Summary of 2003 PAGSE Submission to Standing Committee on Finance

Each autumn, PAGSE makes a presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. In the 2003 report PAGSE re-enforced its endorsement of recent federal initiatives, including the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Canada Research Chairs, Genome Canada, the Sustainable Development Technology Fund, the Canada Graduate Scholarships, and significant contributions to the Indirect Costs (principally infrastructure) of scientific research, as well as increased funding provided to granting agencies, including NSERC. Furthermore, this year PAGSE has recommended new initiatives in five areas: a PMO Office of Science and Innovation, the setting of priorities for research, the commercialisation of research, the international dimension of research, and research cluster development.

PMO Office of Science and Innovation: PAGSE recommended the establishment of an Office of Science and Innovation within the PMO, in line with similar institutions in the US, UK, Japan and Australia. Such an office would represent and provide a coordinated and cohesive approach to issues relevant to research and innovation at the highest political level, thereby addressing a major gap in science governance in Canada.

Setting priorities for research: Reiterating its approbation of recent federal initiatives in the realm of science and engineering, PAGSE opined that the time has come to evaluate how these new initiatives fit with existing programs (e.g. granting agencies, Centres of Excellence, NRC) in addressing research and innovation in Canada. Accordingly, PAGSE indicated that determining the priorities for science and engineering research in Canada for the next 5-7 years will be of enormous value, demonstrating a reinvigorated and coordinated approach across all sectors of research and innovation (academia, government and industry).

Commercialisation of research: PAGSE noted that technology transfer and business enterprise are now important elements of the outcomes of some university-based research. Many universities need to build the capacity for commercialisation of their research, and the business sector needs new instruments to ensure success in transferring new research ideas into the commercial realm, as well as increased access to venture capital. PAGSE recommended that the Canadian Government should allocate new resources to these different aspects of commercialisation of university-based research, such as a Commercialisation Office reporting to Industry Canada, or a similarly mandated NGO, as well as minimising barriers to industry-university partnerships. In addition, to accelerating the facilitation of commercialisation, PAGSE recommended that government ensure that graduate students and PDF’s working in small and medium enterprises be paid regular salaries as opposed to lower stipends, and that these researchers be supported by NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program. Furthermore, government should extend the scientific research tax credit programs to companies, regardless of their current profitability.

International dimension: Recognising that research is a global enterprise, and that Canada can profit from international collaboration in terms of alliances and access to facilities not available domestically, PAGSE recommended the creation of an International Innovation Fund ($30M/yr) to support research partnerships, potentially involving academia, government and industry.

Granting agencies and cluster development: PAGSE congratulated the government on the increased funding attributed to NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR in recent years. However, it noted major challenges that remain for these agencies: unexpectedly large numbers of new applicants, and the requirement for higher levels of support for trailblazers and rising stars to support their global competitiveness. PAGSE believes that the granting agencies, industry and NRC should partner to build new research and development clusters to serve as springboards for economic growth, and recommended the creation of a new industry-driven Tri-agency Cluster Development program, and an increase in support to the three granting agencies.



Summary of PAGSE submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (2004)
REPORT TO PAGSE MEMBERS for May 2004 to May 2005
Summary of 2003 PAGSE Submission to Standing Committee on Finance
Summary of past PAGSE recommendations to House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance


Last modified: March 22, 2007
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