CCR Breakfast with Canada’s Funding Agencies

The CCR hosted its second annual breakfast with Canada’s funding agencies on December 4th, 2013.

In attendance at the breakfast were:

  • Mr. Pierre Charest, Associate Vice-President, Corporate Planning and Policy, NSERC
  • Dr. Jane Aubin, Chief Scientific Officer/Vice-President of Research, CIHR
  • Dr. Rob Annan, Vice President, Research and Policy, MITACS
  • Dr. Ted Hewitt, Executive Vice-President, SSHRC
  • Dr. Gilles Patry, CEO and President, Canadian Foundation for Innovation

Submission to the 2011 Federal Budget Consultations

Recommendations
1.      The Granting Councils are the best mechanism to fund basic (curiosity-driven) research in Canada.  While funding for the Councils’ targeted programs has increased significantly in recent years, the consensus among our community and our partners in every sector is that increased support for basic research is also essential to a healthy national innovation capacity.  Recognizing this, Budget 2010 did increase the Councils’ funding for basic research — a small but much appreciated increase.  Much more remains to be done, however, particularly given that the cuts to the Councils mandated in 2009 will reduce their budgets by $87M p.a. in 2011-12 and beyond. CCR therefore recommends:
 That the federal government augment the basic (curiosity-driven) research portion of the Granting Councils’ budgets by 5%.

2.     A key role of basic research is to educate, inspire, and unleash the creativity of the next generation of highly qualified people.  Relative to our population, however, Canada produces 35% fewer graduates at the crucial doctoral level than the OECD average or the U.S.10  This has been recognized by the federal government with the creation of, for example, the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships.  CCR therefore recommends:
 That additional graduate level scholarship programs be developed and sustained over the long term to support emerging researchers, as current stimulus programs expire.
3.    Adding at least 40% to the direct costs of conducting research in Canada, indirect costs29 are reimbursed by the federal Indirect Costs Program at only about 25%.30  The shortfall is borne by the research institutions, forcing them to forego other investments that would improve the quality of teaching and research.  The U.S., U.K. and the EU recognize the impact of such a burden and reimburse 40-60% of the direct costs of research.  Maintaining world-class research infrastructures and facilities in Canada requires increased support to cover these costs.  However, CCR recognizes the current financial situation and therefore recommends:
   That the funding for the indirect costs of university research rise over the course of the next 5 years to represent 40 percent of the direct costs funded by the granting councils.

Name: Paul S. Vincett – Chairperson
2010-08-16

House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance – Pre-budget Consultations 2013

This Brief Is Submitted By:          

Canadian Consortium for Research

Topic:   

Innovation and commercialization

Recommendation 1: Please provide a short summary of your recommendation.

The Canadian government must continue its investment in programs and initiatives that create quality jobs and lay the foundations for the long-term economic, social and cultural development of Canada. The CCR recommends that the Government of Canada invest an additional $150 million in base funding for basic research through SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR for each of the next three years. Investing in independent peer-review research will serve the public interest by advancing knowledge and innovation, which facilitates the current economic recovery underway and assures Canada’s long-term prosperity.

Expected cost or savings: From the pull-down menus, please indicate the expected cost or savings of your recommendation to the federal government and the period of time to which the expected cost or savings is related.

                $100 million – $499.9 million

                3 years

 Federal funding: Please provide a precise indication of how the federal government could fund your recommendation. For example, indicate what federal spending should be reallocated, what federal tax measure(s) should be introduced, eliminated or changed, etc.

Making this investment will contribute to quality jobs, new inventions and patents, boost productivity, and increase government revenues over the medium- to long-term.  In addition, the government can rationalize the procurement function further. These savings can create ample fiscal room to fund the three recommendations in this submission.

Intended beneficiaries: Please indicate the groups of individuals, the sector(s) and/or the regions that would benefit by implementation of your recommendation.

Investments in universities and colleges across Canada will help Canadians pursue and complete higher studies and acquire new skills. These investments will also foster the next generation of researchers who will tackle the many economic, social, and cultural challenges, as a key role of basic research is precisely to educate, inspire, and unleash the creativity of the next generation of researchers and their ability to make groundbreaking discoveries. Investing in Canadian researchers will boost the number of PhD graduates, which is still alarmingly low when compared to peer countries.

General impacts: Depending on the nature of your recommendation, please indicate how the standard of living of Canadians would be improved, jobs would be created, people would be trained, etc.

Historically, the « payoffs » of basic research have been many: unanticipated innovations as a result of basic research include the discovery of X-rays, nylon, Teflon, GPS technology, informatics, superconductivity and medical imaging. It is widely recognized that investments in basic research will create more and better-paying jobs, boost productivity, and increase the standard of living for Canadians. As Mike Lazaridis said in a speech at the Perimeter Institute « What we need are those creative people to be left to do creative things… this is the raw material for industry to capitalize ».

Topic:

                Education and Skills Training

Recommendation 2: Please provide a short summary of your recommendation.

The CCR recommends an additional investment in core funding of $30 million per year to expand graduate scholarships and internships. Expanding the Canada Graduate Scholarships by $25 million would fund an additional 1,250 students. Increasing internship initiatives by $5 million so that graduate students can intern with not-for-profit organizations would fund an additional 125 internships per year. Supporting graduate-level teaching, research, and experience is critical to build a foundation for economic and social development, while highly skilled and trained workers drive innovation.

Expected cost or savings: From the pull-down menus, please indicate the expected cost or savings of your recommendation to the federal government and the period of time to which the expected cost or savings is related.

                $10 million – $99.9 million

                3 years

Federal funding: Please provide a precise indication of how the federal government could fund your recommendation. For example, indicate what federal spending should be reallocated, what federal tax measure(s) should be introduced, eliminated or changed, etc.

Making this investment will contribute to the creation of quality jobs, new inventions and patents, boost productivity, and increase government revenues over the medium- to long-term. In addition, the government can rationalize the procurement function further. These savings can create ample fiscal room to fund the three recommendations in this submission.

Intended beneficiaries: Please indicate the groups of individuals, the sector(s) and/or the regions that would benefit by implementation of your recommendation.

The prospect of lower student debt encourages Canadians to pursue graduate-level education, while real-world experience will help them find meaningful research jobs or other high-quality employment. These investments are particularly important for key industry sectors as Canada’s rate of private-sector innovation continues to lag behind that of comparable countries. Particular regions that would benefit from increased funding  include Atlantic Canada, southwestern Ontario, and Saskatchewan where growing high-tech centres require more employees with graduate-level skills and training.

 

General impacts: Depending on the nature of your recommendation, please indicate how the standard of living of Canadians would be improved, jobs would be created, people would be trained, etc.

Increased funding for graduate scholarships and internships benefits Canadians and employers across Canada and establishes stable, well-paid employment and boosts economic growth. The broad impacts are better jobs and higher productivity, while investing in doctoral students especially will help close the gap in graduation rates vis-à-vis those in peer countries. Better-funded graduates are also less likely to have student debt, making them more able to contribute economically.

 

Topic:  

                Infrastructure

Recommendation 3: Please provide a short summary of your recommendation.

The CCR recommends the government invest an additional $20 million in base funding per year over the next three years to support two key building blocks of Canada’s national research infrastructure. The CCR proposes an increase of $10 million in funding for Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and $10 million for Statistics Canada. This investment will enhance LAC’s capacity to collect and preserve the country’s rich documentary heritage, while investing in Canada’s internationally renowned data collection agency furthers researchers’ ability to generate reliable knowledge and inform policy.

Expected cost or savings: From the pull-down menus, please indicate the expected cost or savings of your recommendation to the federal government and the period of time to which the expected cost or savings is related.

                $10 million – $99.9 million

                3 years

 

Federal funding: Please provide a precise indication of how the federal government could fund your recommendation. For example, indicate what federal spending should be reallocated, what federal tax measure(s) should be introduced, eliminated or changed, etc.

Making this investment will contribute to the creation of quality jobs, new inventions and patents, boost productivity, and increase government revenues over the medium- to long-term.  In addition, the government can rationalize the procurement function further. These savings can create ample fiscal room to fund the three recommendations in this submission.

Intended beneficiaries: Please indicate the groups of individuals, the sector(s) and/or the regions that would benefit by implementation of your recommendation.

