Canada must re-balance public investments that currently overemphasize fundamental research and provide high-level direction to increase the uptake and application of innovation, including offering experiential learning and professional development for key players in the innovation ecosystem, says a former president of the National Research Council (NRC).
Organization: National Research Council
Managing different organizations with varying interests and different sizes of financial commitment will require a change in culture for the companies and institutions engaged in the Innovation Supercluster Initiative (ISI) competition. Governance and managing millions of dollars in government funds matched by industry are among the key challenges and risks ISI contenders will face, according to panelists at the recent Canadian Science Policy Conference
The National Research Council (NRC) will appoint a Chief Science Advisor and establish a President’s Research Excellence Advisory Committee as part of sweeping, comprehensive changes planned over the next four years. In August, the 101-year-old research institution launched several short-term actions as part of a renewal strategy undertaken by NRC president Iain Stewart, stemming from his mandate to assess and reinvigorate the organization and establish its future direction. Those actions will be followed by more initiatives in the medium term (two years) and longer term (four years).
The leaders of CMC Microsystems have announced their retirement after saving the organization from a near-death experience and giving it renewed hope of further funding after current government commitments end in 2019. President and CEO, Dr Ian McWalter, will step down at the end of the current FY after 33 years of engagement and — years at the helm. Also stepping down is Dan Gale, VP and CTO, who joined CMC (then known as Canadian Microelectronics Corp) prior to its incorporation 1984.
Canadian researchers whose work relies on access to a neutron beam source have issued an urgent appeal to the federal government for stop-gap funding to offset the looming impact from the March 2018 closure of the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor at Chalk River ON. The Canadian Neutron Initiative (CNI) is requesting $24 million over the next three years and $19 million a year between 2021 and 2029 to buy beam time at foreign facilities and to upgrade the small, medium-flux nuclear reactor at McMaster Univ.
Let the speculation begin. The first round in the process to select a handful of well-funded superclusters has been completed with more than 50 letters of intent (LOI) delivered to the Innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI), managed by the federal department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED).
The National Research Council is assisting the US government in the testing and evaluation of design models for the US heavy polar icebreaker acquisition program.
The National Research Council is embarking on a re-alignment of its core strengths by reaching out to academia and other players in the federal innovation system (see lead article). NEOMED is making major strides retaining critical pharmaceutical talent in the Montreal region and its actively considering a third site for its potent combination of research expertise and business collaboration
Change is coming to the National Research Council (NRC) with plans to modify the ways in which it generates new knowledge and expertise for business. The 100-year-old agency is recalibrating to enhance its role in the national innovation agenda by placing greater emphasis on exploratory research in emerging fields, stepping up collaboration with higher education institutions and enhancing integration within the federal innovation ecosystem.
Escalating demand for specialty materials that go into next-generation lithium-ion batteries has prompted the National Research Council to create an R&D group to bolster the value chain for their use in the transportation and stationary applications. Advanced discussions between NRC officials and several companies are already underway to determine the extent of their participation in the new lithium-ion battery technologies (LiBTec) program, which kicked off June 7 with a webinar.