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New 10-year CIHR strategy focuses on health equity, Indigenous research and knowledge mobilization

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has released a strategic plan that calls health equity “the most pressing health-related challenge in our country” and charts a course toward reducing health inequalities across Canada over the next decade. Researchers say inadequate funding and low success rates continue to be major problems, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, and also need to be addressed.

Oil and gas innovation network has yet to spend $80 million of federal funding for cleaner technologies

A pan-Canadian oil and natural gas innovation network has yet to spend the bulk of $100 million of federal funding on commercializing new, cleaner technologies, two years after Ottawa announced the funding and seven months after a contribution agreement was signed. The Clean Resource Innovation Network, which aims to produce the world’s cleanest hydrocarbons, plans to announce details of its planned three technology competitions by end of March 2021.

Latest Issue:

Number 2

Volume 35 February 24 2021

Editorial:
Sebastian Leck

This month, Canadians learned that we’re lagging far behind other countries in vaccinating our citizens. Canada’s struggle to secure vaccine supply illustrates the difficulties of responding to crises without the right infrastructure and planning in place.

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Canada launches $53-million strategy to combat COVID-19 variants as experts warn of potential third wave

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday a new strategy to address variants of concern in the COVID-19 pandemic. The $53-million strategy aims to rapidly expand Canada’s surveillance, sequencing and research efforts. It brings together the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory, the Canadian COVID Genomics Network (CanCOGen), the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) as well as the provinces and territories.

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Opinion: Government investment in clean electricity must include nuclear to achieve economic and climate goals

Government investment and policy in clean electricity must include nuclear power to achieve Canada’s economic and climate goals, John Gorman, president and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association, says in an editorial. His recommendations include: a pan-Canadian electrification strategy; continued government support for the nuclear sector; regulatory support for Canada’s uranium industry; and official government categorization of nuclear as a clean technology.

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Opinion: Leveraging Canada’s agri-food system to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050

Canada’s agri-food system can help the nation achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 by providing either a source of renewable energy or “negative” emissions, Adekunbi Adetona and Dr. (PhD) David Layzell say in an opinion leader column. Innovative approaches, incentives and supportive government policy will be needed to use residual agricultural biomass to help reduce emissions, they say.

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The Short Report – Jan 27, 2021: Clinical trials for first made-in-Canada vaccine begin; a first-of-its-kind carbon capture cement study launches in Edmonton, and more.

The federal government invests in protecting the endangered North Atlantic right whale; a Canadian-led social media movement aims to stop the spread of misinformation around COVID-19; University Health Network study shows full dose blood thinners decrease need for life support in COVID-19 patients, and a new report says Canada’s PhD students face persistent barriers applying skill sets.

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Opinion Leader:
Christina Seidel

To shift to a circular economy, we need to harness local expertise on plastics

Building a circular economy for plastics in Canada will take smart solutions, says Christina Seidel, executive director of the Recycling Council of Alberta and co-chair of the Plastics Alliance of Alberta, in an op-ed. These include locally driven initiatives, collaboration across sectors and organizations, research investment and innovation to eliminate unnecessary plastics and reduce plastic waste.

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Calgary vaccine developer reaches deal with Manitoba government after hearing no response from Ottawa

Providence Therapeutics, a Calgary biotechnology company in human trials with its COVID-19 vaccine, struck a supply deal with the Government of Manitoba after sending the federal government a proposal and receiving no response. In a video, Providence founder and CEO Brad Sorenson criticized Ottawa’s “apathetic response” as “unacceptable” and he implored the government to take initiative to establish a secure domestic vaccine supply.

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Agriculture innovation in Canada needs a long-term approach, researchers say

As Canada aims for $75 billion in agri-food exports by 2025, the federal government has invested major dollars into increasing the country’s capacity. But Canada needs to conduct research in a way that supports long-term innovation, experts tell Research Money, or there’s a risk that many research efforts will be short-term and piecemeal.

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The Short Report – Feb 17, 2021: NSERC supports Huawei research collaboration, ALS research gets a boost, Ottawa invests in SMEs transitioning to clean tech, and more.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council collaborates with the Canadian arm of Huawei Technologies, Canadian and international teams receive funding to accelerate ALS research, SDTC supports SMEs across Canada in their adoption of clean technology, an unexpected donation spurs Northern Ontario School of Medicine to address health inequities in marginalized populations, and more.

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New algorithmic assessment tool promotes responsible use of AI in government

The Algorithmic Impact Assessment (AIA) tool is a critical part of the Treasury Board’s directive on the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI) in government. A first of its kind, the AIA is designed to assess and reduce the risks of using AI systems in the delivery of services and programs to Canadians. But the impact the tool will have is still unclear. Lauded as an example of innovative policymaking., there are early signs that compliance may be an issue.

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The Short Report – Feb. 3, 2021: Corporations partner on rapid COVID testing for employees, Conestoga launches national institute for senior care, Lakeland offers Canada's first AgriTech degree, and more

A consortium of some of Canada’s biggest corporations launch a pilot project offering workers rapid COVID-19 testing; Conestoga College prepares to launch a national institute dedicated to senior care; Lakeland College offers Canada’s first two-year Agricultural Technology program this fall, and more.

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New laws and regulations urgently needed to address AI risks, say experts

Canadian policymakers have been very influential in promoting responsible artificial intelligence (AI) globally, according to experts participating in the third annual AICan meeting. But as the development, deployment and use of autonomous systems accelerates, Canada urgently needs new laws and regulations to ensure they benefit everyone.

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