Numbers

Number 20 / Volume 16 / December 16, 2002

Editorial:
Mark Henderson, Managing Editor

Taken as a whole, the stories in this issue of RE$EARCH MONEY provide an advance snapshot of the direction that Canadian S&T will be moving in the new year. Although the image is still blurry, one can discern a growing willingness by all sectors in the innovation system to boost R&D spending and tackle barriers to increased productivity and prosperity.

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RE$EARCH MONEY Second Annual Conference

“Technology Clusters: By Accident or Design”

February 19, 2003 at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa

Join us on February 19 for a full day of debate and discussion on technology clusters, featuring many of Canada’s leaders on this important issue.

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Opinion Leader:
Robert J Giroux

Robert Giroux

Healthier universities to benefit all Canadians
By Robert J Giroux

Much has happened in recent years to make Canada a more innovative nation. A key change has been strengthening the innovative capacity of our universities.

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Plaus made major contribution to S&T

Statistics Canada and the science and technology community are losing one of their most accomplished proponents with the retirement of Bert Plaus. Plaus is ending a 28-year career in which he made a major contribution to the relatively new field of S&T indicators and influenced the way in which those indicators are measured internationally.

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News Bites

News Briefs

OST restructures and new group forms

Three NCEs pass mid-term review

Micrologix receives US VC funding

Hydro-Québec invests in waste energy technology

BioEnvelop closes $3.3 million private placement

NeteraNet getting $1 million upgrade

BuildDirect launches e-commerce research project

People

Dr Gijs van Rooijen

Dr Paul Vincett

Bert Plaus

Number 19 / Volume 16 / December 2, 2002

Editorial:
Mark Henderson, Managing Editor

No one can fault the delegates to the National Innovation Summit for departing from the event with a renewed sense of optimism. For the first time since the consultations were launched, innovation, skills and learning finally seemed to be on the national agenda.

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Five-point Action Plan indicates government may move quickly

National Innovation Summit

Better access to risk capital, a stronger emphasis on commercialization, a permanent program for the indirect costs of university research and much altered R&D tax credits emerged as central recommendations stemming from the marathon brain storming session at the National Innovation Summit.

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Opinion Leader:
Dr René Durocher

Dr René Durocher

Canada Research Chairs: More money and no less independence for universities

By Dr René Durocher

I would like to take this opportunity to make some important corrections to an article Yves Gingras wrote about the Canada Research Chairs program published in RE$EARCH MONEY on November 4, 2002.

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News Bites

News Briefs

Genome research project secures corporate backing

TPC invests in Thales avionics R&D project

Shire boosts Laval facility with new research centre

Challenge Fund issues two calls for new projects

CRTI issues second call for proposals

CANARIE backs e-business research project on SMEs

Conference Board issues corporate innovation index

Virtual Classroom connects Canada and Hong Kong

People

Paul Johnston

Dr Camille Limoges

John MacDonald

Number 18 / Volume 16 / November 18, 2002

Editorial:
Mark Henderson, Managing Editor

Few will argue that Canada is desperately in need of a national S&T policy. The Holy Grail of this week’s national innovation summit is a national innovation and learning action plan that’s realistic, ambitious and above all achievable.

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Martin Task Force issues first annual report on improving Ontario’s productivity

An influential task force led by Roger Martin has issued its first annual report with four key recommendations for how Ontario can begin to eliminate the province’s so-called prosperity gap. The task force calls for changes in marginal tax rates, increased investment in post-secondary education and infrastructure, a recognition of the importance of urban centres and heightened aspirations by the population as a whole.

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VC investment shows modest quarterly increase

Venture capital (VC) investment is showing the possible early signs of recovery after a disastrous second quarter this year. The latest data from Macdonald & Associates Ltd on behalf of the Canadian Venture Capital Association show that investment experienced a quarter-over-quarter increase of 7% to $475 million.

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Opinion Leader:
Ron Freedman

Ron Freedman

Who are the Innovators?
By Ron Freedman

There are three important questions that innovation analysts and policymakers still don’t have a good handle on with regard to industrial innovation: “Who? Is doing what? Where?” See if you know the answer to the following questions.

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News Bites

News Briefs

Government responds to standing committee report

Inno-Centre establishes new Guelph affiliate

Kaiser Foundation donates $4 million to UBC faculty

NRC’s CBR named Sun Centre of Excellence

Consultation for Innovation Strategy cost $7.5 million

Chairs program awards funding for 123 new chairs

People

Constance Hearty

Rocco Delvecchio

Chris Arsenault

Number 17 / Volume 16 / November 4, 2002

Editorial:
Mark Henderson, Managing Editor

One can forgive the confusion swirling through the federal S&T community in the wake of the decision to yank FINE from going forward for Cabinet consideration. The FINE proposal – short for Federal Innovation Networks of Excellence – was supposed to be the magic bullet that would break the funding logjam that has bedeviled the government’s science-based departments and agencies (SBDAs) since the mid 1990s.

