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Harper Government Takes Action to Better Support Business Research and Development

Government promotes innovation as a key driver of Canada's economic recovery

Toronto, Ontario, October 14, 2010 — Today, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) in Toronto and the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veteran Affairs and Minister of State Agriculture (Quebec) in Saguenay launched an independent expert panel to solicit the advice of Canadians and business leaders on how the federal government can cultivate its support of business research and development.

"Through this panel, our government is taking action to improve its support for innovation and to ensure that investments are effective for Canadian businesses and workers," said Minister of State Goodyear. "We are committed to helping Canadian businesses acquire the tools they need to grow and create new jobs; this panel will help achieve that goal."

The government is demonstrating its leadership through Canada's first place position in the G-7 for supporting science and research at our universities and colleges.

"Canadian business spends less per capita on research and development, innovation and commercialization than most other industrialized countries, despite the Government of Canada investing more than $7 billion annually to encourage business R&D," said Minister Blackburn. "This review will help provide recommendations on how the government can bolster Canadian businesses, create jobs and bring new ideas into the market place for the benefit of all Canadians."

The panel will conduct a comprehensive review of all existing federal support for business R&D to see how this support could be enhanced to make sure federal investments are effective and delivering maximum results for Canadians.

The Research and Development Review Expert Panel is composed of six eminent Canadians chosen for their experience in business, academia and government as well as their knowledge of R&D and innovation practices and policies.

The panel's chair, Thomas Jenkins, is Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of Open Text. The other panel members are Dr. Bev Dahlby of the University of Alberta, Dr. Arvind Gupta of the University of British Columbia, Mrs. Monique F. Leroux of the Desjardins Group, Dr. David Naylor of the University of Toronto and Mrs. Nobina Robinson of Polytechnics Canada.

As announced in year two of Canada's Economic Action Plan (Budget 2010), the government is following through on a review of federal support for R&D to improve its contribution to innovation and create greater economic opportunities for business. The review will respond to reports published by the Science, Technology and Innovation Council and the Council of Canadian Academies, which provided overwhelming evidence of Canada's productivity and innovation challenges.

The panel will report back to the Minister of State (Science and Technology) in one year with recommendations to enhance Canadian business innovation.

For more information (media only), contact:

Gary Toft
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Media Relations
Industry Canada