29 January 2008

NRC's Innovation News

The recent issue of the National Research Council's NRC Newslink arrived recently (refreshingly in paper format, though it is also online) and features a few good stories on the innovation front. NRC President Pierre Coulombe posits "The Power of Partnerships" in his editorial, rightly extolling the NRC's track record in providing innovation R&D services in concert with academia and business. Missing from his discussion of the NRC's position on R&D relative to the Science and Technology Strategy is the value of the applied research sector, now nascent in Canadian college and Polytechnics (with some exceptions), but growing well. College and Polytechnic applied research has historically close ties to industry, so is well positioned to be a strong contributor to the national S&T agenda. And speaking of the S&T Strategy, Industry Canada Minister Jim Prentice is expected to announce new "funding strategies" for industry and innovation, expected in Budget 2008. A recent Globe and Mail report quotes Finance Minister Jim Flaherty as saying that "Mr. Prentice is preparing a research, development and innovation strategy that "'industries could tap into.'" This will likely be along the lines of the Business Led NCE program.

Another story in the NRS Newslink is about the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), which features NRC-licensed technology to be used at the facility. ALMA has a Canadian project website (404 for me right now). Last year I visited the Very Large Array in New Mexico--a fascinating place and a terrific example of scientific research in action. The photo on the right was taken during my visit.

No comments: