It’s a fairly safe bet that — barring a dramatic change in voting patterns — Canada will emerge after January 23rd with another minority government. Whether that government is Liberal or Conservative could have a major bearing on the future direction and success of the national innovation agenda.
Strategy calls for two new NRC institutes
A powerful proponent of the Toronto region’s R&D community is thrusting research and innovation into the federal election campaign and is calling on the government to increase its investment in the area to a level commensurate with the amount of R&D it performs.
The Saskatchewan government has unveiled a $50-million public-private early-stage fund to help existing firms expand and make provincial start-ups more attractive to investors. The Saskatchewan Entrepreneurial Fund (SEF) is receiving $25 million over five years from the government’s Crown Investments Corp (CIC) and a matching amount from Sask Central, an organization representing the province’s credit unions.
By Debbie Lawes
The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has launched a new $10.5-million program designed to strengthen science and technology policies in developing countries, and leverage millions in additional dollars from research granting councils in Canada.
Federal expenditures remain flat despite greater support for higher education sector
Federal expenditures on S&T will remain flat in FY05-06, according to Statistics Canada. Increased funding performed by the higher education sector was offset by fewer dollars being spent intramurally or through funding to business and non-profit institutions.
Increased funding for the higher education sector is helping to boost Canada’s gross expenditures on R&D (GERD) to a projected $26.3 billion in 2005, up 4% increase from 2004, and 5.3% from 2003. Canada’s impressive R&D performance after a period of stagnation in 2001 and 2002 does not translate into a higher GERD/GDP ratio, however, due to robust economic growth that outstripped greater R&D expenditures.
The Office of the Auditor General (AG) has come out swinging against the leadership and governance of the Canadian Biotechnology Strategy (CBS) and criticized the way it deals with advice sought from external experts.
The federal and Ontario governments have collaborated once again to secure a major automotive investment for the province. DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc (DCCI) has committed $768 million, bringing this year’s new auto investments in Ontario to $5.