Innovation Canada: A Call to Action
It is the report (2011) of the Independent Panel on Federal Support to Research and Development. The Panel was asked by the government to provide advice in respect of the effectiveness of federal programs to support business and commercially oriented R&D, the appropriateness of the current mix and design of these programs, as well as possible gaps in the current suite of programs and what might be done to fill them.
The advice has been summarized in a series of recommendations, organized in response to the three specific questions in the Panel’s mandate:
- What federal initiatives are most effective in increasing business R&D and facilitating commercially relevant R&D partnerships?
- Is the current mix and design of tax incentives and direct support for business R& and business-focussed R&D appropriate?
- What, if any, gaps are evident in the current suite of programming, and what might be done to fill these gaps?
Create an Industrial Research and Innovation Council (IRIC), with a clear business innovation mandate (including delivery of business-facing innovation programs, development of a business innovation talent strategy, and other duties over time), and enhance the impact of
programs through consolidation and improved whole-of-government evaluation.
Simplify the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program by basing the tax credit for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on labour-related costs. Redeploy funds from the tax credit to a more complete set of direct support initiatives to help SMEs grow into larger, competitive firms.
Make business innovation one of the core objectives of procurement, with the supporting initiatives to achieve this objective.
Transform the institutes of the National Research Council (NRC) into a constellation of largescale, sectoral collaborative R&D centres involving business, the university sector and the provinces, while transferring NRC public policy-related research activity to the appropriate federal agencies.
Help high-growth innovative firms access the risk capital they need through the establishment of new funds where gaps exist.
Establish a clear federal voice for innovation, and engage in a dialogue with the provinces to improve coordination and impact.
Guided by strong leadership and sound principles, and through concerted action, the end result of our recommendations will be a rebalanced system of federal assistance for business innovation that provides more effective support to innovative firms, especially SMEs, to help them grow and become large competitive Canadian enterprises.
Federal support for business innovation will be outcome oriented, collaborative and innovative in its implementation. It will be held to account by state-of-the-art procedures for evaluation across the suite of programs.
The report: Innovation Canada