Urenio Watch Watch: Innovation

Innovation Canada: A Call to Action

It is the report (2011) of the Independent Panel on Federal Support to Research and Development. The Panel was asked by the government to provide advice in respect of the effectiveness of federal programs to support business and commercially oriented R&D, the appropriateness of the current mix and design of these programs, as well as possible gaps in the current  suite of programs and what might be done to fill them.

The advice has been summarized in a series of recommendations, organized in response to the three specific questions in the Panel’ s mandate:

  • What federal initiatives are most effective in increasing business R&D and facilitating commercially relevant R&D partnerships?
  • Is the current mix and design of tax incentives and direct support for business R& and business-focussed R&D appropriate?
  • What, if any, gaps are evident in the current suite of programming, and what might be done to fill these gaps?

Recommendation 1
Create an Industrial Research and Innovation Council (IRIC), with a clear business innovation  mandate (including delivery of business-facing innovation programs, development of a  business innovation talent strategy, and other duties over time), and enhance the impact of
programs through consolidation and improved whole-of-government evaluation.

Recommendation 2
Simplify the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program by basing  the tax credit for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on labour-related costs.  Redeploy funds from the tax credit to a more complete set of direct support initiatives to  help SMEs grow into larger, competitive firms.

Recommendation 3
Make business innovation one of the core objectives of procurement, with the supporting  initiatives to achieve this objective.

Recommendation 4
Transform the institutes of the National Research Council (NRC) into a constellation of largescale,  sectoral collaborative R&D centres involving business, the university sector and the  provinces, while transferring NRC public policy-related research activity to the appropriate  federal agencies.

Recommendation 5
Help high-growth innovative firms access the risk capital they need through the  establishment of new funds where gaps exist.

Recommendation 6
Establish a clear federal voice for innovation, and engage in a dialogue with the provinces  to improve coordination and impact.

Guided by strong leadership and sound principles, and through concerted action, the  end result of our recommendations will be a rebalanced system of federal assistance for  business innovation that provides more effective support to innovative firms, especially SMEs, to  help them grow and become large competitive Canadian enterprises.

Federal support for business innovation will be outcome oriented, collaborative and innovative in its  implementation. It will be held to account by state-of-the-art procedures for evaluation across the suite of programs.

More:  Federal R&D Panel reports with six major recommendations

The report:  Innovation Canada

Source:  The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance