Back Issue


reports and analyses of the forces driving
science and technology investment in Canada

copyright 1999, Research Money Inc.

editor: Mark Henderson


Volume 11, Number 10, JUNE 25, 1997

How it looks to me.... by Mark Henderson

FEATURE REPORTS | RESEARCH BRIEFS | PERSONALITIES

How it looks to me....
by Mark Henderson, editor, RE$EARCH MONEY Basic research and the innovative economy. It's a combination that the leaders of many industrialized nations have already concluded is crucial to future wealth, competitiveness and well-being. This simple formula isn't the same thing as spending smarter or doing more with less, although those approaches are definitely relevant elements of the equation. In Canada, the conclusion is inescapable: the federal government must do more -- spend more -- to ensure Canada possesses the expertise to effectively participate in the global economy.

The head of the nation's largest federal granting agency has made increased funding the major priority of the next two years. NSERC president Dr Tom Brzustowski should be commended for taking the lead on the issue, and supported by everyone who believes Canada has what it takes to become a small yet influential player on the world economic stage (see lead article).

Others should be encouraged to take up Brzustowski's clarion call of increased funding for basic research, whether it be science and engineering, medicine or the social sciences and humanities. A nation is ultimately judged by its accomplishments, not its ability to trim budgets, particularly as they relate to scientific achievement and output.

The Liberal administration has done commendable work corralling the deficit and basic science took a beating. Now it's payback time.


Return to TOP OF PAGE | RE$EARCH MONEY INDEX



FEATURE REPORTS...

NSERC PRESIDENT CALLS FOR DRAMATIC BOOST IN FUNDING TO MEET DEMAND FOR MORE PUBLIC SCIENCE

NORTEL ANNOUNCES MAJOR EXPANSION OF OTTAWA-AREA FACILITIES AS INTEGRATION OF RESEARCH AND BUSINESS UNITS CONTINUES

TELECOMMUNICATIONS, AEROSPACE AND COMPUTER SERVICES SECTORS HELP INDUSTRIAL R&D SPENDING MAINTAIN RAPID INCREASES

ONTARIO HYDRO MERGES RESEARCH UNIT WITH BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TO PREPARE FOR PENDING ERA OF ELECTRICAL DE-REGULATION

NEW STUDY EXAMINES GOVERNMENT TECH
TRANSFER POLICIES AND PRACTICES


NEW FUEL CELL FIRM ESTABLISHED IN MONTREAL

LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES OPENS CANADIAN LABORATORY FOR WIRELESS SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT AND INTEROPERABILITY TESTING

.

Return to TOP OF PAGE | RE$EARCH MONEY INDEX



RESEARCH BRIEFS

  • Royal Bank creates subsidiary to commercialize early innovation
  • CRIM subsidiary enters collaboration with Chilean organization
  • CMDF part of $10-million private placement in Systems Xcellence
  • NCE program issues call for new centres of excellence
  • ID Biomedical to participate in military project for US government
  • UBC equity positions in spin-offs surges ahead


Return to TOP OF PAGE | RE$EARCH MONEY INDEX


Royal Bank creates subsidiary to commercialize early innovation The Royal Bank of Canada has established a new subsidiary to seek out promising discoveries and technologies for commercialization. Royal Bank Canada Growth Co (RBCGO) will partner with other financial investors possessing the necessary expertise with an initial focus on life sciences, and later expanding to include information technologies, advanced materials and manufacturing. RBCGO is capitalized with $30 million, which will be used to leverage additional funds from its as-yet-unnamed partners. The first will likely be a project management firm with 10 years' experience and connection to more than 150 North American universities. RBCGO plans to work with existing incubators, research laboratories and universities to create new companies in which it will take an equity position. Investments will be more patient than other Royal Bank endeavours, with RBCGO waiting up to 10 years for a return, but expecting a 30% rate on a rolling basis. Royal Bank has previously participated in a similar joint venture called Technology Launch Initiative in conjunction with Quorum Growth Inc and Andersen Consulting Inc (R$, February 28/96). Andersen has subsequently dropped out, and has been replaced by BCE Inc....


Return to Research Briefs Index


CRIM subsidiary enters collaboration with Chilean organization A division of the Centre de recherche informatique de Montral (CRIM) has concluded an agreement with Chile for the transfer of S:PRIME, a software process assessment methodology for small business. S:PRIME was developed by CRIM subsidiary Applied Software Engineering Centre (ASEC) which concluded the agreement with Intec-Chile, a non-profit technology transfer organization serving the manufacturing, environmental and management industries. The agreement, which conforms to CRIM's international cooperative efforts, includes provisions for joint transfer activities and the exchange of information....


