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Private Sector Advisory Board Reports

2009 Impact Report



Foreword from the chair

The Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) was established in August 2007 by the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) under direction from the federal government to provide expert advice and recommendations on the implementation of three key Canadian science and technology (S&T) funding programs: the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) Program, the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) Program, and the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program. These three programs are intended to increase private sector investments in research in Canada, support the training of skilled researchers, and connect the resulting ideas and talent to businesses seeking to bring innovations to market.

After four rounds of competitions, PSAB is taking a look back at its own evolution and progress, as well as that of the three programs, to provide advice and recommendations on how the Board and the programs may be enhanced to better support the private sector, researchers, and other stakeholders in their drive to deliver new S&T support to Canada and Canadians.

For the last two years, I have had the immense pleasure of acting as the Chair of PSAB and working with the 12 members of the Board, all of whom are national leaders from various sectors and disciplines across the country with in-depth experience in commercialization and innovation. In addition to impressive research and development (R&D) backgrounds, each member of the Board has decades of private sector experience–from large pharmaceutical enterprises to information and communications technology (ICT) start-ups and many sectors in between (venture capital, aerospace, energy, etc.). Each member is also intimately familiar with the challenges of turning a good idea into a successful business venture in Canada and abroad. They have hands-on experience in the public sector–both government and academia–and have collectively served on numerous R&D and innovation boards, councils, and committees across the country, and therefore understand the regional, political, financial, and regulatory pitfalls and challenges of commercialization. The Board provides an invaluable and truly unique perspective for evaluating the CECR, BL-NCE, and CCI proposals.

As Chair of PSAB, I have been impressed with the members' extraordinary dedication to the Board and the programs. Their commitment to review and assess proposals requires several days of preparation, often with the competing demands of work, international travel, or attendance at conferences, in advance of the national meetings for each competition. In addition, the Board offered advice to improve the evaluation processes of the BL-NCE and CECR programs, and helped the Natural Sciences Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) enhance the CCI Program. I would like to personally thank them for their full involvement and support.

From PSAB's perspective, the three programs are cornerstones of the federal S&T Strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, engaging partners from a diversity of sectors across the country to accelerate the mobilizing of S&T for the benefit of Canadians. While the programs are still maturing and the value of their investments is yet to be fully realized, there is no doubt that the funded initiatives will provide economic value by commercializing leading-edge technologies, creating new products, markets, and additional jobs, and increasing Canada's competitiveness.

On behalf of PSAB, I would like to acknowledge the work of the NCE Secretariat, which supports the Board in all of its activities including the development of this report. I would also like to commend the NCE Steering Committee for their receptiveness to the recommendations that are outlined in this report, which the Board believes will contribute to the success of the programs in fostering a truly national entrepreneurial advantage.

Perrin Beatty
Chair, Private Sector Advisory Board
President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Executive Summary

Today, Canadian scientists–in government, academia, and the private sector–are delivering results at international levels of excellence in a broad range of fields that will be integral to Canada's long-term success, such as health, energy, and information and communications technologies.1

Building on our science and technology (S&T) successes is more important than ever in today's economy. Even after Canada and other countries emerge from the current global recession, our economies will be fundamentally changed. And with countries such as China and India increasing their S&T outputs at considerably lower costs and producing significant numbers of highly qualified personnel (HQP), Canada's competitiveness depends not only on developing new technologies, but also on transforming these technologies into products, services, and processes that people need and want. In other words, our competitiveness relies on our commercialization of innovation.

Currently, 12 countries, including the United States (U.S.), Switzerland, and Ireland, outperform Canada on innovation according to the Conference Board of Canada's report, Canada's Pathways Toward Global Innovation Success: Report of the Leaders' Panel on Innovation-based Commerce. The report notes that all of the countries topping the list "are distinguished by a high proportion of advanced technology and spend most of their research and development (R&D) on development rather than basic research". They are also successful at building innovation-based growth because of their ability to coordinate industry, government, and research institutes. 2 As a global leader, Canada needs to ensure it is striking the right balance between fundamental and commercialization research.

Recognizing the importance of public-private research and commercialization partnerships to Canada's competitiveness, the federal government introduced two new initiatives–the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) and Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE)–as part of its national S&T Strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, in 2007. At the same time, the government renewed its commitment to the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program, which was launched as a pilot project in 2004. All three programs are intended to increase private sector investments in research in Canada, support the training of skilled researchers, and connect the resulting ideas and talent to businesses seeking to bring innovations to market.

To ensure that the three programs truly meet the needs of businesses and are consistent with the principles and values of the government's priorities, the government also announced the creation of a Tri-Agency Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB). The Board, which is appointed by the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Steering Committee3, includes senior level individuals from various sectors and disciplines across the country with in-depth experience in commercialization and innovation. Since its creation in 2007, PSAB has evaluated and provided advice on the letters of intent and full proposals for four competitions, which have led to the creation of 17 new CECRs, 4 new BL-NCEs, and 22 CCI Program initiatives.

This report, which is based on the results of the 2007 and 2008 competitions, provides an overview of PSAB's observations on the value of the programs, as well as a list of recommendations that could enhance the programs' impacts, operations, and governance, and ultimately advance Canada's global competitiveness by accelerating the commercialization of leading-edge technologies, goods, and services.

The Value of the Programs

The Task Force on Early Stage Funding estimates that Canada faces a $5 billion annual funding gap at the point in commercialization when companies are involved in technology development and demonstration. This gap, which is commonly referred to as the "Valley of Death,"4 is due in part to a decline in venture capital availability in Canada as a whole in recent years5. The three programs (CECR, BL-NCE, and CCI), play a critical role in reducing this gap by co-funding commercialization initiatives that help the private sector use the research expertise available within Canada to solve its pressing research needs–either to seize an opportunity or mitigate a threat - and thereby, gain an entrepreneurial advantage. And by engaging partners from a diversity of sectors - including the federal government's four S&T priority areas (environmental science and technologies; natural resources and energy; health and related life sciences and technologies; and information and communications technologies) - from across the country, PSAB sees the programs as cornerstones of the S&T Strategy.

While it is still early in the implementation of the funded initiatives for the long-term impacts to be fully realized, the programs are already producing significant economic and social benefits. These include:

  • fostering new partnerships and increasing collaboration with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • collaborations in sectors and between sectors not traditionally involved in networking;
  • building on regional/provincial strengths and creating critical mass;
  • supporting world-class S&T excellence;
  • leveraging government investment; and
  • creating new jobs and transferring knowledge.

PSAB strongly believes the CECR, BL-NCE, and CCI Programs are fulfilling their mandates to promote innovation, increase public-private sector collaboration, and accelerate the commercialization of leading edge technologies, goods, and services. Collectively, they also have the potential to transform how Canadian businesses–large and small–academia, and government collectively approach research and development and commercialization activities. Therefore, PSAB makes the following recommendation:

  • The federal government should continue investing in the programs, and in particular, prepare the future of the BL-NCE Program beyond its initial funding cycle.

Maximizing program impacts

Over the course of the four competitions, PSAB evaluated more than 260 LOIs and 82 full proposals. For the BL-NCE and CECR programs, these evaluations were based on three main selection criteria: the benefits to Canada; the track record of the applicants; and the feasibility of the proposed business plan. In the case of the CCI Program, the evaluations were based on the potential to contribute to local or regional innovation excellence. Given the recent implementation of the programs and the diversity of projects funded – from the Green Aviation Research and Development Network and the Centre for Drug Research and Development to the CCIP initiative to enhance clothing and textiles with sensors that will enhance human performance – it will be critical to monitor the progress of the funded initiatives against their project milestones (which may be sector-specific) as well as the original selection criteria to ensure the programs are delivering their mandates. Equally important to this process is promoting the successes and identified impacts of the program not only among stakeholders, government departments and decision makers, but to laypeople as well so that the benefits to all Canadians are realized. This could also encourage new partners in sectors or between sectors not previously engaged.

PSAB makes the following recommendations to monitor and promote the impacts of the programs:

  • PSAB is prepared to enhance feedback to participants by reviewing Annual Progress Reports and providing guidance and comments.
  • The NCE Secretariat should promote program successes and benefits and look for new ways to encourage private sector involvement, particularly among small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Extending the reach of the programs

PSAB believes that there are two key areas that would enhance the overall impacts of the BL-NCE and CECR programs: engaging small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and promoting entrepreneurial development. Increasing collaborations with SMEs, which account for more than 99 percent of Canada’s businesses and generate nearly half of the country’s GDP, is a key element to ensure the programs truly deliver on the needs of industry. The challenge with SME involvement in the BL-NCE and CECR programs, however, is their limited funding capacity. To circumvent this situation, PSAB believes there should be some mandatory SME partnership requirements for each proposal.

Equally important is fostering an understanding of business sector needs among academic researchers. PSAB believes that the programs could extend their reach and potential impact by looking for opportunities (e.g., NSERC’s Industrial R&D Fellowships, Industrial Undergraduate Student Research Awards [USRA] and the Industrial Research and Development Intership program [IRDI] managed by the NCE Secretariat) to encourage the participation of aspiring young entrepreneurs.

Reflecting these observations, PSAB makes the following recommendations to extend the reach of the programs:

  • PSAB recommends developing requirements for applicants to engage SMEs through letters of support or clear links in the proposals’ business plans.
  • The programs should look for ways to encourage and incorporate Canada’s new generation of scientific entrepreneurs.

Enhancing program operations

PSAB sees part of its role as “pushing the innovation envelope,” determining which proposals may be high risk, but potentially offer high return on investment and the possibility for Canada to carve out new opportunities to excel on a global stage. For the BL-NCE and CECR programs, the Board believes there is a major opportunity to fund cutting edge research with these programs, especially where disciplines meet each other, but require guidance on determining the balance of the programs’ portfolios.

