Budget 2014 may represent a paradigm shift for Canada’s research and innovation: time will tell


I am both encouraged by and skeptical of these subtle changes to research funding, and glaring problems remain. As the writer, UBC Mathematics Professor, Nassif Ghoussoub, himself points out,  the largest portion of government research & innovation funding is “business as usual.”  The $500 Million earmarked as an Automotive Innovation Fund, is a laughable attempt to disguise a government subsidy as “funding for innovation.”  Distinct changes in policy and procedure are reported, as recommended by UBC President Stephen Toope, and MITACS CEO, Arvind Gupta. But with this federal government, only time will tell what will actually emerge. It will take at least 10 years of this new direction and funding to reverse Canada’s poor OECD standing in innovation and productivity. Some are skeptical of the lack of detail and with good reason, as recent government announcements of venture capital funding and new government backed loans for entrepreneurial ventures have yet to materialize, as has been reported in the Globe & Mail.