[Next] [Previous] [Top] The Role of Engineering in Building a National Strategy in Science and Technology in Canada
NEW RESPONSIBILITIES FOR NRC
- The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is a venerable institution which has been in existence for over 75 years. Inevitably, throughout such a long period, it has experienced a number of important changes but its adaptation to financial constraints and new industrial conditions may not have been as innovative as some wished.
- Among its many notable achievements, is the unquestionable success of the IRAP program, which provides technical and financial assistance to innovation in small firms. In terms of new jobs created and practical assistance delivered, the program has produced impressive results at relatively modest cost. However, even within the NRC, the program has not always received the recognition and financial support it merits.
- IRAP's demand-driven client-oriented activities are decentralized from Ottawa and operate through a network of over 100 organizations, which include provincial research organizations (PRO's), universities and colleges (with their industry liaison offices, industrial associations and other professional bodies).
- Engineers in Canada recognize the importance of IRAP and consider this program as an important component of the Canadian Technology Network (CTN) announced in Ottawa on August 5, 1994. However, as stated previously, Canadian engineers stress the need to base that network also in the engineering schools across the land as these have very important resources that industry could profit from.
- NRC has, over the years, became a center of excellence of international stature well known for its fundamental research. Effective mechanism should be devised whereby Federal Government support for longer-term applied research would be delivered increasingly through university.
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.
The Role of Engineering in Building a National Strategy in Science and Technology in Canada - 15 JAN 97[Next] [Previous] [Top]