Ottawa has announced a new coordinating body that aligns the three federal granting agencies—the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)—and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).
Topic: Naylor Report
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.
A recent survey of public perception about university research is overwhelming positive. So encouraging are the results that Universities Canada, which commissioned the survey, is hoping it can get the public to rally behind them to press the government for more funding for university research.
Polytechnics and colleges are once again making the case for what they say is a fair share of funding for applied research. In their pre-Budget submissions to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, Polytechnics Canada, and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) are asking to double the funding made available to applied research in previous Budgets.
A long-standing grievance that has plagued the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) since its creation 28 years ago is finally being addressed in the tri-agency’s latest funding competition. For the first time ever, the NCE is allowing former networks to compete alongside new networks for funding. Up for grabs is $75 million for over five years with the option to renew.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) has announced $515 million in awards through its latest Discovery Grants Program (DGP) competition as the research community awaits the federal government’s response to recommendations of the David Naylor-led panel on fundamental research and the appointment of a chief science advisor which is expected in the coming weeks.
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.
Over his seven year term as president and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Dr Gilles Patry has witnessed firsthand the dramatic changes in the research landscape and the rise of innovation as a key priority for government, academia and industry. Once considered something of an (albeit expensive) outlier in the research ecosystem, the CFI is now more closely aligned with other players from researchers to industry as well a key driver in efforts to encourage cross-sectoral collaboration nationally and internationally.
President Donald Trump’s push for major cuts to research funding in the US are fueling even closer scientific ties between our two countries. Preliminary talks have begun between the US National Science Foundation and research funders in Canada to kickstart new research collaborations in quantum computing, the brain, biodiversity and the Arctic. Recent meetings held in both Ottawa and Washington are expected, as a first step, to result in a Dear Colleague letter from the NSF encouraging its researchers to identify opportunities for joint projects the rapidly evolving field of brain research.