Return to Research Briefs Index


CMDF part of $10-million private placement in Systems Xcellence The Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund (CMDF) has made a $5-million investment in a software developer of health care applications and solutions. The CMDF investment in Systems Xcellence Ltd is part of a $11.3-million private placement in the form of special warrants and will be used to complete work on the Milton ON-based firm's Healthcare Xcellence suite of software products as well as for working capital, marketing and sales activities. It is the first time CMDF has invested in a software firm. Other participants in the placement include CA Delaney Capital Management Ltd ($1.15 million), MDS Health Ventures ($1 million) and the Healthcareand Biotechnology Venture Fund ($0.5 million)....


Return to Research Briefs Index


NCE program issues call for new centres of excellence The Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program has issued a call for applications to establish new centres. Approximately $9 million has been set aside for the competition, with letters of intent from researchers and their industry and government partners due by November 1. Letters of intent will be evaluated according to five, equally weighted criteria: research excellence, training of highly qualified personnel, networking and partnerships, network management, and knowledge exchange and technology exploitation. Following this review, selected applicants will be asked to submit full proposals by April 1/98. Earlier this month, information sessions were held across the country. In the last federal budget, the NCE program was given permanent funding of $47.4 million annually (R$, February 19/97)....


Return to Research Briefs Index


ID Biomedical to participate in military project for US government ID Biomedical Corp has landed a contract to develop an early warning system to detect the presence of the DNA of dangerous organisms in biological weapons for the US government. The Vancouver-based firm has partnered with a Canadian consortium to participate in the US$2-million contract. The consortium includes Defence Research Establishment Suffield, the Univ of Alberta's department of chemistry, the Alberta Microelectronics Centre, Material and Devices Laboratory, Canada West Biosciences and Dycor Industrial Research. ID Biomedical will use its cycling probe gene detection technology in a microchip format to detect bacteria, viruses and toxins. The project is financed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency....


Return to Research Briefs Index


UBC equity positions in spin-offs surges ahead The Univ of British Columbia (UBC) has increased its equity holdings in research-based firms to $6.9 million as of March 31, a 17% increase from the year before. During the same period, the number of enterprises in which the university held equity has risen from 23 to 28, of which 27 were created from UBC research. UBC began taking equity positions in spin-off firms in 1988 to support new companies and allow the institution to share in the capital value of those firms. Shares acquired by UBC are sell-only and liquidated based on company milestones and share prices. Firms in which UBC has taken equity positions include ID Biomedical Corp, Immune Pharmaceutical Corp, IGT Pharma Inc and Westport Research Inc....


Return to Research Briefs Index



Return to TOP OF PAGE | RE$EARCH MONEY INDEX



PERSONALITIES

Dr Alain Prat has been appointed VP medical research for Merck Frosst Canada Inc. Prat was previously executive director medical research with the Kirkland PQ-based firm, which he joined in 1982 after spending 18 years with two Univ of Montreal-affiliated hospitals. The medical research division employs more than 100 people and Prat will be responsible for clinical research, medical services and regulatory affairs....

Dr Claudine Simson, Northern Telecom Ltd's VP global External Research and Intellectual Property, has been appointed as chair of the industrial advisory board for Univ of Ottawa's School of Information Technology and Engineering. The School was recently created to address the lack of highly skilled personnel in the telecommunications sector. Simson is joined on the board by Robert LeBlanc, VP IBM Canada's Software Laboratory. LeBlanc is also director of Object-Oriented/ Application Development Technology for the US parent's Software Solutions Division....

Thomas Williams has joined the R&D team of Alias/Wavefront, Toronto ON, as its VP and chief technical officer. Williams is an award-winning computer graphics technology expert, with 14 years' experience including seven years as director of R&D at Industrial Light and Magic and head of its computer graphics department. Alias/Wavefront is a division of Silicon Graphics Inc, specializing in creative computer tools for the entertainment and design markets. Williams will help shape the firm's vision and strategic technology and development objectives....

Bruce MacDougall has been appointed network engineer and project manager for the Nova Scotia-based Telecom Applications Research Alliance (TARA). MacDougall was previously with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp where he held various positions. While a CBC project engineer, he pioneered the use of digital audio for use by radio foreign correspondents....


RE$EARCH MONEY -- June 25, 1997
Return to TOP OF PAGE | RE$EARCH MONEY INDEX