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Ocean Networks Canada

Submission — Ocean Networks Canada

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Submitter(s): McLean, Scott

Summary: Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) welcomes this opportunity to respond to questions posed in the Expert Panel Consultation Paper prepared for the Review of Federal Support to Research and Development. Our comments are framed by ONC's mandate and responsibility for one of Canada's major science initiatives and by our experience in hosting a CECR program and the related partnerships with SMEs which dominate the marine S&T sector. The main points of our submission are:

  • We emphasize under 'climate for new ventures' the importance of a vibrant research environment in Canada as an engine for business innovation. In our own case, we point to the federal and provincial investment in building world-leading capacity in unique ocean observing systems whereby science challenges are pushing marine and ICT technology development. This is one case in point of how investing in major science facilities creates unprecedented commercial opportunities from which Canadian companies are already enhancing their global competitiveness.
  • UILOs lack capacity and expertise over the full domain of university research and lack the ability to connect with the breadth of industries on a national scale.
  • Programs like CECRs and Industrial Research Chairs are ideally suited to provide domain expertise and
  • facilitate academic/industry connections to turn inventions into innovations.
  • Funding mechanisms are essential to provide capital to reduce the inherent risks of R&D and encourage innovation. Programs like IRAP and SR&ED are essential to encourage this process. Maintaining elevated IRAP funding levels would be highly recommended.
  • Consideration of programs in other countries (especially those with higher performance than Canada) would be instructive. In the US programs such as SBIRs and NOPPs are interesting mechanisms. Providing full funding levels, first buyer market and industry ownership of IP are further incentives used by these programs.

Full submission: PDF Version