18 May 2007

New funding for the Science and Technology Strategy

The federal government yesterday announced new funding for science research and innovation. Of this, "$475-million will go to universities and colleges for the purchase of infrastructure and high-tech equipment." Reader comments indicate that this is not necessarily new money (as the report itself says), and there is no indication of where the money is coming from, other than the tri-council.

I disagree with the reader who comments that private industry has no part in research and development. Industrial partnerships work well within the realm of applied research. Not all research must be focused on technology and commercialization, to be sure. But we are a (post) industrial economy and society, and our scientific community is an important part of our overall prosperity. Continued investment in research and innovation should be welcomed.

The government's Science and Technology Strategy acknowledges the important role of academic and industry partnership in applied research. The four core areas (Environmental science and technologies, Natural resources and energy, Health and related life sciences and technologies,
Information and communications technologies) represent key areas of strategic importance, as well as areas of strength in Canada's R&D sectors. We measure our success against benchmarks such as from the OECD and the G8. The Science and Technology Framework (see image from the Executive Summary) acknowledges the long standing push from the government (from both sides of the political spectrum) to push the transfer of research into application.

Read the ACCC media release on this funding and its impact on Colleges.

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