17 October 2011

R&D Panel to release report today

The R&D Review Panel, chaired by Open Text's Tom Jenkins, will be releasing its report today. Jenkins is giving a talk tomorrow at the Economic Club to discuss the findings.

In advance of this, there is a very useful article in today's Globe where Barrie McKenna outlines the significance of the opportunity the R&D Review Panel has for meaningful change in Canada's approach to innovation.Clearly we need to fix our broken R&D system, and McKenna rightly posits that the Jenkins panel represents the best opportunity we have to do this. As I noted in my last post, Canada needs an innovaiton policy, and this will involve making some very hard choices indeed. McKenna refers to this as the difference between an R&D democracy and an R&D meritocracy. The latter is a preferred model that looks at making targeted investments to produce results - a focus on outcomes versus spreading everything around.

There is enough expertise across the country to fashion a complementary R&D ecosystem, to be sure, and Canada, while spending more per capita than most other OECD countries, frankly does not have the GDP to support unfettered research in any and all domains. Revamping our tax regime to provide more direct supports (like Germany et al) and providing more upstream support for business innovation will help modernize our approach to R&D. Our future productivity hangs in the balance.

No comments: