The superclusters should be assessed by a broad innovation policy framework and with a longer time frame than their initial five-year mandate, says John Knubley, the former deputy minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada who was responsible for the creation of the superclusters initiative.
Nearly $3.4 billion in federal spending through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) during the last three years has failed to improve Canada’s “disastrous” innovation performance and productivity, say some innovation and policy experts. An analysis by Research Money of SIF data shows that Ontario, Quebec and foreign-based firms have received the lion’s share of SIF funding.
Research Money asked Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) to respond to four questions about criticisms of the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) program. In response, ISED says SIF is producing “significant benefits” for Canadians, including new jobs created, co-op placements and investment in R&D and new technologies.
The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) has launched four new, federally-supported projects to assess urgent scientific challenges. Expert panels will evaluate the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence for science and engineering, Canada’s carbon sink potential, public safety in the digital age, and the impacts of health and science misinformation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New plant expected to produce 240 million vaccine doses every year starting in 2023.
Canada has launched its first patent collective to help data-driven clean tech companies understand, generate and strategically use intellectual property in scaling up. The Innovation Asset Collective, backed by $30 million in federal funding, includes a defensive “war chest” to help Canadian SMEs defend their patents in an often predatory global IP marketplace.