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Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Submission — Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

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Submitter(s): Diepeveen, Karen

Summary: Canada's level of business research and development spending is comparatively low despite significant investments in public research and development. Canada must do better in igniting innovation and increasing the return on our public investments. To achieve this goal, we must view innovation as a people-centered dynamic process.

Going beyond the latest technological advances and scientific discoveries, R&D must include important explorations around human systems. Foundational research in support of science and technology requires attention to the ways that we learn about innovation, change and the application of new knowledge – the work done by Canada's social science and humanities researchers. Innovation and industry will flourish when we better understand the impact of R&D and new technologies on citizens, their employers, communities, governments, and the environment. In short, people matter.

Cultivating a people-centered view of R&D and innovation will require much closer collaboration between social science and humanities researchers, the business community and the public and voluntary sectors. To enhance and encourage this process, the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences makes the following recommendations:

  1. Expand the current definition of "research and development" used in setting policies, priorities and funding opportunities to recognize its broad reality.
  2. Significantly increase the funding for the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program or similar programs to further support industry links with leading social science and humanities research.
  3. Enhance opportunities for the next generation of research talent to connect with industry, to apply research knowledge and to gain workplace skills.
  4. Sponsor independent research about the "public good" effectiveness of the current expenditure mix between tax credits and programs.

Full submission: PDF Version