[Next] [Previous] [Top] The Role of Engineering in Building a National Strategy in Science and Technology in Canada
The Canadian Academy of Engineering, The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada and the Engineering Institute of Canada, on behalf of the more than 155 000 professional engineers nationwide are pleased to submit this brief to Industry Canada as part of its very timely science and technology policy review process.
We recognize that this initiative is both complex and far-reaching in its impact on the Canadian economy. As such, we offer comment on science, engineering and technology issues that we consider to be of high priority. Furthermore, we recognize that this review process comes at a time when the Government is faced with the daunting tasks of re-shaping science and technology policy to meet the needs of the next century while striving to achieve its goal for deficit reduction. The recommendations offered in this brief are sensitive to these challenges and aim to provide solutions that are not tied to increased spending. Moreover, the recommendations offered come with our pledge of support and active participation as required to ensure their successful implementation.
The Federal Government should take the necessary steps to ensure that universities as well as the national granting councils supporting university research are sensitive to the special nature of engineering and that their program criteria reflect this through added emphasis on innovative problem-solving approaches and interdisciplinary projects.
The Federal Government should be supportive of and provide enhanced support for research undertaken by engineering professors and their graduate students that is directed at real and relevant issues of significance to the present and future needs of society and the industrial and services sectors.
Engineering schools should have much more autonomy than they now have, being immersed in a sea of science faculties, and should focus more on problem-solving and interdisciplinary approaches in the curricula than they presently do. They should encourage business sabbaticals and value more the professional experience of their recruits than just academic credentials. The "publish or perish" policy should be replaced by "excellence through relevance".
The Federal Government should provide NSERC with the funds necessary to successfully accomplish the goals and university/industry roles expressed in its latest strategic plan, particularly the financial assistance required by universities to undertake joint research with industry.
The Federal Government should:
- increase its financial commitment to IRAP
- develop an open client-server attitude
- consider transferring fundamental research to universities
- open its laboratories to industry.
As a way of creating durable new jobs for Canadians in the global economy, the Federal Government should expand its collaboration with the private sector in the establishment of a coast-to-coast worldclass Information Superhighway and the effective use of that facility.
The Federal Government should help ensure that faculties and schools of engineering and applied science become actively involved in partnership with industry in the technological development and the applications deployment of the Information Superhighway, particularly with respect to broadband development of interactive multimedia and the delivery of education at a distance.
The Federal Government must move ahead with its intention to help finance the new economy as announced in the Budget Speech on February 22, 1994. It must facilitate to small business, particularly the emerging high-tech companies, access to adequate capital.
The Federal Government in collaboration with the provincial governments and the engineering community, should establish the "Engineers and Scientists Program", as announced in the 1994 budget, to increase rapidly the employment of engineers in small and medium size entreprises following the very successful PSES program in Quebec.
It is incumbent on the Federal Government to provide leadership in public awareness programs relating to science, engineering and technology and, jointly with the provincial governments and the business community, to launch educational initiatives to make Canadians more aware of the spectacular advances of science and technology and the remarkable achievements of engineering in today's society.
The Role of Engineering in Building a National Strategy in Science and Technology in Canada - 15 JAN 97[Next] [Previous] [Top]