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Science positioned as a key component of Ottawa’s climate change plan

Technology development and innovation are being touted as a major component of Canada’s strategy for meeting its commitments under the Kyoto climate change protocol. The first widely publicized indications of how the federal government plans to use science and technology (S&T) in the battle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is contained in Achieving Our Commitments Together, Ottawa’s draft plan for its national implementation strategy released October 25.

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Opinion Leader:
Dr Yves Gingras

Dr Yves Gingras

Canada Research Chairs : More money but less Autonomy for Canadian Universities
By Dr Yves Gingras

The division of powers between federal and provincial governments, as expressed in the Constitution, leaves education to the provinces.

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News Bites

News Briefs

CFI announces biggest competition in history

Nanotechnology institute names first staff members

Canada to participate in HapMap project

BCIT joins BCNET as ORAN launched

People

Dr Roman Maev

Dr Richard Isnor

Elizabeth Dowdeswell

Dr Gilles Patry

Dr Gerald Karam

Number 16 / Volume 16 / October 21, 2002

Editorial:
Mark Henderson, Managing Editor

Targets are useful tools. They help to focus debate, concentrate effort and provide a rallying point that everyone can get behind. But what happens when targets set by governments are unrealistic, as is the case for many of those created for Canada’s innovation performance?

It’s been nearly two years since Canada’s innovation targets were first announced.

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Opinion Leader:
Dr John de la Mothe

Dr John de la Mothe

Innovation Redux?
By Dr John de la Mothe

Innovation — the production of new knowledge and the commercialization of ideas — is central to the continuing development of industrial nations. Every state of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) believes this.

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News Bites

News Briefs

CFI funds new researchers and infrastructure

NRC launches $10-million nutraceuticals program

Angiotech acquires California -based Cohesion

OLSC announces business case winners

People

John Schwenk

Murray Stewart

Dr Patricia Béretta

Number 15 / Volume 16 / October 7, 2002

Editorial

Canada’s strategy for becoming a global leader in biotechnology is about to receive a major endorsement with the imminent decision by DSM Biologics to double its Montreal bioprocessing facility. Although the deal isn’t final, construction crews are already preparing the site on land leased from its neighbour, the National Research Council’s Biotechnology Research Institute.

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OST moving to new home as simmering dispute between principals results in split

Gingras vs Godin

The Observatoire des sciences et des technologies (OST) is about to be merged with a research unit of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). The move is the apparent culmination of a bitter powerplay between the two principal researchers at OST, Canada’s premier organization for producing and measuring bibliometric science and technology (S&T) indicators.

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Opinion Leader:
Paul Dufour

Paul Dufour

The Maple Leaf , the Blackberry & Shawinigan Science Policy
By Paul Dufour

In this era of rapid technological change and media saturation, psychologists and other social scientists have been busy analysing a unique, modern-day hubris.

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News Bites

News Briefs

Lockheed detection system receives TPC support

DALSA receives TPC funds for digital image technology

CMC Electronics Incsells military division

CLS passes commissioning milestone

Calgary aims to be top intelligent community

CANARIE funds two e-learning projects

People

Bradley Ashley

Dr Martha Salcudean

Richard May

Number 14 / Volume 16 / September 16, 2002

Editorial:
Mark Henderson, Managing Editor

If there’s a time when the innovation agenda needs a champion, it’s now. Buffeted by an R&D spending downturn and the backroom maneuvering of Liberal leadership hopefuls, the prospect of a dynamic, effective innovation strategy appears to be losing momentum.

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Federal innovation agenda struggles to remain on government list of priorities

National summit moved back two weeks

Concern is mounting that Ottawa’s much vaunted innovation agenda is running into trouble as it heads into the final stretch. The one-day national summit slated for November 5th in Toronto has been re-scheduled for later in the month — likely the 18th or 19th — amidst fears that innovation is rapidly slipping down the federal government’s list of priorities.

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Rural broadband funding program announced

Industry Canada is taking the first steps towards fulfilling its revised commitment to universal broadband access with the announcement of a $105-million Broadband for Rural and Northern Development Pilot Program.

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Opinion Leader:
Dr Brian Barge

Dr Brian Barge

4th Pillar Enablers and Multipliers
By Dr Brian Barge

Canadians are rallying around the Innovation Strategy introduced last February by the federal government. They are participating in regional discussions, proposing ideas, responding to challenges and setting objectives so that Canada can achieve its potential as an innovating nation.

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Summit to focus on private and academic sectors

Government bureaucrats will be few and far between at the national innovation summit, leaving the central focus on the business and academic sectors. The focus on two of the three major pillars of innovation is consistent with the thrust of the process to date, which has seen federal laboratories virtually locked out of the discussions.

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CBAC issues final report on regulation of genetically modified foods

The issue of voluntary labeling has dominated reaction a major report on the regulation of genetically modified (GM) foods in spite of the inclusion of 43 other recommendations. The final report by the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee (CBAC) includes input to CBAC’s interim report released last fall (R$, September 24/01).

