Canada is poised to launch a national portal that will provide a near real-time snapshot of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic across Canada, including the detection and spread of variants of concern. It will also establish the national data infrastructure Canada needs to track future pandemics.
The Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) is making up to $80 million in federal funding available through oil and gas industry challenges to accelerate the development and commercialization of clean technology.
The Business and Higher Education Roundtable wrapped up its first Canada Comeback Challenge this month, a national challenge meant to shore up opportunities for students and support economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. Student projects included a mining data platform, a wayfinder algorithm for visually-impaired users and a policy program to encourage flexible work policies.
VC investment in Canada hit its second highest level last year, Canada’s annual Gairdner awards announced, Quebec SMEs benefit from a $9 million e-commerce boost, Ontario invests in autonomous vehicles, and more.
Government and business investment in electrical-grid connected battery energy storage is growing, driven by lower costs for the technology and Canada’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Canada is participating in a series of expert stakeholder roundtables with France and the UK to identify new opportunities for collaboration to bolster each country’s economy while meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The Toronto-based National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) will establish the first pan-regional digital hub for investors and entrepreneurs in a custom-built space in the new Platform Innovation Centre being built by Platform Calgary in downtown Calgary.
The federal government’s upcoming budget needs to address the problem of “energy poverty” as an urgent priority, Kirsten Pulles, Community Organizer for Efficiency Canada, says in an op-ed. This includes funding low-income energy efficiency programs, making meaningful reductions in energy use, and training and hiring lower-income, rural and racialized Canadians to do the energy efficiency upgrades and outreach work, she says.
Ottawa announces major funding to expand Sanofi Pasteur’s Ontario facility for domestic biomanufacturing and vaccine preparedness; there’s new funding support for COVID-19 variants research and a new national network, and Siemens launches its first centre to accelerate the digitalization of energy and infrastructure in Canada.
As fight against COVID-19 continues, we must prepare for the next health crisis
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) will be supporting the creation of a new Centre for Pandemic Preparedness and Health Emergencies, CIHR president Michael J. Strong says in an op-ed.
Performance-based funding for universities is an unsound policy that sounds good
Performance-based funding proposed by some provinces for post-secondary institutions uses flawed indicators and hasn’t worked in other jurisdictions, Dr. Marc Spooner, PhD, professor of educational psychology at the University of Regina, says in an op-ed. “How governments can, in good conscience, ignore the damage these models have caused in other jurisdictions where they have been unsuccessfully implemented is difficult to understand.”
Dark Vessel partnership between MDA and Department of Fisheries and Oceans shows potential of commercial satellite data
Space technology company MDA is partnering with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Department of National Defense on a $7-million project to detect and track illegal fishing boats. The project demonstrates the potential of commercial satellite data, as more companies have begun to offer data services to governments around the world.
Q&A: Dr. Richard Gold on why open science partnerships could reverse declining research productivity
Spending on scientific research has been rising for the last 50 years while, at the same time, researcher productivity has been dropping. That’s what Dr. Richard Gold, law professor and Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy at McGill University, argues in a new paper that positions open science partnerships as a potential solution.
Canada’s continued poor performance in innovation and business productivity is due to a failure to link publicly funded research and innovation programs to an industrial strategy based on the country’s strengths, say innovation experts. Meanwhile, studies by University of Toronto researchers show the federal innovation agenda has negatively impacted funding for basic, investigator-driven research but hasn’t addressed the underlying problem of industrial innovation in Canada.
NPC Ventures is a $50-million investment fund for early-stage Canadian companies developing naturally-derived alternatives to synthetic products. The fund is led by Kristi Miller, who says she believes there exists a “tremendous opportunity for Canadian companies to meet this exponential demand for ‘natural’.”
The Ocean Supercluster is participating in a nearly $27-million data analytics project led by Norway-based Grieg Seafood, an international salmon producer, alongside partners Innovasea, SubC Imaging, AKVA Group and High-Tech Communications. Kendra MacDonald, CEO of the Ocean Supercluster, says Canada’s coastlines have long been underutilized compared to other countries.
The Short Report – March 17, 2021: Canadian government invests heavily to bolster biomanufacturing, D-Wave Systems gets funding for quantum tech, Canada’s largest study on aging gets a top-up, and more
The Government of Canada seeks to bolster Canada’s biomanufacturing capacity, D-Wave receives $40 million to accelerate Canada’s quantum technology development, the federal government invests in Canada’s longest-ever study on aging, Quebec’s Lion Electric gets ready to break ground on a new battery manufacturing plant, and more.
The Short Report – March 10, 2021: Federal funding for applied genomics, investments in plant-based proteins, the death of a renowned Alberta ecologist, and more
The Government of Canada invests $8.6 million towards applied genomics research with another $17.8 million from its partners, Protein Industries Canada funds three plant-based protein projects, the death of renowned Alberta ecologist Dr. David Schindler, and more.
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.
Canada can be a leader in plant-based foods if we take a coordinated approach
Canada is well-positioned to become a leader in meeting the growing global demand for plant-based foods and ingredients, but needs a coordinated effort to increase ingredient processing and food manufacturing in the country, Bill Grueul, CEO of the Protein Industries Canada supercluster, says in an op-ed.
Editorial: Canada's researchers are asking for a more ambitious innovation approach. Is Ottawa listening?
Researchers and businesses appear to be ready for more policy experimentation and leadership from the federal government after more than a year of lockdowns and economic disruption from COVID-19.
New federal budget could include funding for a quantum institute as global race for quantum tech heats up
When Budget 2021 drops on April 19, some of Canada’s quantum researchers and entrepreneurs will be holding their breath. That is because the Standing Committee on Finance published a budget recommendation in February urging the federal government to “financially support the establishment of a quantum computing research institute in the Toronto area, similar to the Vector Institute.”
The Short Report – March 24, 2021: Genome Canada creates data portal to address COVID-19 variants, Suncor invests US$25M in carbon capture tech, a national agriculture network, and more.
Genome Canada launches a SARS-CoV-2 data portal to consolidate variants of concern data in one place, Calgary’s Suncor Energy invests in carbon capture technology to offset GHG emissions, Government of Canada invests $185 million in an agricultural program to share best practices for storing carbon, and more.
Canadian universities part of international alliance working to integrate basic and applied research
The HIBAR Research Alliance, an international network of research leaders, is tackling the long-running debate over funding basic research versus applied research by integrating the best of both types of research. Highly Integrative Basic and Responsive (HIBAR) research builds upon excellence in basic research as well as excellence in application and social engagement.
Natural Resources Canada’s Digital Accelerator—an in-house team of data scientists, business and policy experts dedicated to building data-driven software tools—is applying artificial intelligence across NRCan where it can have “breakthrough results.”
The Short Report – March 3, 2021: A report on inclusive innovation, an urban health research network, a potential DARPA for Canada, and more
The Brookfield Institute and the Munk School of Global Affairs produce an online tool to monitor data and analysis of Canada’s inclusive innovation system; U of T and Denmark’s Novo Nordisk A/S invest $40 million on supporting healthier urban populations and finding solutions for chronic illnesses, and more.
The Canada Foundation for Innovation announced more than half a billion dollars in funding last week for 35 institutions and 102 research projects across Canada. Here’s a breakdown of the funding.
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.
Brookfield innovation report shows Canada needs higher-quality data on equity, diversity and inclusion
Canada lacks the high-quality data that researchers need to understand how inclusive our economy is and its relationship to innovation, according to a report from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. They found that data was especially lacking for Indigenous groups, the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities.