In the risk sector, CIRANO focusses on understanding and measuring risk, as well as the factors that influence the risk perception and tolerance. The notion of risk is currently of the greatest relevance to both private and public institutions. Sound governance requires that organizations account for the risks that may result from large-scale projects or far-reaching decisions. Are the financial, business or reputational, technological, and environmental risks acceptable? Does the population perceive them as a threat to health, security, or the sustainability of resources? In the area of financial risk, for example, the requirements imposed on financial institutions by the Basel Accords not only cover capital ratios, but also prescribe formal risk analyses—not unlike the work that lies at the heart of CIRANO’s mandate.

Through its work, CIRANO is able to offer a thorough analysis of the measurement, perception, and impact of risk, offering decision makers an array of tools to enhance risk management and decision making.

A Notable Impact

  • A rigorous analysis of the factors that contribute to the risk and success of major infrastructure projects—leading to the adoption by the Treasury Board of Quebec of a policy framework governing large projects to better manage cost overruns.

  • The work on the analysis of preventable accidents that occur during the delivery of healthcare services contributed to the creation of the first registry of accidents and incidents in Quebec’s hospitals. This registry fosters a better understanding of accidents, reduces their incidence, and curbs the associated costs.

  • The orientation of Quebec’s policy on the transportation of dangerous materials — CIRANO has become a key reference in the analysis and evaluation of these risks.

  • The dynamic modelling of financial yield volatility and correlations, portfolio allocation, and operational and business risks.

  • The work and recommendations on risk allocation and modelling for pension plans—contributing to the reform of these plans and their governance.

  • An analysis of the supply of, and demand for, venture capital within Quebec’s business financing ecosystem.

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