Canada must rationalize its innovation programs and provide its research, development and innovation ecosystem with coherent direction as part of a plan for long-term economic growth, Dr. Camille Boulet, PhD, and Ömer Kaya at Global Advantage Consulting Group, say in an op-ed piece.
Topic: Strategic Innovation Fund
China currently dominates the global market for rare earth materials. Establishing a domestic rare earths industry in Canada will take a focused industrial strategy, more government support and greater private investment, say industry executives and academic and government researchers.
Two separate groups are hoping to safeguard Canada against future semiconductor chip shortages. CMC Microsystems has applied for $120 million to expand domestic manufacturing capacity for niche applications, while a new semiconductor council has started work on a National Semiconductor Strategy and Action Plan.
Ottawa invests $80 million to position Canada as a cyber security leader, German and Canadian institutes partner on material acceleration centre, the third Arctic Science Ministerial promotes Arctic science collaboration and Indigenous research priorities, and more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.