Proposed Canadian Budget Provides C$2.3B for Science, Research; Innovation Agenda to Follow

March 31, 2016

New Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released his administration’s 2016 proposed budget last week which, if passed, would allocate significant funds to scientific research and technology-based economic development. Throughout 2016 and 2017, the Canadian government will continue to develop an Innovation Agenda that fully describes their intentions, though the goal of developing an innovative and clean economy is one of the key pillars of the proposed budget. In total, C$2.3 billion (1.8 billion USD) would go toward strengthening science and research, while an additional C$334 million (257.2 million USD) would help to support business growth and innovation.

While the Innovation Agenda has yet to be released, the proposed 2016 budget includes several interim proposals to promote research and accelerate economic growth. Examples of proposed investments in research, as noted by The Scientist and The Globe and Mail, include:

  • C$237.2 million (182.6 million USD) in new funding to Genome Canada, to boost Canada’s leadership in genomics research;
  • C$197.1 million (151.8 million USD) over five years to Fisheries and Oceans Canada for scientific research;
  • C$130 million (100.1 million USD) over five years to support clean technology research and development;
  • Up to C$20 million (15.4 million USD) over three years for the Canada Brain Research Fund;
  • C$14 million (10.8 million USD) over two years to the Mitacs Globalink program, supporting 825 internships and fellowships annually; and,
  • Up to C$12 million (9.2 million USD) over two years to support the country’s Stem Cell Network.

Furthermore, an additional C$95 million (73.2 million USD) per year would go to Canada’s research granting councils, bringing the total to C$141 million (108.6 million USD) in new annual resources. The additional funds would be allocated as follows:

  • C$30 million (23.1 million USD) for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research;
  • C$30 million (23.1 million USD) for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council;
  • C$16 million (12.3 million USD) for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; and
  • C$19 million (14.6 million USD) for the Research Support Fund to support the indirect costs borne by post-secondary institutions in undertaking federally sponsored research.

The proposed 2016 budget provides an early indication that clusters will play a major role in Canada’s Innovation Agenda. The proposed budget would make up to C$800 million (616 million USD) over four years, beginning in FY 2017–18, available to support innovation networks and clusters. This agenda will also include an effort to develop a nationwide cluster mapping portal similar to that of the United States.

 

The full budget is available here: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2016/home-accueil-en.html

The section on “An Innovative and Clean Economy” is available here: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2016/docs/themes/economy-economie-en.pdf

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