27 February 2015

Open Access and the Difference Makers

Minister of State for Science and Technology the Honourable Ed Holder today addressed the Economic Club on the federal government's Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy. The biggest news of the day was the announcement of the new Open Access Publishing policy for federally funded research. This is a Big Deal. What it means is that Canadians will have access to all published data of publicly funded research. The Tri-Council agencies have been working on this for some time and this is very good for the Canadian research community and the general public. Breaking down barriers between research and the public is a good thing to do. As a member of the SSHRC Programs and Quality Committee I am very pleased to see this reach fruition; SSHRC has been a strong supporter of this initiative. Congratulations are in order for all concerned.

Minister Holder gave a good overview of the government's new ST&I Strategy, outlining the investments in basic and applied research, from universities to colleges and industry-academic partnerships. He also spoke about the need to encourage more STEM education - I know Canada has a deficit here (as it does in industry investment in R&D, but that's coincidence not correlation or causation). Calling young people in STEM fields "the difference makers" Minister Holder outlined how youth today growing into STEM disciplines and careers are very much part of the foundation for the country's future. Making a difference is what counts, and entrepreneurship - a key tenet of the Strategy - is also a foundation of making a difference. On that note, check out StartGBC - our new gateway to entrepreneurship at George Brown College.

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