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News Bites

News Briefs

CRTI provides $46 million for counter-terrorism R&D

Alberta holding two venture capital events

CATA to form ebusiness advocacy program

Redline nabs $4.6 million in TPC funding

Calendar Events

CATA Town Hall meetings to resume this month

AAAS in Ottawa for meetings next month

Conference to address technician skills shortage

People

Robert Webb

Dr Henry Mantsch

Dr Jinzi Jason

Number 13 / Volume 16 / August 30, 2002

Editorial

The selection process used for the first competition under the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) once again raises serious questions about the often awkward relationship between determining scientific excellence and the federal government’s role in regional development.

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Venture capital investment hammered

Investment activity by the Canadian venture capital (VC) industry crashed in flames during the second quarter of this year, shot down by the telecommunications meltdown, slumping public markets and shrinking foreign investment.

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Opinion Leader:
Joyce Groote

Joyce Groote

Where Will the Science Go?

By Joyce Groote

Research generated from federal R&D investment has and will continue to provide promising new technologies and products. These in turn provide the foundation for the creation of new start-up companies.

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Genome Atlantic gets funding boost

Genome Atlantic (GA) has received a $9-million cash infusion from the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF), as part of a $23-million funding package for four R&D projects in the region. GA has now received $29 million in funds, with the largest portion coming from Genome Canada ($14 million).

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News Bites

News Briefs

Agbiotech spin-off receives $2.3 million

Neuroscience research given $5.5-million boost

ITAC pushes for fibre links at border

TPC invests $6.4 millionin Intrinsyc Software

Guelph seeks new agbiotech funding

People

Dr Christopher Loomis

Mike Lazaridis

Number 12 / Volume 16 / July 29, 2002

Editorial

Two of Canada’s most respected research organizations are pushing to have an even greater impact on the nation’s innovative capacity. The Canadian Microelectronics Corp (CMC) and Precarn Inc are both massaging their strategic directions and seeking new funding sources as the federal government prepares to launch a national innovation strategy (see pages 3 & 5).

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Proposed microfluidics NCE generating big interest

The Canadian Microelectronics Corp is participating in a proposal to the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE)to develop laboratories on a chip The Network is seeking $7 million annually and will focus primarily on biomedical and environmental applications, as well as security, forensics and social policy.

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Precarn increasing research partnerships as impact of intelligent systems grows

Precarn Inc is looking to expand its funding base as intelligent systems and robotics expand their influence and become enabling technologies for a wide variety of sectors. Currently half way through a five-year, $20-million grant from Industry Canada, the Ottawa-based, not-for-profit national consortium is hoping that a higher profile and an extensive outreach program will bring in new funding collaborators while it ramps up discussions with the federal government to provide stable funding.

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Opinion Leader:
Maureen O’Neil

Maureen O’Neil

Equity — The Lasting Message from Rio
By Maureen O’Neil

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) — the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 — reaffirmed the plain truth that human well-being and healthy ecosystems are inextricably linked.

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News Bites

News Briefs

Nortel Networks’ R&D spending decline accelerates

ATS snares $29.5 million for solar energy project

British government gives major boost to S&T funding

NRC to build two new aerospace facilities

iFire enters technology collaboration with Sanyo

Correction

People

Douglas Beatty

Dr Douglas Stephan

Andy Gilliland

Number 11 / Volume 16 / July 8, 2002

Editorial:
Mark Henderson, Managing Editor

Like a slow moving freight train, Ottawa’s innovation agenda is gathering speed and on track to reach its first destination in Toronto this November. The leisurely pace of progress in developing an effective innovation strategy is dictated in part by the need to consult widely with all relevant players.

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Opinion Leader:
John P. Molloy

John P. Molloy

Making the case for value-added technology transfer
By John P. Molloy

Approaches to the commercialization of university research are undergoing dramatic changes and any new program will have to take account of the new realities of consolidation and rationalization.

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S&T ministers meeting produces few specifics

Federal and provincial S&T ministers have agreed to meet following the national innovation summit this November to continue discussions on how they can increase Canada’s innovation capacity.

The ministers met late last month in Vancouver but the official release only contained vague generalities such as the “need for early progress” and addressing the issue of indirect costs for university research, “the environment for biotechnology” and developing criteria for successful federal-provincial-territorial partnering.

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CA*net 4 on track despite GT Telecom problems

CANARIE Inc is confident that the financial troubles of the companies contracted to build its newest broadband network for the research community won’t have a negative impact. CA*net 4 is virtually complete and will be switched on in less than one month, says CANARIE officials and the organization will then take responsibility for operating the network.

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News Bites

News Briefs

Telelearning NCE receives completion funding

Canada Research Chair awards bring total to 627

Digital Opportunities Task Force issues follow-up

Auto sector forms innovation partnership council

New strategic framework developed for textile sector

Rock to join CATA’s town hall meetings

People

Dr Alan Pelman