No assessment of the Liberal track record on science and innovation during its first two years in power would be complete without a discussion of the impact and potential implications of the Naylor report.
Person: David Naylor
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
Canada’s support for fundamental research has fallen by a third between 2005 and 2015, but many in the Canadian research community are concerned the federal government doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to take action. The deterioration in federal support — occurring over a period closely corresponding to the decade in which the government of Stephen Harper was in power — witnessed a major swing in funding from fundamental to applied research, with 40% of researchers reporting a similar shift in their focus.
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.
Opinion is decidedly split on the federal government’s delivery of its promised innovation Budget. The March 22 budgetary planning document contains a wide range of measures related to skills, company financing, program consolidation and clean technology.