Organization: Science and Economic Development

Government to consider expansion and greater coordination of digital research infrastructure

Canada’s digital research infrastructure (DRI) is fragmented, oversubscribed and underfunded, according to officials close to the file. Its precarious state compared to competitor nations comes at a time when more and more areas of R&D are becoming digitized and data driven while the size and complexity of data sets are increasing exponentially.

Supercluster contenders must include strategies for confronting the risks in managing diverse interests

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

New science committee set up to coordinate funding agencies

Ottawa has announced a new committee that will coordinate and support the efforts of research funding agencies to make sure that researchers get the most from the government. The new Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) will coordinate among three federal granting agencies—the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research…

ITU accepts ISARA proposal to develop standard in quantum-safe certification

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) recently accepted the proposal of cybersecurity firm ISARA to support multiple public-key algorithm certificates. The department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) helped make this acceptance possible when it sponsored ISARA’s proposal to the ITU. The certification is a new feature in the next version of X.509 global standard,…

Competition heats up for $950 million in superclusters as government selects nine to submit full proposals

And then there were nine. The federal government has shortlisted nine proposals under its $950-million Innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI) from more than 50 letters of intent with up to five expected to be awarded funding by the end of FY17-18. The proposals invited to submit full applications span the nation and represent some of Canada’s most advanced tech-based sectors including ocean science, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and digital technologies.

New bioeconomy framework outlines measures to enhance and expand Canadian expertise, competitiveness

Canada’s forest ministers have produced A Forest Bioeconomy Framework for Canada to leverage the country’s vast biomass reserves and extend their production and deployment far beyond current usage. The report was released in September and unanimously endorsed by the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM), which co-authored the document along with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

Canada promotes its innovation agenda, diversity and inclusion at G7 meeting

Canada announced it would be highlighting its Innovation and Skills Plan (I&SP) at the G7 and ICT (information and communications technologies) ministers meetings September 25 and 26 in Turin Italy. The I&SP will be touted for its aim to position Canada as an “ideal investment destination” for global firms and foster the scale-up of Canadian…

New Space Advisory Board calls for urgent action to halt decline in embattled sector

The precarious state of Canada’s space sector has compelled the recently populated Space Advisory Board (SAB) to issue an “urgent call to action” for a new national strategy and “long-term continuity” for its space program. The recommendation to the federal government is part of a suite of suggested actions that include taking a whole-of-government approach to space, making space a national strategic asset, boosting smaller programs considered more suited to the so-called New Space environment and a continuing role for the SAB to ensure coordination, stakeholder dialogue and metrics to evaluate implementation plans.

CMC Microsystems extends window for securing new financing; prepares for leadership change

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.

Scientists raise alarm over future of neutron beam research capacity

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.