In terms of the selection process and the quality of the proposals in the first four competitions, PSAB found that many proposals demonstrated strong research teams, which is not surprising given major investments in university research by government in recent years, and programs such Canada Research Chairs, Discovery Grants, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation funding activities. However, PSAB found that all of the proposals could demonstrate greater business rigour in terms of planning and the writing of proposals. PSAB is confident that with some guidance from the NCE Secretariat the quality of writing will increase in future competitions.

Lastly, PSAB commends the NCE Secretariat for its excellent job in supporting the Board and managing the BL-NCE and CECR Programs as a whole and is very pleased with the advice and guidance it receives with respect to the proposal review process. The Board cites the two-tiered process and the involvement of high calibre external expert reviewers as a best practice of the programs. PSAB also finds the background material supplied by Industry Canada, the Expert Panels, and the NCE Secretariat invaluable to its decision making, and would welcome reviewing any other relevant documentation such as the strategic plans of the three granting agencies, Canada Foundation for Innovation, and Industry Canada.

To this end, PSAB believes the following recommendations could enhance program operations:

  • It may be considered beneficial for the Programs to develop selection criteria that will enhance their current portfolios (which consist of incremental research proposals) with the inclusion of disruptive proposals.
  • Programs should encourage potential applicants to network prior to submitting a proposal, provide applicants with access to examples of well-written proposals, and encourage mentoring relations where possible.
  • PSAB is willing to receive additional strategic direction to ensure that the selection of the successful applicants is aligned with long-term investments, complements the research portfolio of the three granting agencies, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and Industry Canada, and ensures the sustainability of the recipients.

Reviewing program governance

PSAB applauds the federal government’s decision to integrate a role for the private sector to provide advice on the BL-NCE, CECR, and CCI programs. PSAB believes that the collective value of the group is the members’ knowledge and business acumen, and the group’s ability to assess the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of the proposals and determine the issues/risks from an implementation or exploitation perspective of the work being done, rather than the pure technological aspects of the research effort. Having an experienced Chair to guide the Board’s deliberations and activities was noted as a tremendous benefit to overall process. PSAB also believes that given their collective experience, the Board can provide valuable insight to the overall implementation and renewal of the programs.

This, however, would need to be balanced with the time required to read the letters of intent and proposals, which in 2007 and 2008 required more than 250 person-days of effort. As a result, PSAB makes the following recommendations about the role of the Board and its future activities:

  • PSAB strongly supports maintaining its selection and advisory activities to the NCE Steering Committee and recommends its continued participation.
  • In addition to evaluating proposals, PSAB recognizes that the Board will play a more active role in providing advice on the renewal of the programs.
  • A long-term PSAB membership renewal plan should be developed to ensure appropriate succession planning, and a vice-chair should be added.

The recommendations outlined above are designed to enhance the program, increase partnerships, and foster a truly entrepreneurial advantage in Canada. PSAB looks forward to the adoption of these recommendations so that the programs and Canada can continue to accelerate the mobilization of S&T for the benefit of all Canadians.

Background

From the development of the first pacemaker to the construction of the Canadarm and the invention of the BlackBerry®, Canadian researchers have always been at the forefront of science and technology (S&T) achievement. Today, Canadian scientists–in government, academia, and the private sector–are delivering results at international levels of excellence in a broad range of fields, such as health, energy, and information and communications technologies (ICT), that will be integral to Canada's long-term success.6

Building on our S&T successes is more important than ever in today's economy. Even after Canada and other countries emerge from the current global recession, our economies will be fundamentally changed. And with countries such as China and India increasing their S&T outputs at considerably lower costs and producing significant numbers of highly qualified personnel (HQP), Canada's competitiveness depends not only on developing new technologies, but also on transforming these technologies into products, services, and processes that people need and want. In other words, our competitiveness relies on our commercialization of innovation. Turning scientific breakthroughs into profitable solutions, however, can be a significant challenge, and in Canada there is no exception. Canada's productivity gap in converting research strength into innovation gains or commercialization is widening relative to the United States–which translates into an average income difference of $8,000 to $9,000–as well as lagging behind many other developed countries in Europe and Asia.7

Commercialization refers to the series of activities undertaken by firms to transform knowledge and technology (whether developed in Canada or abroad) into new products, processes, or services, in response to market opportunities. Highly skilled workers (researchers, engineers, managers, etc.) are critical to the commercialization process, as is a culture that values innovation and entrepreneurship.8

Recognizing the key role that S&T and the commercialization of innovation play in helping Canadians improve their standard of living and quality of life, the federal government released a national S&T strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, in 2007. The Strategy sets out a multi-year policy framework to improve Canada's long-term competitiveness by fostering three interrelated S&T-based advantages: an Entrepreneurial Advantage to strengthen private-sector commitment to research and development (R&D) and innovation vital to productivity and competitiveness, a Knowledge Advantage to ensure Canadian universities and colleges sustain their world-class research excellence, and a People Advantage to ensure that Canada has access to the highly skilled researchers and innovators it needs.9

To support the S&T Strategy, the federal government announced a broad range of programs in the subsequent budget including two new initiatives–the Centres of Excellence in Commercialization and Research (CECR) Program and the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) Program–to leverage Canada's strong public sector research base to the benefit of business research and innovation. The federal government also committed to making permanent the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program, which was launched as a pilot project in 2004. All three programs are intended to increase private sector investments in research in Canada, support the training of skilled researchers, and connect the resulting ideas and talent to businesses seeking to bring innovations to market.

To ensure that the programs truly meet the needs of businesses and are consistent with the principles and values of the government's priorities, the government also announced the creation of a Tri-Agency Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) to support implementation of the CECR and BL-NCE programs, as well as provide advice on the implementation of the CCI Program.

In 2007 and 2008, PSAB provided advice to the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Steering Committee10 on four competitions: two for the CECR Program, one for the BL-NCE Program, and one for the CCI Program. Following several discussions among Board members about the competitions to date and the value of the programs, the Board concluded that a report outlining lessons learned and other observations, as well as recommendations that could enhance the impacts, operations, and governance of the programs, would be useful to the NCE Steering Committee. The report would also be an excellent resource for future PSAB members, and may be useful to future applicants and other interested Canadians.

A summary of findings from the report was first presented to the NCE Steering Committee on September 28, 2009. The findings were well received by the members of the committee and it is hoped that the report's recommendations will be useful in shaping the future terms and conditions of the programs and the framework of upcoming competitions; the findings will also be useful when planning the Board's future activities.

Overview of the Private Sector Advisory Board

The Private Sector Advisory Board, whose members are appointed by the NCE Steering Committee, is responsible for providing advice on three federal programs–the BL-NCE Program, CECR Program, and CCI Program–which bring together partners from the academic, private, and public sectors.

Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research

The goal of the CECR Program is to create world-class centres to advance research and facilitate commercialization of technologies, products, and services that position Canada at the forefront of breakthrough innovations. Budget 2007 set aside a total of $285 million over five years to create the centres (also known as CECRs). The first competition, worth $163.4 million, was launched in June 2007 and was aimed at creating centres in the four S&T priority areas: health and life sciences; ICT; natural resources and energy; and environmental sciences and technologies. The Government of Canada announced 11 CECRs in February 2008. The second competition, worth $62.5 million, places particular emphasis on the ICT and environment sectors. A third CECR competition is expected in the coming months. The CECRs are funded for five years and are expected to be self-sufficient at the end of that period.

The CECR Program is overseen by the NCE Steering Committee, and the NCE Secretariat provides day-to-day program administration assistance.

Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence

The goal of the BL-NCE Program is to create large-scale, collaborative research networks (referred to as Business-Led Networks or BL-Networks) led by the private sector and focused on specific business research needs. Budget 2007 provided $46 million over four years to create the BL-Networks. The competition was launched in October 2007 and aimed at creating networks in the S&T priority areas: health and life sciences; ICT; natural resources and energy; environmental sciences and technologies; and management, business, and finance. The BL-Networks are funded for four years.

Like the CECR Program, the BL-NCE Program is overseen by the NCE Steering Committee with day-to-day program administration provided by the NCE Secretariat.

College and Community Innovation Program

The objective of the CCI Program is to encourage innovation by enabling Canadian colleges to increase their capacity to work with local companies, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The CCI Program supports research and collaborations that facilitate commercialization and technology transfer. The applied research projects bring together expertise from diverse fields to address business-driven problems. The program was launched by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) as a pilot program in 2004; owing to its success, it was made permanent and provided with $48 million over five years through Budget 2007. Three separate competitions were launched in 2008. The first competition is complete, with eight colleges awarded a combined $18 million over five years, while the other two competitions are in progress. Over the long term, the CCI Program will increase the economic development of the community and create new high-quality jobs based on know-how and technological innovation.

Selection and Mandate of the Board

The Board's 12 members are senior level individuals representing the diversity of S&T disciplines (i.e., health, social science, and natural sciences and engineering), drawn mainly from major Canadian enterprises and SMEs with experience in managing research and commercialization activity. The Board has an in-depth understanding of industry (i.e., knowledge of processes and issues in R&D intensive sectors), university, and college R&D environments. In addition, PSAB members have broad knowledge of the technological environment, public policy and its priorities, and business and societal needs in Canada.

Based on the original terms of reference, PSAB members are appointed for a renewable term of up to two or three years. (See Annex B for detailed biographies on the current members of the Board.)

The mandate of the Board is to:

  • Provide advice to the NCE Steering Committee, as appropriate, on the implementation, delivery, and performance measures of the BL-NCE, CECR, and CCI programs;
  • Make recommendations to the NCE Steering Committee on which letters of intent (LOIs) to retain for consideration, followed by funding recommendations for the invited full proposals for the CECR and BL-NCE programs;
  • Make funding recommendations to NSERC on new CCI Program proposals;
  • Review the progress and impact of funding of these programs and provide additional guidance and advice to the NCE Steering Committee; and
  • Provide advice to the NCE Steering Committee on other industry-related initiatives, as required.

Activities of PSAB in 2007 and 2008

Over the course of the 2007 and 2008 fiscal years, members of PSAB were asked to provide advice on two CECR Program competitions, one BL-NCE Program competition, and one CCI Program competition.

For each competition, PSAB's work entailed assessing the letters of intent against the program selection criteria (e.g., for CECRs and BL-Networks, these include the Benefits to Canada, the Track Record and Potential of the Applicants, and the Strength of the Business Plan), and recommending a short list of applicants for advancement to Stage II, full proposals. When the full applications were received, PSAB reviewed the proposals and the associated Expert Panel reports and evaluated the comments from the parties consulted (e.g., CFI, the granting agencies, and other relevant organizations such as the National Research Council, and regional and provincial agencies).

Based on these assessments, PSAB then recommended to the NCE Steering Committeeor NSERC, in the case of the CCI Program–a short list of proposals for approval and decision. (See Annex C for a more detailed description of the review process for the BL-NCE, CECR, and CCI programs and PSAB's delegated responsibilities.)

In total between the four competitions, PSAB evaluated more than 260 Letters of Intent (LOI) and 82 full proposals and attended ten board meetings, which required more than 250 person-days effort. (See Table 1 in Annex D for a breakdown of the number of LOIs and full applications received per competition.) After the first round of competitions, PSAB also provided input to the NCE Secretariat on possible improvements to the application process, the templates (e.g., a strategic plan checklist), and their expectations.

Based on the recommendations of PSAB and the Expert Panels, the NCE Steering Committee approved funding for 17 CECRs, four BL-Networks, and 13 CCI initiatives in 2007 and 2008. (See Annexes E, F, G, respectively for a complete list of the approved initiatives.)

PSAB Observations

Based on the results of the first four competitions, the Board has made the following observations on the value of the programs, the distribution of approved projects, the quality of proposals, and early indications of success.

The Value of the Programs in Canada's Current Innovation Climate

"In today's uncertain economic climate, the government considers innovation to be essential in helping our economy recover quickly from a global economic downturn and create jobs and prosperity for the future."

-The Honourable James M. Flaherty, Minister of Finance, 2009 Progress Report on
Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage
.

The Task Force on Early Stage Funding estimates that Canada faces a $5 billion dollar annual funding gap at the point in the commercialization process when companies are involved in technology development and demonstration. This gap is commonly referred to as the "Valley of Death,"11 due in part to a decline in venture capital availability in Canada as a whole in recent years, since the total number of venture capital firms has decreased from 130 in 1999 to 50 in 2008. 12 In the face of the current global recession, venture capital activity has continued to slow down through the first quarter of 2009. 13 Furthermore, the majority of this investment takes the form of follow-on investments to support companies at later stages of development with which venture capital firms already have established relationships.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, countries that outperform Canada on innovation make the majority of their R&D investment in the areas of technology development and commercialization as opposed to basic research. In the report entitled Canada's Pathways Toward Global Innovation Success: Report of the Leaders' Panel on Innovation-Based Commerce, the Conference Board of Canada notes that "12 countries outperformed Canada on innovation. All are distinguished by a high proportion of advanced technology and spend most of their R&D on development rather than basic research." Among these countries, the top three were the United States (U.S.), Switzerland, and Ireland. These countries are successful at building innovation-based growth because of their ability to coordinate industry, government, and research institutes. 14

Funding industry and academia research collaborations to accelerate the commercialization of leading- edge technologies, goods, and services in areas where Canada can significantly advance its global competitiveness is at the core of the CECR, BL-NCE, and CCI programs. The three programs play a critical role in reducing the pre-commercialization gap by funding initiatives that help the private sector use the research expertise available within Canada to solve pressing research needs–either to seize an opportunity or mitigate a threat–and thereby gain an entrepreneurial advantage.

The need for such programs is apparent by the overwhelming number of applicants who submitted letters of intent (36 for BL-Networks, 147 for CECRs, 80 for CCI Program initiatives) during the 2007 and 2008 competitions despite the tight timeframes imposed on the applicants and the work involved in submitting proposals. Furthermore, the speed at which the LOIs and proposals were evaluated enabled the federal government to deliver $279 million of the S&T Strategy in less than two years.

PSAB feels that the programs are timely, particularly given Canada's current innovation and commercialization climate and the buy-in from the industrial and public sector S&T communities. The Board also sees the programs, which are engaging partners across the country from a variety of sectors to accelerate the mobilization of S&T for the benefit of Canadians, as cornerstones of the government's S&T Strategy.

Aligning Investment with Canada's Government Priorities

The main objective of all three programs is to facilitate commercialization and research expertise to deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits to Canadians. It is the programs' intent to fund a balance of proposals across the federal government's four S&T priority areas: environmental science and technologies; natural resources and energy; health and related life sciences and technologies; and ICT.

Tables 4 and 5 in Annex D outline the S&T priority areas of the funded CECRs and BL-Networks, respectively. 15 During the first CECR competition, there were more health-related proposals approved than those identified as primarily environment, ICT, or energy focused. The CECR portfolio has, however, become more balanced after special encouragement was given in the second competition for more representation in the ICT and environmental sciences domains. Comparatively, the BL-NCE and CCI programs are relatively balanced. From PSAB's perspective, these results are not unexpected given the maturity of the health R&D sector, which translated into several well-executed proposals. Currently, there are still some gaps with respect to some of the S&T priority areas (ICT, environmental science and technologies), but PSAB believes this may be beyond the immediate control of the program (e.g., gaps may be related to capacity issues within some research areas).

Similarly, very few LOIs were received from the social science and humanities (SSH) domain. While PSAB recognizes the need for SSH in several projects (e.g., those that involve emerging technologies such as biotechnology and genomics), the Board does not think the community is mature enough to support an SSH-led or co-led initiative. This is in keeping with the most recent data from Statistics Canada, which shows that the private sector is investing less proportionately in social science and humanities research (1.8%) than in health (9.5%) or natural sciences and engineering (11%). 16 This could, in part, be explained by the existence of different tax credits for natural sciences and engineering investments, with no similar programs existing for social science investments.

However, the Board is confident that an increasing number of strong proposals will be submitted from the other sectors as the programs and sectors mature, leading eventually to seamless integration of social sciences into the science and technology proposals submitted.

Funding Cross-Canada Research and Commercialization

Figure 1 provides an overview of the proposals funded under the three programs based on geographical area. Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia (BC) have the largest number of funded applicants across the three programs. From PSAB's perspective, this is consistent with the variations in population size, number of institutions, (HQP), and other resources across the provinces. Similarly, the provincial/territorial distribution of resources by sector is not surprising (e.g., the prevalence of natural resource and energy funded initiatives in remote regions of Canada, while Ontario, BC, and Quebec have the largest percentage of ICT), suggesting that the initiatives are leveraging existing partnerships and resources. It is PSAB's collective opinion that, while equal national funding distribution would be ideal, it is more important to ensure that there is diversity across sectors and types of technologies (e.g., disruptive versus traditional).

Figure 1

Click to enlarge Click to enlarge

Figure 1: Location and Priority Area Distribution of Applicants and Supporting Organizations

Evaluating Program Proposals

Over the course of the four competitions, PSAB evaluated more than 260 LOIs and 82 full proposals. For the CECR and BL-NCE programs, these evaluations were based on three main selection criteria: the benefits to Canada; the track record of the applicants; and the feasibility of the proposed business plan. In the case of the CCI Program, the evaluations were based on excellence and the potential of the proposed initiative to contribute to local or regional innovation excellence.

During evaluation activities, PSAB made the following general observations:

  • CECR proposals demonstrated strong research teams, which is not surprising given major investments in university research by government in recent years and programs such as the Canada Research Chairs, Discovery Grants, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). However, they indicated limited demonstrated experience in knowledge transfer, commercialization, and entrepreneurship, with notable exceptions from previously established groups.
  • The CCI proposals, by comparison, were not as well structured, perhaps as a reflection of the fact that colleges are traditionally more oriented towards teaching than research (i.e., applying for federal funds).
  • Many of the BL-Network proposals were well-focused and presented clear milestones and deliveries. However, they were not as effective in demonstrating true collaborations with other public and private sector partners, particularly SMEs.
  • Some proposals did not always provide realistic timelines to realizing their potential (e.g., drug discovery may need 15 years, which is not feasible within the current five-year CECR timeframe).
  • In some cases, academic applicants had difficulty presenting novel approaches and they appeared to be working in outdated environments compared to their private sector counterparts (e.g., in the ICT sector).
  • SME involvement was limited in all but a few proposals.
  • In cases where the proposals exhibited commercialization potential, but were not as strong in other criteria, the Board was able to make suggestions to the applicants on possible refinements that would strengthen the proposal for future competitions.
  • The strength of the business plans submitted is the area that needs the most improvement. PSAB provided the NCE Secretariat with suggestions to improve the business plan criteria for proposals after the first round of competitions, which have since been implemented (additional recommendations are presented in more detail in "Developing Tools for Better Proposal Writing" in the PSAB Recommendations section).

Overall, however, PSAB was pleased with the responses received, especially since the competition process is a fairly recent initiative. As a result, PSAB weighted its evaluation toward evaluating the content of the proposed business plans and their feasibility over the quality of the proposal writing. Successful proposals were those that did not focus on specific descriptions of one or more innovations, but rather described the context of innovation development, through the track record of the applicants, Intellectual Property (IP) exploitation, global awareness, and a business plan.

