Federal Science and Innovation Reviews and Consultation

From: Vivek Goel, Vice-President, Research & Innovation
Date: June 16, 2016
Re: Federal Science and Innovation Reviews and Consultation

The 2016 Federal Budget included plans for a comprehensive review of all elements of federal support for fundamental science as well as the development of a new national Innovation Agenda.

This week, the Minister of Science announced an expert Advisory Panel as an independent and non-partisan body whose mandate is to provide non-binding advice and recommendations to Minister Duncan by December. The review will “assess the program machinery that is currently in place to support science and scientists in Canada. The scope of the review includes the three granting councils along with certain federally funded organizations such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation.” The Panel’s full mandate and membership, as well as questions and answers, are available online.

Over the next six months, the Advisory Panel will be seeking input from the research community and Canadians on how to optimize support for fundamental science in Canada. This input will serve to inform its findings. Formal consultations will launch shortly after the panel commences its work, and input can also be submitted online.

In addition, this week, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development put forward a vision to build Canada as a global centre of innovation. The Government’s Innovation Agenda will focus on six areas of action that will be the focus of a summer-long period of public engagement. Minister Bains has invited Canadians to share their ideas on cultivating a confident nation of innovators, and indicated that an interactive website will be launched in addition to a set of roundtable discussions.

The fundamental science review and formation of an innovation action plan will be pivotal to the forms of research support and funding available in Canada. Given the importance of federal research and innovation funding for the University of Toronto community, we will be submitting institutional input to the fundamental science review and the innovation consultation. We also ask members of the University community to provide their input, and share your submission with us if possible.