The transition of the storied nuclear facility at Chalk River ON to the private sector and its future role in scientific research is becoming clear with the release of a 10-year strategic plan by its new owner Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL). Increasing R&D collaboration with domestic and international partners and a greater commercial focus will become the norm following the shutdown of the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor on March 31/18 as CNL seeks to leverage both internal and external S&T capabilities into new or enhanced products and markets.
After several years of low-profile, leading-edge activity, the Communications Research Centre is once again at the forefront of Canadian research and innovation. In addition to pioneering the use of the cloud to conduct public R&D, it has launched a ground breaking Big Data Analytics Centre which is being billed as the world’s first innovation laboratory for telecom regulation and dynamic spectrum management.
Time to act on Canada’s stem cell science competitive advantage
Throughout the world, countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan are striving to become world leaders in this promising new area. Canada has an incalculable advantage — we are already there. We have been leaders since James Till and Ernest McCulloch discovered stem cells more than 50 years ago. Canada’s foundational research in stem cell biology has underpinned all subsequent work on clinical applications in regenerative medicine, stem cell-related drug discovery, and cell and tissue engineering. Stem cell science is, truly, Canada’s science.
Last month’s Ontario Budget included a $674-million boost to support for technology, innovation and skills development as the province posted its first balanced budget since the 2008 financial meltdown and made a commitment of at least two more to come. Fuelled by 2.7% growth of provincial GDP in 2016, the $141.7-billion budgetary plan for 2017 includes funding to support autonomous vehicles, business growth, quantum computing and next-generation wireless consortia.
Quebec has come a long way in strengthening its knowledge capacity since the early days of the Quiet Revolution. The notion of investing in S&T for its economic, social and cultural development has always been central to its policy platforms irrespective of political party. The May 11 release of the 126-page Quebec Research and Innovation Strategy (SQRI) by Quebec premier Philippe Couillard signals a major shift by the province to aim much higher and up the province’s innovation game.
Provinces that develop and deploy explicit science policies benefit from greater coordination, alignment and clarity of their science-based activities, which in turn help leverage federal support. Other than Quebec and the territories which have developed explicit science policies, those of Canada’s other subnational governments are implicit in nature and often conflate science and innovation resulting in less than optimum outcomes, according to a new report from the Council of Canadian Academies.
RE$EARCH MONEY managing editor Mark Henderson sat down with National Research Council president Iain Stewart on April 11 to discuss the organization’s recent internal consultations and plans for the future. Stewart assembled seven Tiger Teams to fan out across the country and report back to him in preparation for a Spring Memorandum to Cabinet.
Budget critics miss the point: The future of education is the foundation for innovation
The most recent federal Budget has garnered headlines more for what people say it did not do than for what it does. It has been branded as anodyne — a do-nothing Budget, a place holder while we wait to see what our neighbours to the south will do. A recent Nanos poll reported in the April 17/17 Globe and Mail shows that “Canadians dislike [the] Liberal budget,” more for not tackling the deficit than for anything it does.
The Communications Research Centre (CRC) has successfully completed a pilot project that could pave the way for cloud-based R&D across government, signalling a dramatic transformation in how many government researchers work and collaborate.
The long-awaited 2017-2027 Quebec Life Sciences Strategy is positioning the province to be in the top five North American life sciences clusters within a decade. The strategy aims to leverage its scientific expertise, particularly in precision medicine and big data, by attracting $4 billion in private investment to boost industry employment and increase the number of Quebec-based firms and their contribution to provincial GDP.
The NSERC Canadian Field Robotics Network (NCFRN) put on an impressive display of robots and drones last week in Ottawa as the national network readies its pitch for renewed and increased federal funding. NCFRN, one of 16 active NSERC Strategic Networks, is currently in its final year of a five-year $5 million award. Demonstrations representing the work of 180 researchers from eight universities and 12 industrial and government partners coincided with the network’s annual meeting where high-level discussions took place on how to secure an even larger injection of funding from the federal government…
Mitacs to realize goal of placing 10,000 internships throughout industry, not-for-profit sector and government
Mitacs’ long-term goal of supporting 10,000 internships annually has become a reality with a $211-million investment from the federal government. Announced in the recent federal Budget, the five-year funding commitment beings this FY at $12 million and ramps up to $80 million by FY21-22, providing an unprecedented infusion of post-secondary talent into industry and the not-for-profit sector.