Early Indicators of the Programs' Success

While it is still early in the reporting cycle of the 2007 and 2008 funded initiatives to evaluate individual project outputs and outcomes, the programs are collectively producing significant economic and social benefits. These include fostering new partnerships and increasing collaboration with SMEs; collaborations in sectors and between sectors not traditionally involved in commercialization and networking; building on regional/provincial strengths and creating critical mass; supporting world-class S&T excellence; leveraging investment; and creating new jobs and transferring knowledge.

Fostering New Partnerships and Increasing Collaboration with Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises

Stimulating new partnerships, increasing entrepreneurship, and assisting colleges to take risks and be nimble in developing new ways of working with local businesses and industries is fundamental to the CCI Program. The 2007 and 2008 funded projects have resulted in new collaborations with a wide variety of organizations (e.g., businesses, public utilities, and associations) in a diversity of sectors, including several that are not typically involved in networking, such as transportation and construction. Similarly, the newly funded CECRs and BL-Networks demonstrate a high degree of partnership and support among their constituents. The lead applicants for many of the approved BL-Networks and CECRs in 2007 and 2008 are consortia that feature partnerships among the private sector and academic and research organizations/centres of excellence/R&D facilities, health institutions, and industry associations.

While both large and small companies contribute significantly to wealth creation and knowledge transfer in Canada, increasing collaborations with SMEs, which account for more than 99 percent of Canada's businesses17 and are the foundation of Canada's economy, is the key to Canada's economic growth and subsequent prosperity as a nation. There are SMEs involved in several of the new initiatives funded in 2007 and 2008, and as the programs and initiatives evolve, PSAB expects their participation will substantially increase.

Collaborations in Sectors and Between Sectors Not Traditionally Involved in Commercialization and Networking

Promoting linkages within and between the sectors not traditionally involved in commercialization and networking, especially where disciplines meet each other is fertile ground for innovation. One example of such collaboration among the newly funded initiatives is the Green Aviation Research and Development Network, which brings together environmental, aerospace, and information technology (IT) partners from government, academia, and industry to work on sustainable aviation innovations. Other examples are ArboraNano, a BL-Network that brings together partners from the aerospace, forestry, automotive, and medical sectors to develop nanotechnology-based products, and the CCI Program initiative to develop clothing and textiles with sensors that will enhance human performance.

Building on Regional/Provincial Strengths and Creating Critical Mass

In a country as geographically diverse as Canada, the importance of leveraging regional or provincial strengths and creating critical mass is essential for fostering of innovation and commercialization. Among the projects funded in 2007 and 2008 are initiatives that will capitalize on the strengths of Quebec's forestry sector and Alberta's biofuel economy, add critical mass to BC's life sciences community and Ontario's emerging industrial bioproducts sector, and create new opportunities for commercialization in Saskatchewan's natural resources and energy sectors. Creating critical mass also attracts highly qualified personnel (HQP) who then have the opportunity to develop the key business skills and networks needed to become successful future entrepreneurs, thus helping to continue to build critical mass and further drive innovation and commercialization.

Leveraging Investment

While the real value of investments made through the programs will take years to be fully realized, according to the application criteria, each LOI must have a minimum in-kind commitment of 50 percent. With four calls for proposals to date and a total of 37 LOIs for the BL-NCE Program, 147 for the CECR Program, and 80 for the CCI Program, this translates into an initial private sector commitment of well over $750 million.
With the approved CECRs, BL-Networks, and CCI Program initiatives to date, the actual in-kind contribution committed is just over $345 million; however, this is expected to increase dramatically once the projects begin to achieve tangible results.

Creating New Jobs and Transferring Knowledge

In today's economy, the creation of new high-quality jobs is a key indicator of global competitiveness and innovation. Table 3 in Annex D shows that 82 percent of 2007 awarded CECRs, 72 percent of the 2008 CECRs, and 73 percent of the funded BL-Networks are new organizations, which will lead to new jobs and knowledge translation. For example, while the actual implementation of several of the newly funded CECRs has only recently begun, several centres (e.g., the Bioindustrial Innovation Centre and the Centre for Drug Research and Development) have already recruited and hired extremely talented and well-regarded leaders and investigators to participate or partner in the work.

PSAB Recommendations

PSAB believes the following recommendations will enhance the impacts, operations, and governance of the three programs, and ultimately advance Canada's global competitiveness by accelerating the commercialization of leading-edge technologies, goods, and services.

The Value of the Programs

PSAB strongly believes the BL-NCE, CECR, and CCI programs are fulfilling their mandates to promote innovation, increase public-private sector collaboration, and accelerate the commercialization of leading edge technologies, goods, and services. Benefits to Canadians will be realized through knowledge transfer from researchers to the private sector and helping to ensure that private sector partners are capable of bringing the resulting innovations to market. In addition to increasing Canada's global competitiveness, the programs are delivering significant economic benefits to communities across Canada and will create new high-quality jobs based on know-how and technological innovation. Collectively, the programs also have the potential to transform how Canadian businesses–large and small–academia, and government approach R&D and commercialization activities. The long-term value of such a cultural change will far exceed the federal government's initial investment.

  • The federal government should continue investing in the programs and, in particular, prepare the future of the BL-NCE Program beyond its initial funding cycle.

Maximizing Program Impacts

PSAB believes that monitoring results and communicating successes are essential to maximizing the impacts and value of the programs.

Monitoring Results

Given the recent implementation of the programs and the diversity of projects funded, PSAB believes it is critical to monitor the progress of the funded initiatives against their project milestones (which may be sector-specific), as well as the original selection criteria to ensure the programs are meeting their mandates.

For the CECRs and BL-Networks, monitoring awards is an ongoing NCE Secretariat function to ensure that program funds are used effectively to attain the expected results. Grant recipients are asked to provide annual progress reports, which outline the major achievements of the funded initiatives over the previous year, strategies used to achieve their goal(s), and any course corrections or deviations from the original objectives, to the NCE Steering Committee. Currently, the NCE Secretariat compiles and analyses this performance data on a yearly basis, reports to the NCE Steering Committee on various trends, and confirms whether the programs' objectives are being met. This information would be useful to PSAB to help inform decision making on future proposals.

  • PSAB is prepared to enhance feedback to participants by reviewing annual progress reports and providing guidance and comments.

Promoting the Success of the Programs

Equally important to maximizing the impacts of the programs is communicating their successes. Prior to the launch of the first CECR and BL-NCE competitions, the NCE Secretariat conducted a series of information sessions across Canada. PSAB believes that continuing similar outreach activities on an annual or bi-annual basis would encourage new partnerships within sectors, or between sectors not previously engaged.

In addition to promoting the programs among stakeholders to encourage future involvement, communicating the benefits of the programs to government departments, decision makers, and the general public will ensure that the benefits to all Canadians are understood and realized. Individual networks, centres, and college initiatives are–and should continue to be–encouraged to conduct their own communication activities to highlight their successes. The NCE Secretariat can then use this information to promote the larger impacts of the programs, both individually and collectively. Possible avenues for this promotion include magazines, newspaper articles, the NCE's web site, This link will take you to another Web site www.science.gc.ca , and science blogs.

  • The NCE Secretariat should promote program successes and benefits and look for new ways to encourage private sector involvement, particularly among SMEs.

Extending the Reach of the Programs

PSAB believes that engaging SMEs and promoting entrepreneurial development are two key areas that would enhance the overall impacts of the programs.

Engaging Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises

PSAB believes that technology and knowledge transfer to SMEs is critical to ensuring that Canada benefits from innovation and research. Because SMEs are a fundamental component of the Canadian economy (employing over 6.8 million people and generating nearly half of the country's GDP), their involvement in knowledge transfer is essential to bringing competitive advantages to the Canadian business sector.

The challenge with SME involvement in the BL-NCE, CECR, CCI programs is their limited funding capacity. Program applicants are more likely to look for support from large firms because these potential partners will have additional resources to offer (finances, lab facilities, networks, clients, etc.) compared to most SMEs. Furthermore, given the time constraints associated with the first rounds of proposals, applicants tended to focus more on a few large corporations rather than securing several smaller partners. In order to maximize SME involvement in the BL-Networks that have already been approved, PSAB recently advised the NCE Steering Committee to allocate a supplementary $2.8 million in funding (from the first competition) between the four networks. This recommendation was approved and funding will be available in April 2010.

To circumvent this situation in the longer term, PSAB believes there should be some mandatory SME partnership requirements for each proposal. This could be demonstrated through a letter of support or clear links in the business plans. Although compulsory, PSAB suggests that the partnership could exist without a request for matching funds. This would allow potential SME partners to express leadership in the proposal with limited expected financial contributions.

  • PSAB recommends developing requirements for applicants to engage SMEs through letters of support or clear links in proposal business plans.

Promoting Highly Qualified Personnel Training and Cultural Change

PSAB expressed the view that part of the challenge with involving SMEs in research proposals is that most of the entrepreneurs do not see the short-term benefits of innovation or research for their businesses (i.e., the entrepreneurs' assumption is that research is a long-term process). PSAB believes, however, that the research community does not need to be specifically focused on applied research, but has a role to play in reviewing the research needs of the industry.

Equally important is fostering an understanding of business sector needs among academic researchers. PSAB believes the three programs will help address this need through knowledge transfer from researchers to the private sector and ensuring that the private sector partners are capable of bringing these innovations to the market. The Board also believes that the programs could extend their reach and potential impact by looking for opportunities to encourage the participation of aspiring young entrepreneurs (e.g., NSERC's Industrial R&D Fellowships, Industrial Undergraduate Student Research Awards USRA, and the Industrial Research and Development Internship program IRDI managed by the NCE Secretariat). Similarly, the centres funded through the CECR Program could offer entrepreneurial development advice and mentoring to facilitate the development of companies capable of efficiently using the newly acquired technology or innovation and, by doing so, generating a positive impact on the economy.

