Friends of the institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) know it to be a uniquely Canadian institution, with all of the benefits that appellation conveys. IRPP is an independent national think tank based in Montreal, Quebec. It is distinctive among Canadian policy research institutes for both its bilingual and bicultural identity and its nonpartisan stance toward public policy. There are various specialized research institutes in specific domains, and several think tanks with a regional focus. A first characteristic that sets IRPP apart is its function as a meeting place of the French-and English-Canadian policy communities. In addition, the institute developed a decentralized structure, with various research programs being located in different regional satellite offices. Funding, of course, crucially affects think tanks' output. Contractual research is at least to some extent tied to support. The research director responsible for a given area must scan the policy environment, identifying upcoming policy challenges and opportunities for IRPP to contribute useful policy research.