05 November 2015

"Because it's 2015." More on science, innovation, policy (and the launch of GBC's new Food and Beverage Labs)

What more can be said about the new federal cabinet. This is fantastic news for the country on many levels, not the least of which is to have a federal cabinet that reflects the reality of Canada today.

Of particular note is the naming of the Honourable Navdeep Bains as the new Minister of
Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Honourable Kirsty Duncan as Minister of Science.

Renaming Industry Canada as Innovation, Science and Economic Development seems to indicate that the new government is implementing the recommendations of the Jenkins Panel. If nothing else, there is explicit recognition that we need to focus on the entire science to innovation continuum. Some claim this is an elevation of science to the old Industry Canada portfolio. I'm very interested to see what this means for the science to innovation cycle. 

Advice for the new minister is already coming in; of these the return of the long form census and the use of statistics for business is most sensible in the short term. And it is important to acknowledge that the previous government did a lot to support R&D in Canada - maintaining our #1 public sector R&D spend in the G7, growing and making permanent the college applied research funding, and promoting greater industry academic partnerships. Explicitly linking innovation, science and economic development flies in the face of what I have called the libertarian nature of our position on research to date. This is a good thing for the country. This is Generation Renew.

And as if that is not enough good news, yesterday saw the launch of GBC's new Food and Beverage Labs (FaBLabs) at 215 King. Funded in part by the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario, FaBLabs is our latest build out of our flagship applied research, the Food Innovation and Research Studio. 215 King not only houses our leading restaurant, The Chefs' House, but now also has an event space for food and beverage product launches and sensory evaluation, a beverage lab, and, on the fourth floor, the new home of FIRSt (opening in March 2016). For obvious reasons no federal government ministers were on hand yesterday, but we look forward to welcoming our industry, government and other partners to the space.

Check out the video: 215 King: This is the place.

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