  • The programs should look for ways to encourage and incorporate Canada's new generation of scientific entrepreneurs.

Enhancing Program Operations

PSAB believes that balancing program portfolios, developing tools for better proposal writing, and obtaining resources for better decision making would enhance program operations (e.g., proposal evaluation and selection), which will ultimately lead to greater program impact.

Balancing Program Portfolios

PSAB sees part of its role as "pushing the innovation envelope," determining which proposals may be high risk but potentially offer high return on investment and the possibility for Canada to carve out new opportunities to excel on a global stage. For the CECR and BL-NCE programs, the Board believes there is a unique opportunity to fund cutting-edge research, especially where disciplines meet. However, PSAB requires guidance on determining the balance of the programs' portfolios.

As with any investment portfolio, there is a level of risk: the goal of PSAB is to make informed decisions on the potential for commercialization success based on the Board's collective experience and research. This may mean selecting some higher risk initiatives, which have excellent potential for return, and balancing them with other choices that have a greater certainty for success, but will be less likely to produce paradigm shifts in terms of the technologies they are producing. The benefits of funding the higher risk initiatives do not rely solely on direct economical benefits (job creation, new companies created, licenses sold, etc.) but also in learning experiences, knowledge transfer, SME positioning in the market, and networking opportunities.

  • It may be considered beneficial for the programs to develop selection criteria that will enhance their current portfolios (which principally consist of incremental research proposals) with the inclusion of disruptive proposals.

Developing Tools for Better Proposal Writing

As described previously, the quality of proposals varied significantly across disciplines and sectors; however, PSAB feels that all of the proposals need to demonstrate greater business rigour in terms of planning for and writing the proposals. In fact, on the request of PSAB, the NCE Secretariat adjusted the reporting requirements to strengthen the management of the CECRs and BL-Networks. The process could be further improved by providing additional guidance on the business aspects (e.g., synthesizing a list of best practices, developing management plans).

  • The programs should encourage potential applicants to network prior to submitting a proposal, provide applicants with access to examples of well-written proposals, and encourage mentoring relations where possible.

Obtaining Resources For Better Decision Making

PSAB commends the NCE Secretariat for its excellent job in supporting the Board and managing the CECR and BL-NCE programs as a whole, and is very pleased with the advice and guidance it receives with respect to the proposal review process. The Board cites the two-tiered process and the involvement of high calibre external expert reviewers as a best practice of the programs. PSAB also finds the background material supplied by Industry Canada, the Expert Panels, and the NCE Secretariat invaluable to its decision making, and would welcome reviewing any other relevant documentation such as the strategic plans of the three granting agencies, CFI, and Industry Canada.

  • PSAB is willing to receive additional strategic direction to ensure that the selection of the successful applicants is aligned with long-term investments, complements the research portfolio of the three granting agencies, CFI, and Industry Canada, and ensures the sustainability of the recipients.

Program Governance

PSAB believes that the role of the Board, its terms of reference, and certain aspects of program governance should be reviewed.

The Role of the Board

PSAB applauds the federal government's decision to integrate a role for the private sector to provide advice on the CECR, BL-NCE, and CCI programs. PSAB believes that the collective value of the group is the members' knowledge and business acumen, and the group's ability to assess the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of the proposals and determine the issues and risks from an implementation or exploitation perspective of the work being done, rather than the pure technological aspects of the research effort. The members of PSAB found that despite their varied sectoral experience, the group as a whole easily reached consensus on how the proposals should be evaluated and that their business assessments were very consistent. Having an experienced Chair to guide the Board's deliberations and activities was noted as a tremendous benefit to the overall process.

  • PSAB strongly supports maintaining its selection and advisory activities to the NCE Steering Committee and recommends its continued participation.

Terms of Reference

During 2007 and 2008, PSAB members attended 10 meetings, which when combined with the time required to read the letters of intent and proposals from the four competitions, involved more than 250 person-days of effort. Compared to other board appointments that PSAB members have been involved in (e.g., CFI, National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, etc.), the time and effort required of PSAB members is quite substantial. (The original expectation from the NCE Steering Committee was that each member would only assess a handful of proposals in his or her chosen field per competition. Most PSAB members, however, stated that they felt it necessary to review all of the proposals and letters of intent to better inform their decision making.)

While the current board members are fully committed to their work on PSAB and find it challenging and rewarding, this level of effort could impede finding new Board members of similar quality. The current Board discussed how best to address this issue and several suggestions were made including the appointment of a vice-chair, which received unanimous support.

  • A long-term PSAB membership renewal plan should be developed to ensure appropriate succession planning, and a vice-chair should be added.

Maximizing the Board's Expertise

PSAB has confidence in the strength of the programs' logic models, which take into account all key elements, from the value of the research (its potential for commercial success and other spin-offs, etc.) to how the partnerships are structured to facilitate business success (risk management, regulatory environment, IP, etc.). PSAB also believes that reporting requirements (e.g., Results-based Management and Accountability Frameworks) and the process being employed to track progress provide the necessary rigour to ensure the long-term success of the programs. However, given their collective experience, PSAB also believes that the Board can provide valuable insight to the overall implementation and renewal of the programs to ensure they deliver results that fulfill and even exceed their mandates.

  • In addition to evaluating proposals, PSAB recognizes that the Board will play a more active role in providing advice on the renewal of the programs.

Conclusion

Canada's reputation for world-class research is indisputable. However, our global competitiveness depends not only on developing new technologies, but transforming these technologies into leading- edge, marketable developments with real societal, economic, and environmental benefits.

The federal government reiterates its commitment to commercializing innovation in the 2009 Progress Report on Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage. It also confirms its commitment to the CECR, BL-NCE, and CCI programs and the critical role they play in helping the private sector utilize the research expertise available within Canada to solve pressing research needs and in so doing gain an entrepreneurial advantage.

PSAB believes that the importance of these programs cannot be overstated, particularly given Canada's current innovation and commercialization climate. The recommendations contained within this report are designed to enhance the impacts, operations, and governance of the three programs, and ultimately advance Canada's global competitiveness through more effective commercialization of leading-edge technologies, goods, and services.

PSAB commends the NCE Steering Committee for being open to the Board's review and looks forward to the adoption of these recommendations so that the three programs can further enhance Canada's competitive advantage by accelerating the mobilization of S&T for the benefit of all Canadians.

Annex A: Acronyms

BL-NCE Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence
CCI College and Community Innovation
CECR Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research
CFI Canada Foundation for Innovation
CIHR Canadian Institutes of Health Research
ICT information and communications technologies
KT knowledge transfer
LOI Letters of Intent
NCE Networks of Centres of Excellence
NSERC Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
PSAB Private Sector Advisory Board
R&D research and development
RMAF Results-based Management and Accountability Framework
S&T science and technology
SME small- and medium-sized enterprise
SSHRC Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Annex B: Members of PSAB

Detailed biographies for each of the current Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) members are provided below.

The Honourable Perrin Beatty (Chair): President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the 170,000-member Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining the Canadian Chamber in August 2007, Mr. Beatty was President and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME). He was President and CEO of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and has held portfolios in several governments, including Minister of State for the Treasury Board, National Revenue, Solicitor General, National Defence, Health and Welfare, Communications, and Secretary of State for External Affairs. Mr. Beatty has served on a number of Canadian Government advisory committees covering issues that include national security, border management, privacy, and international trade. He is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute and served for five years as Business Co-Chair of the Canadian Labour and Business Centre. He is currently Chancellor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Suhayya (Sue) Abu-Hakima: Co-founder, President and CEO of Amika Mobile Corporation– her second start-up, launched in 2007. Dr. Abu-Hakima is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and is Chair of the Board of Management for the Centre of Excellence for Communications and Information Technology. She is also on the Board of the Ottawa Software Cluster. In 2003, Dr. Abu-Hakima contributed to the Prime Minister's Task Force on Women Entrepreneurs. She holds 19 international patents in messaging and content analysis, with a 20th pending. She has also published and presented over 100 papers. Dr. Abu-Hakima holds master's and doctorate degrees from Carleton University in Ottawa, with a specialization in artificial intelligence.

Patrick Champagne: In 1998, Patrick Champagne was appointed to the position of Vice-President, CMC Electronics. In this role, he is responsible for the engineering support solutions for the three sites of CMC in Quebec, Ontario, and the United States. Mr. Champagne's career at CMC Electronic started in 1986 as a developer. After that, he held various project-engineering positions from 1988 to 1993, and was Chief Engineer for the Communications Group from 1993 to 1998. Before joining CMC Electronic, he was an electronic engineer with Nortel and Spar Aerospace from 1982 to 1986. Mr. Champagne holds a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering, obtained in 1982, and a master's degree in Applied Sciences, obtained in 1986. Both degrees are from École Polytechnique in Montréal. He also obtained, in 1994, a master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) from McGill University. He is a member of the Order of Engineers in Quebec and the IEEE. He has been a member of the administration council of l' École de technologie supérieure since 2002, and was appointed Chair from 2004 to 2007. He has been a member of the Board of the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec (CRIAQ) since it was formed in 2003, and is a member of the Innovation Committee, Aéro Montréal. He has also served on the Board of the Association de la recherche industrielle du Québec (ADRIQ), on the advisory committee for the Fonds Nature et Technologie du Québec (NATEQ), and was a member of the jury for the Prix du Québec in Applied Sciences.

