Opinion – Untangling the great policy mess of Canada’s innovation problem

Contributed to the Globe and Mail by David Naylor and Stephen J. Toope (Published October 27, 2023)

David Naylor is president emeritus of the University of Toronto. He has served on federal panels addressing funding and governance of support for extramural academic research and industrial research and development.

Stephen J. Toope is president of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He has headed the universities of Cambridge and British Columbia, McGill University’s Faculty of Law and the U of T’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

How inadequate funding for research and messy innovation policy ripples out to the economy and society.

In the first week of September, Canada received unfavourable attention from two international news outlets. One instance was triggered by a government of Canada media event and news release. Visiting the University of Alberta, Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault presided effusively over an announcement of $ 960 million in “support for researchers and projects at institutions across Canada.” It turned out that this was a public relations exercise – a roll-up and repeat announcement of funds already allocated by federal granting agencies in the normal course of business….


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