Budget 2015 makes Important R&D investments, leaves discovery research hanging in the balance

Budget 2015 makes Important R&D investments, leaves discovery research hanging in the
balance

OTTAWA, ON (April 21, 2015) Finance Minister Joe Oliver tabled Economic Action Plan 2015 today in the House of Commons living up to his promise to balance the budget and support the translation of new ground‐breaking ideas into the production of high‐value goods and services that enhance opportunities for Canadians and Canadian businesses. The Budget, however, misses the opportunity of ensuring that all of the stages of the innovation system are supported and that the government carries out its special role in funding discovery research consistently and sufficiently over time.
“We applaud the Government of Canada’s priority of making important investments in research and development,” said Dr. Ryan Wiley, Chair of Research Canada and President of SHI Consulting.
“The additional $46 million in 2016‐17 to the granting councils in support of the full costs of post‐secondary research and in growing academic interactions with the private sector is essential,” said Ms. Maureen Adamson, Past Chair of Research Canada and President and CEO of the Michener Institute. “We also were pleased with the $42 million over five years for the creation of the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CC‐ABHI) announced in the budget today,” she added.
“While the Canadian Institutes of Health Research will benefit from an additional $15 million per year to support the Strategy for Patient‐Oriented Research and address the health challenges posed by antimicrobial‐resistant infections, we urge the government to correct the operating budget shortfall that is jeopardizing Canada’s global research competitiveness,” Dr. Wiley added. “We must create a predictable funding environment that allows the talent and infrastructure in which Canada has invested over the years to flourish.”
Research Canada applauds the investment of an additional $1.33 billion to the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) over six years to strengthen Canada’s capacity for highly competitive research and technology development in support of advanced research equipment and facilities, including the ongoing operations and maintenance needs of national research facilities. “This additional funding is definitely a step in the right direction giving Canada’s researchers the infrastructure they need to deliver on their ideas,” said Ms. Deborah Gordon‐El‐Bihbety, President and CEO of Research Canada. “But research infrastructure and operating dollars through the granting councils go hand in hand. Without a significant investment in basic research, Research Canada remains concerned that our ability to capitalize fully on investments
in infrastructure will be compromised,” she added.
Research Canada also supports the Economic Action Plan 2015 proposal to further modernize Canada’s intellectual property framework to keep pace with internationally recognized best practices.
Research Canada is a multi‐stakeholder alliance of private, academic and voluntary sector organizations dedicated to advancing health research and translating research into innovative products and services that deliver social and economic benefits to all Canadians.
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Sean Dillon‐Fordyce
Manager of Communications
Research Canada
sfordyce@rc‐rc.ca
613‐234‐5129; 613‐277‐4757 (cell)