Kevin O'Brien Fehr: Since 1992, Dr. Fehr, who has a background in pharmacology, has managed basic research and genetics studies conducted in Canadian companies and universities on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). She also works to attract funding from GSK's international sources to support Canadian researchers. She serves in an advisory capacity on several Boards of Directors, including the AllerGen Network of Centres of Excellence and the Canada Foundation for Innovation. After working for 10 years at the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario as a scientist and educator, Dr. Fehr joined the staff of the Medical Liaison Service of Sandoz Canada. There, she spent five years liaising between the company and the Canadian medical research community in the areas of psychiatry and neurology.

Fred Hemphill has played a key role in the transformation of Alberta's oil sands industry. He spent his entire career at Syncrude Canada Ltd., retiring from the position of Vice-President, Technology Project Development and Research. He was responsible for the research and development of new technological innovations and for the engineering and construction of these technologies. During his long and distinguished career at Syncrude, he held many senior management positions including Vice-President, Bitumen Process; and Vice-President, Human Resources and Support Services. Mr. Hemphill is a past-president of the Fort McMurray United Way and has served on boards and committees of Keyano College, the Alberta Science Centre, and the Oil Sands Discovery Centre.

Raymond Leduc heads IBM's largest semiconductor assembly and test site in Bromont, Quebec, which produces microelectronic components for all of IBM's leading products as well as the microprocessor components for the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft's XBox 360, and Sony's PLAYSTATION 3. Mr. Leduc joined IBM in 1981. He has held various management positions in the engineering and finance departments before being named Director of the Bromont plant in 2003.

Donald Lush: President of Environmental Bio-Detection Products Inc. (EBPI) in Mississauga, Ontario. EBPI develops and manufactures biologically based testing kits for evaluation of toxicity of contaminants in environmental media and the evaluation of chemicals and environmental samples. During his 30 years in the environmental consulting business, Mr. Lush has served in technical, management, and advisory roles as founder, president, and chairman of a number of environmental and technology focused companies in Canada, the United States, and Europe. He spent most of his consulting career with Beak International as a senior principal and board member and acted as Chairman of the Board for 15 years. He is Chair of the Board of Microbial Insights, Inc., located in Knoxville, Tennessee.

John MacDonald has had a distinguished career in the technology community in Canada. Dr. MacDonald is currently Chairman and CEO of Day4 Energy Inc., a solar energy company dedicated to exploiting photovoltaic technology. He was also a co-founder of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), Canada's principal space company, serving as President and CEO for 13 years, and Chairman for a subsequent 16 years until his retirement in 1998. Dr. MacDonald was a faculty member in engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for 12 years prior to the founding of MDA. He has served on the boards of numerous technology companies and continues to do so. He has been an advisor to Canadian, U.S., and other governments. He is a member of the Canadian Department of National Defence Science Advisory Board and the International Energy Agency in Paris.

Dr. MacDonald's technical interests lie in the areas of photovoltaic energy systems, advanced digital systems engineering, and remote sensing. He led the design team for the U.S. government's first LANDSAT ground processing system. In later years, Dr. MacDonald's technical activities concentrated in the areas of information extraction from advanced sensor systems. Dr. MacDonald earned his PhD from MIT in 1964. He has been awarded eight Honorary Degrees and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2000, Dr. MacDonald was awarded the John H. Chapman Excellence Award of the Canadian Space Agency, the Agency's highest award. In 2006, he was inducted as a Laureate of the British Columbia Business Hall of Fame and received the Entrepreneur of the Year's Lifetime Achievement Award from Ernst and Young.

Keith Stoodley: Senior Vice President of Marketing with the Provincial Aerospace Group of Companies, based in St. John's, Newfoundland, which specializes in fixed-wing, aircraft-based maritime surveillance modifications and operations. Mr. Stoodley also chairs a public-private partnership focused on the development of the ocean industry cluster in Newfoundland and Labrador. Prior to 2005, he was Vice-President and Director, Oceans, with the Lotek Group. Under his stewardship, Lotek received Canada Exporter Awards in 2002 and 2003, and the National Research Council's Innovation Award in 2004. He has served as a director and a member of the Environmental Export Council of the Canadian Environmental Industry Association, the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce Innovation Council, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador's Genesis Centre and International Business Advisory Council, and the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.

Jeff Turner: CEO of Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics Inc. Dr. Turner is a biotech industry executive and entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in life science product development and commercialization. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto. He holds 34 domestic and international patents and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and abstracts. As President and CEO of Nexia Biotechnologies Inc., the world's second-largest transgenic animal company, Dr. Turner managed 124 employees in Canada and the U.S. and raised $67 million in private and public funds. In 2006, he completed a $20-million licensing agreement for the company's stem cell technology.

J. Haig deB. Farris: President of Fractal Capital Corp., a private venture capital company financing high technology start-ups and resource services technology companies. A former Adjunct Professor at UBC, he is a founder and director of two UBC spin-off companies:
D-Wave Systems Inc., a quantum computing company; and Zymeworks Inc., a biosciences and enzyme engineering technologies company. Mr. Farris is a Council Member at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and is past Chair of the Science Council of British Columbia. He co-founded a financial consulting firm and was co-founder of the largest venture capital pool in western Canada. Mr. Farris has received a Friend of Science World award, the Bill Thompson Award for career achievement from the BC Technology Industries Association, and the Pioneer of Innovation Award from the Vancouver Board of Trade.

James E.C. Carter served Syncrude Canada Ltd. for more than 27 years, including 10 years as President and 18 years as operations chief. Mr. Carter played a prominent role in a variety of initiatives to enhance safety, reliability, production, unit costs, and product quality. Prior to joining Syncrude, Mr. Carter held senior management positions at McIntyre Mines Ltd. and the Iron Ore Company of Canada. Mr. Carter serves on the Boards of Directors of EPCOR Inc. and Careers: The Next Generation. He is a director and past chair of the Mining Association of Canada and was also a member, director, and executive member of the Alberta Chamber of Resources. In 2005, he was named Resource Person of the Year by the Alberta Chamber of Resources and was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Alan Bernardi currently works as an independent consultant in innovation management and new product development. Previously, he worked as General Manager of Bell University Laboratories where he built two laboratories and managed over one hundred research and development projects across Canada. In 2005, he received the First Invention Award, which recognizes and rewards Business Commitment to the Environment innovators for creating and developing their first patentable invention. Prior to Bell, he was Director for Research at the Centre de Recherche Informatique de Montréal (CRIM), with teams in telecommunications, software engineering, and knowledge-based systems. There, he established two international partnerships with European institutes and participated in a project funded by the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5). In his 25-year career, he has also worked at CAE Electronics, Bell-Northern Research, Nortel, and Bell Emergis. For over 10 years, Alan Bernardi has taught part-time at CRIM, in the McGill Master of Business Administration (MBA) Program, and in the Department of Industrial Engineering at l' École Polytechnique de Montréal. He is a member of the Board of the Centre d'entrepreneurship HEC-POLY-UdeM and on the Scientific Committee of MITACS (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems). He is a member of the Product Development Management Association, and ADRIQ. He has two patents to his name and has authored a number of publications. He holds Science and Management degrees from McGill University.

Annex C: Terms of Reference

Figure 1 provides an overview of the review process for the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) and Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) programs.

Figure 1

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Figure 1: Review Process for CECR and BL-NCE Proposals

Examples of the specific tasks to be performed by PSAB include:

CECR Program

  • Assessing CECR letters of intent (LOIs) against the program selection criteria and recommending a short-list of proponents to the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Steering Committee for advancement to Stage II (i.e., full application stage). This will take into account the fact that CECR projects seeking operations support for existing research centres which have received federal support in the past, to sustain operations beyond the years covered in their existing funding agreements, will receive priority consideration for advancement to Stage II.
  • Reviewing the CECR full application proposals against the program selection criteria along with Expert Panel reports, the comments from the parties consulted (e.g., Canada Foundation for Innovation [CFI], science–based departments and agencies, and regional and provincial agencies), and then recommending to the NCE Steering Committee priority CECR proposals for approval.
  • Writing a confidential evaluation report for each full CECR proposal to each group of applicants as well as a report which will provide an overview of the competition, along with a summary analysis for each proposal recommended for funding.
  • Providing advice to the NCE Steering Committee as appropriate on implementation, delivery, and performance measures of CECR.

BL-NCE Program

  • Assessing the LOIs against the BL-NCE program selection criteria and the contextual briefing (drawing on available expertise and analysis, including that of federal science-based departments and agencies and economic and technology policy resources) provided by the NCE Secretariat, and recommending a short-list of projects to the NCE Steering Committee for advancement to Stage II (i.e., full application stage).
  • Reviewing the BL-NCE full application proposals against the program selection criteria along with Expert Panel reports, and then recommending to the NCE Steering Committee BL-NCE projects for approval.
  • Writing a confidential evaluation report for each full BL-NCE proposal to each group of applicants as well as a report which will provide an overview of the competition, along with a summary analysis for each proposal recommended for funding.
  • Providing advice to the NCE Steering Committee as appropriate on implementation, delivery, and performance measures of BL-NCE. 

CCI Program

PSAB performs the following tasks for the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program:

  • Providing advice as appropriate on implementation, delivery, and performance measures of the CCI Program.
  • Reviewing the recommendations of the Selection Committee on any LOIs and providing advice on any LOIs that do not have the potential of contributing to local innovation.
  • Reviewing the recommendations of the Selection Committee on full proposals and providing advice to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) on any proposals that do not have the potential of contributing to local innovation.

Figure 2 provides an overview of the review process for the CCI Program.

