for investment and was pleased to support and provide input to this work.

Sustainable Finance II – Public Policy Forum

Incorporating the principles of Sustainable Finance into business processes is critical to making sound investment decisions, accounting for their impact and performance, and ensuring progress is made towards climate and sustainability objectives.

The CIB is working with thought leaders to understand these dynamics and was pleased to partner on this Public Policy Forum roundtable series. Through the discussions and debates that were held insights were shared that will have relevance to the Bank and others in areas such as data collection, reporting and the opportunities to mobilize capital towards sustainability goals. The CIB’s Growth Plan was highlighted as one example of capital mobilization. Read the Public Policy Forum’s full report on the roundtables here.