Figure 2

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Figure 2: Review Process for Proposals for the CCI Program Funding

Annex D: Statistical Data for BL-NCE, CECR, and the CCI Programs

Table 1: Number of LOIs and Full Applications received for the 2007
and 2008 BL-NCE, CECR, and CCI Program competitions.
Program Status 2007 2008 Grand Total
BL-NCE BL-NCE LOI   36 36
  BL-NCE Full Application Invited   10 10
  BL-NCE Full Application Submitted   8 8
  Full Application Funded   4 4
 
CECR CECR LOI 113 34 147
  CECR Full Application 25 15 40
  Full Application Funded 11 6  17
 
CCIP CCIP LOI   80 80
  CCIP Full Application   34 34
  Full Application Funded   13  13
Percentage of recommendations made by PSAB and accepted by the NCE Steering Committee 100%
Table 2: Comparison of CECRs self-identified as focusing on Research, Commercialization, or Research and Commercialization in each stage of the 2007 and 2008 competitions.

 

Research Commercialization Research & Commercialization
Total LOIs Received 2007 4 44 65
Total Full Applications Received 2007 0 11 14
Total Full Applications Funded 2007 0 4 7
Percentage of LOIs funded at the full application stage 2007 0% 9% 11%
Total LOIs Received 2008 1 7 26
Total Full Applications Received 2008 0 5 10
Total Full Applications Funded 2008 0 2 4
Percentage of LOIs funded at the full application stage 2008 0% 29% 15%
Total percentage of LOIs funded at the full application stage (2007 & 2008) 0% 12% 12%
Table 3: Incorporation Statistics for the organizations receiving funding and the percentage of total funds allocated in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 competitions.
Competition Name Number of existing organizations* receiving funding Percentage of total budget allocated to existing organizations Number of new organizations created to receive funding Percentage of total budget allocated to new organizations
CECR 2007-2008
(11 funded)
2
18%
9
82%
CECR 2008-2009
(6 funded)
2
28%
4
72%
BL-NCE 2008-2009
(4 funded)
1
27%
3
73%

* Existing organizations defined as organizations incorporated one year before receiving grant payments from the granting agencies.

Table 4: Science and Technology priority areas identified in the LOI, full application, and funded application stages of the 2007 and 2008 CECR competitions.
CECR 2007 & 2008 S&T Priority Areas Environment Natural Resources / Energy Health ICT Other Total
Total LOIs Received 2007 7 27 42 29 8 113
Total Full Applications Received 2007 1 6 14 3 1 25
Total Full Applications Funded 2007 0 1 9 0 1 11
Percentage of LOIs funded at the full application stage 2007 0% 4% 21% 0% 13% 10%
Total LOIs Received 2008 9 4 5 15 1 34
Total Full Applications Received 2008 3 2 2 8 0 15
Total Full Applications Funded 2008 2 2 1 1 0 6
Percentage of LOIs funded at the full application stage 2008 22% 50% 20% 7% 0% 18%
Total funded applications in 2007 & 2008 2 3 10 1 1 17
Total percentage of LOIs funded at the full application stage (2007 & 2008) 13% 10% 21% 2% 11% 12%
Table 5: Science and Technology priority areas identified in the LOI, full application, and funded application stages of the 2008 BL-NCE competition.
BL-NCE 2008 S&T Priority Areas Environment Natural Resources / Energy Health ICT Management Business & Finance Total
Total LOIs Received 2008 9 10 8 6 3 36
Total LOIs Accepted 2008 2 5 1 1 1 10
Total Full Applications Received 2007 1 4 1 1 1 8
Total Full Applications Funded 2008 1 2 1 0 0 4
Total percentage of LOIs funded at the full application stage 11% 20% 13% 0% 0% 11%

Annex E: Approved Centres of Excellence in Commercialization and Research

The following 11 Centres of Excellence for Commercialization (CECRs) were selected for funding in 2008:

Name Description Funding
Advanced Applied Physics Solutions, Inc. (AAPS)
Vancouver, BC
Established at TRIUMF - Canada's national laboratory for research into particle and nuclear physics - AAPS's mission is to commercialize advanced physics technologies for the social and economic well-being of Canadians, and to advance the development of physics applications for the benefit of people around the world. $14.95 million
Bioindustrial Innovation Centre (BIC)
Sarnia, ON
With a vision to transform Canada into a globally recognized leader in taking sustainable feedstock, such as agricultural and forestry by-products and wastes, and turning these renewable resources into energy and value-added chemicals for use in applications ranging from construction to automotive parts, the BIC will provide programs and facilities to build, demonstrate, and test technologies in partnership with industry. $14.95 million
Centre for the Commercialization of Research (CCR)
Ottawa, ON
This Centre will help ensure that new technologies developed in Canada's outstanding research universities reach the global marketplace; create a new and highly innovative economy that is globally competitive and environmentally responsible; and create the next generation of Canadian innovators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. The Centre will also play an important role in other critical areas, including the development of complex and convergent technologies that require the alignment of various disciplines and national and international collaborations. $14.95 million
Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)
Vancouver, BC
This Centre proposes to dramatically increase the probability that discoveries made by Canadian researchers become medicines that improve the health and well-being of Canadians and millions worldwide. The CDRD will provide an infrastructure in which the therapeutic potential of medical discoveries can be better validated in the academic environment, reducing the risk of failure in subsequent development. $14.95 million
Centre of Excellence in Personalized Medicine (CEPM)
Montreal, QC
This Centre optimizes therapies by capitalizing on recent discoveries in genomics. Given the critical importance of a patient's genetic background in the acceptance or rejection of a given drug, there is an urgent need to introduce approaches, tools, and services based on genomic technologies. Drawing from the outstanding talent and infrastructure available in Canadian health and teaching institutions, and working in partnership with the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries, the Centre is addressing this need. $13.8 million
Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC)
Hamilton, ON
Canada has invested in research to create new molecular imaging probes and special chemical compounds that can diagnose disease early on or evaluate changes in the patient during treatment. The CPDC will ensure that this success is translated into products that will provide more effective diagnosis and treatment options for Canadians. The CPDC will create the capacity to convert methods used to produce promising probes in the lab into methods suitable for commercial and clinical use. $14.95 million
Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer CECR in Therapeutics Discovery (IRICoR) Montreal, QC IRICoR will accelerate the development of new targeted cancer therapies by supporting the impressive discovery portfolio and technological platforms developed at the internationally recognized Unit for the Discovery of Medicines at Université de Montreal and linking them with new partners, including the biopharmaceutical industry. $14.95 million
MaRS Innovation
Toronto, ON
The downtown Toronto MaRS Discovery District is the gateway to Canada's largest concentration of scientific research, anchored by major teaching hospitals, the University of Toronto, and more than two dozen affiliated research institutes. MaRS houses technology start-up companies, academic health researchers, and a wide range of business services. MaRS Innovation (MI), a joint venture of MaRS and the renowned Toronto academic institutions, will help turn research strengths into economic opportunities for Canadians through collaborative work on commercialization by a single integrated organization. $14.95 million
The Prostate Centre's Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated Discovery and Development (PC-TRIADD)
Vancouver, BC
With an outstanding team of renowned scientists and clinicians, the Vancouver-based Prostate Centre is one of the world's most comprehensive and respected prostate cancer facilities. The PC-TRIADD integrates critical components of translational research under one organization, allowing the seamless management of the complex processes involved in discovery, preclinical development, and clinical research in close partnership with national clinical trials and research networks, as well as industry. $14.95 million
Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise (PREVENT) Saskatoon, SK By partnering with Canadian stakeholders and shouldering the risk of early-stage vaccine development, PREVENT will strengthen Canada's vaccine industry, promoting growth, investment, and improved global competitiveness. By keeping manufacturing and clinical trials in Canada, PREVENT will accelerate the rate at which essential vaccines reach the Canadian marketplace, resulting in earlier access. $14.95 million
CECR in the Prevention of Epidemic Organ Failure (PROOF)
Vancouver, BC
PROOF will lead the way in finding practical solutions to vital organ failure and its impact on Canadians and our health-care system. PROOF's team of world-class researchers, scientists, and clinicians are committed to improving the standard of care and quality of life for all patients in Canada faced with heart, lung, and kidney failure. PROOF believes that moving away from drug-only strategies toward biomarker-guided prevention and effective early detection of primary diseases is the best way to diminish the epidemic of vital organ failure and its socioeconomic impact. $14.95 million

A second competition was launched in 2008, which resulted in funding for the following six CECRs:

Name Description Funding
Centre for Surgical Invention and Innovation
Hamilton, ON
The Centre for Surgical Invention and Innovation will develop and commercialize a new class of robotic platforms for targeted, less invasive surgical and medical interventions. These innovations will dramatically improve patient outcomes, reduce the length of hospital stays and recovery periods, and allow patients to return to full activity following major procedures far more quickly than conventional procedures. $14.805 million
Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media (CACM)
Waterloo, ON
The Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media is a joint initiative of Communitech and the Stratford Institute. It will link Canada's digital media clusters from coast to coast, creating a digital convergence corridor and enabling collaboration between researchers, implementers, and entrepreneurs. Two complementary digital media hubs–the Stratford Institute and Waterloo Region's Digital Media Convergence Centre–will provide the facilities for sustainable digital media activity. $10.721 million
Oceans Network Canada Centre for Enterprise and Engagement (ONCEE)
Victoria, BC
ONCEE was created by the University of Victoria to manage the NEPTUNE Canada and VENUS cabled ocean observatories. These two internationally renowned observatories support transformative research of our oceans and create unprecedented economic and outreach opportunities. ONCEE's vision is to position Canada as an international leader in the science and technology of ocean observation systems and to maximize the associated economic and social benefits through innovative commercialization and outreach programs. $6.576 million
GreenCentre Canada (GCC)
Kingston, ON
GCC's vision is to transform green chemistry research breakthroughs into clean, sustainable products and processes that will benefit Canada and the world. The GCC will develop innovative green chemistry solutions to meet growing global demand for engineering and construction materials, energy production, fine chemical and therapeutic manufacturing, and transportation and communication systems. $9.1 million
Tacterra (formerly known as Centre
of Excellence for Integrated Resource Management [CEIRM])
Calgary, AB
Tecterra will build a substantial, sustainable, geomatics-based, information and communication technologies (ICT) capability in Alberta and Canada. The Centre will be involved in four activities critical to the advancement of integrated resource management: education and training; research and development (R&D); pre-commercialization of R&D; and partnering with and providing services to industry. It will go well beyond traditional R&D, ensuring real potential for geomatics commercialization by confirming industry needs up-front, taking a collaborative approach, and clearing paths toward deployment. $11.685 million
Centre of Excellence in Energy Efficiency (C3E)
Shawnigan, QC
The vision of C3E is to create an integrated vehicle for economic development in energy efficiency and new energy technologies. The C3E will unite and leverage critical partners to improve our environment while creating economic value. The Centre will establish a world-class facility in Shawinigan to support technology transfer and commercialization in the growing area of new energy technologies. $9.623 million

Annex F: Approved Business-led Networks

The following four Business-Led Networks (BL-Networks) were approved for funding in 2008. Each network is incorporated as a not-for-profit entity and thus the responsibility of its governance lies with the members of their respective Board of Directors.

Name Description Funding
Canadian Forest NanoProducts Network (ArboraNano)
Pointe-Claire, QC
ArboraNano is an R&D collaboration involving Canada's major industrial sectors in an effort to develop a new Canadian bio-economy based on sustainable, innovative, highly-engineered, nanotechnology-based, carbon-neutral products created from Canada's vast forest resource. These products will have applications in a number of industrial sectors including aerospace, automotive, medical, pharmaceutical, forest products, chemicals, composites, and coatings. $8,991,000
Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN)
Ottawa, ON
GARDN brings together government, academic, and industrial partners working to ensure that Canadians, along with the rest of the world, continue to enjoy the benefits of aviation while minimizing the industry's impact on the environment. GARDN will foster the development of technologies that will reduce aircraft noise and emissions in the vicinity of airports. $11,819,473
Québec Drug Discovery Consortium (QDDC)
Nun's Island, QC
The QDDC is a meeting ground for all stakeholders in drug research whose principal mission is to finance research projects carried out in partnership between the academic and hospital milieus in the public sector and the pharmaceutical and biotechnologies industry in the private sector. An innovative Canadian initiative, the QDDC has a twofold goal: to accelerate the drug discovery process and to develop safer and more effective drugs. $8,000,000
Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC)
Regina, SK
The PTRC is a not-for-profit R&D organization involved in managing the world's largest CO2 Storage Project (Weyburn-Midale CO2 Project), potentially the world's largest avoided CO2 emissions project (JIVE Project), collaborating with SaskPower on the world's first zero emissions coal-fired power plant, and advancing enhanced oil recover technologies. $8,000,000

Annex G: Approved Colleges and Communities Innovation Program Initiatives

The following 13 CCI Program initiatives were selected for funding in 2007 and 2008:

Name Description Funding
Clothing/Textiles Advancements Sensor Development and Human Performance Enhancement
Camosum College
Victoria, BC
Camosum College will explore the use of "smart" fabrics and "intelligent" textiles for applications related to sports performance, rehabilitation, patient monitoring, emergency response personnel monitoring, and defense.  $2.3 million
Development of laser welding and hybrid laser welding /Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) optimized platforms for improving products and processes in manufacturing industries
Cégep de La Pocatière
La Pocatière, QC
The Cégep de La Pocatière in collaboration with the technology transfer centre, CSTPQ, will focus on addressing emerging issues regarding industrial laser welding. The team will investigate the stability of welds performed by laser welding, hybrid welding of thick plates, and will develop a new online inspection method. $2.3 million
Applied research and support to SMEs in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec for the valorization of biomass residues
Cégep de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Rouyn-Noranda, QC
The Cégep of Abitibi-Témiscamingue in collaboration with the technology transfer centre CTRI will focus on helping regional small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop and commercialize products from branches, barks, leaves, and tree needles left by wood industries after logging. The team will also work on a project to transform residue from the agribusiness. $2.3 million
Development of innovative firefighter clothing and adapted applications for other workers
Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe
Saint-Hyacinthe ,QC
The Collège de Saint-Hyacinthe, by the means of CTT Group and its partners, proposes to develop a new bunkersuit concept to improve thermophysiological comfort, mobility, and thermal protection, as well as to confer interactive and adapted functions to ensure optimal health-security of firefighters at work. $2.3 million
George Brown College Research Labs
George Brown College
Toronto, ON
George Brown College will develop a suite of Innovation Support Services to help local industries accelerate the innovation-to-market cycle, including Innovation Receptor Support Services, Multidisciplinary Collaborative Problem-Solving, and Innovation-Market Assessment Services. $2.292 million
Supporting innovation among businesses related to bioresources
Institut de technologie agroalimentaire
QC
L'Institut de technologie agroalimentaire, by the means of Biopterre and its partners, propose to develop new agro-environmental technologies, processes, and biomass products in such fields as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, energy, and food. $2.298 million
Sustain Niagara: Supporting Innovation in Agricultural Land Management
Niagara College
Niagara, ON
Niagara College's Land Use Technology (LUT) Centre will work with companies to develop better land management information. Using remote sensing technologies and high performance computing, the college will use this data to assist local producers in improving agricultural production processes and land use, adopting new technologies, and ultimately becoming more competitive and environmentally sustainable. $2.3 million
Biodiesel Production, Alternative Feedstocks, and Commercial Adoption
Olds College
Olds, AB
The project proposed by Olds College will expand the capacity of the BioFuel Technology Centre, will enable an investigation of alternative non-edible feedstock and the optimization of biodiesel processes, by-products, and integrates solutions to enhance commercialization. $2.3 million
Development of platforms for the analysis of the bioactivity of molecules (preventive as well as therapeutic) aiming at the improvement of human health
Cégep de Lévis-Lauzon
Lévis, QC
Levis-Lauzon, in collaboration with the technology transfer centre TransBIOTech, will focus on commercializing research in several fields related to biotechnology such as immunology, molecular biology, analytical chemistry, microbiology, and pharmacology. $2.3 million
Applied research and technology transfer program to support the regional socio- economical development in biotechnology
La Cité Collégiale
Ottawa, ON
La Cité Collégiale, along with its Bachelor of Applied Technology–Biotechnology program, supports companies in various fields of biotechnology. The current project deals with the valorization of agro-industrial residues, protein, and probiotic stability in ruminant food processing, genetically assisted crop selection, and production of recombinant proteins in biofermentors. $2.3 million
The Emily Carr Centre for Moving Interaction
Emily Carr University of Art and Design
Vancouver, BC
Emily Carr University's applied research projects focus on the convergence of 3D virtual worlds, games, and information representation. $2.273 million
Centre for Real-time Production
Sheridan College
Toronto, ON
The Centre for Real-time Production research team will develop new digital media technologies; facilitate innovation and commercialization across screen-based sectors and between content, service and platform companies; and investigate the challenges and opportunities new digital media technologies present for content development companies operating across multiple platforms. $2.296 million
Building the Canadian Electronic Health Records Solution (EHRS) Reference Implementation
Mohawk College of Applied Arts & Tech
Hamilton, ON
Mohawk College's project team and their industry partners will build and demonstrate options to simplify and standardize connections to the EHRS by doctor's offices, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, etc. The Mohawk research team will also create a new software development program to train health informatics professionals in Canada. $2.3 million

Footnotes

  1. Science, Technology, and Innovation Council Secretariat. (2008). State of the Nation 2008: Canada's Science, Technology and Innovation System, p. 2.
  2. Stanley, G. (2008). Canada's Pathways Toward Global Innovation Success: Report of the Leaders' Panel on Innovation-Based Commerce. The Conference Board of Canada.
  3. The NCE Steering Committee is made up of the Presidents of the three federal granting agencies–Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)–the Deputy Minister of Industry Canada, as well as the President of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) (as an observer).
  4. Briefing for Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, p. 4.
  5. "The Agri-Tech Investment Paradox," The Enterpriser: Spring 2008. p.2.
  6. Science, Technology, and Innovation Council Secretariat. (2008). State of the Nation 2008: Canada's Science, Technology and Innovation System, p. 2.
  7. Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity, Martin Prosperity Institute (2009). Opportunity in Turmoil: Report on Canada 2009, p. 28.
  8. Rosa, R., Rose, A. (2007). Report on Interviews on the Commercialization of Innovation, p. 9.
  9. Government of Canada. (2007). Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage.
  10. The NCE Steering Committee is made up of the Presidents of the three federal granting agencies–Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)–and the Deputy Minister of Industry Canada, as well as the President of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) (as an observer).
  11. Briefing for Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, p. 4.
  12. "The Agri-Tech Investment Paradox," The Enterpriser: Spring 2008. p.2.
  13. Canada's Venture Capital & Private Equity Association Press Release, May 12, 2009.
  14. Stanley, G. (2008). Canada's Pathways Toward Global Innovation Success: Report of the Leaders' Panel on Innovation-Based Commerce. The Conference Board of Canada.
  15. Initiatives that fall under the other category include OCE and TRIUMF types of CECRs, which are aimed at commercializing a wide array of innovation and thus, do not specifically fit into one discipline.
  16. Statistics Canada, 2006.
  17. Canadian e-Business Initiative (CeBI). (2004). Fast Forward 5.0: Making Connectivity Work for Canada.