Researchers, graduate students, policy makers, historians, genealogists, Aboriginal communities, and the general public benefit from the important artistic, historical, and cultural heritage collected and made available by Library and Archives Canada. Statistics Canada’s surveys are crucial not only to the research community and enhance researchers’ work, but government, industry, business, not-for-profits, municipalities and communities depend on these surveys to develop reliable, informed decisions and policies.

 

General impacts: Depending on the nature of your recommendation, please indicate how the standard of living of Canadians would be improved, jobs would be created, people would be trained, etc.

Investing in Canada’s national research infrastructure is key to the country’s prosperity and standard of living. Investing in Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and Statistics Canada lays the foundation for the creation of all kinds of research in a variety of fields and for many sectors, leading to broad economic, social, and environmental benefits. Investing in LAC   creates broad beneficial impacts as Canadians can discover their history, particularly as LAC seeks to make more of its documentary heritage available on-line to all citizens.

Please use this page if you wish to provide more explanation about your recommendation(s).

The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) is the largest umbrella advocacy organization in Canada whose primary concerns are the funding of research in all disciplines and support for post-secondary education. CCR (http://en.ccr-ccr.ca/) consists of 18 organizations that represent more than 50,000 researchers and 500,000 students in a wide range of disciplines across Canada.

 

The CCR recommends the government invests for each of the next three years: 1) $150 million in base funding to increase investments in basic research through Canada’s granting councils; 2) an additional $30 million in graduate student funding in the form of scholarships and internships; and 3) an increase of $20 million in core funding divided equally between Library and Archives Canada and Statistics Canada.

 

A key role of basic research is to educate, inspire, and unleash the creativity of the next generation of researchers and their ability to make groundbreaking discoveries. By doing so, we make a vital long-term contribution to our future creative capacity and assure Canada’s future prosperity. Relative to our population, however, Canada produces significantly fewer graduates at the crucial doctoral level than peer countries.

 

Canada’s granting councils are widely admired internationally and form the bedrock of support for basic research in Canada. Yet very many researchers rated highly by international standards of excellence still cannot be funded; in health research for example, only about 20% of such researchers are typically funded.  Increased investments in basic, medical research will improve explorations of illness and prevention, which is crucial as Canada’s population ages. Finally, implementing open access policies would enable wider dissemination of Canadian research.

 

Facing significant burdens of high tuition fees and rising debt loads, additional scholarship and internship funding is key for Canada’s graduate students as they seek to complete their studies in a timely fashion and make the transition into the labour market. Canada’s continued high youth unemployment rates necessitate a more robust active labour market policy.

 

Investing in Canada’s national research infrastructure is key to the country’s prosperity and standard of living. Additional funding for Library and Archives Canada is crucial to ensure the vitality of its collections and its ability to make its materials accessible. Additional funding will also enable LAC’s digitization initiatives as it seeks to make more of its materials available on-line for the benefit of the research community and Canadians across the country. These initiatives are initially very costly but necessary to promote knowledge, innovation, and prosperity. Canada’s statistical agency is similarly a cornerstone institution which generates fundamental and reliable knowledge so that informed and evidence-based policy decisions can be taken for the benefit of Canadians across the country in small and large communities.

CCR submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance – 31 July 2013.PDF

An Open Letter On the Mandatory Long-form Census

July 27, 2010

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6

Dear Prime Minister:

I am writing on behalf of the Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) to express our profound dismay at the decision of your government to discontinue Statistics Canada’s mandatory long-form census survey.  The CCR is a coalition of private and public sector research and post-secondary education organizations representing some 50,000 researchers and 500,000 students in a wide variety of disciplines across Canada.

Information generated by the mandatory long-form provides a scientific basis for individuals, families, businesses, churches, unions, charities, communities, and governments to understand the workings and directions of Canadian society and to consider and implement personal, economic, and policy decisions.  Moreover, Statistics Canada has long-standing and effective policies for protecting the privacy of individual respondents.

The discontinuance of the mandatory long-form will deny Canadians and their governments the ability to make the best possible planning and investment choices, whether they relate to neighbourhood or national issues, in both the public and private sectors.  Given the nearly unanimous and unprecedented concerns of the research and policy communities, the Consortium urges you to restore the mandatory long-form census and to protect a critical and internationally recognized element for strong Canadian policy analysis.

Yours sincerely,

Paul S. Vincett
Chair, Canadian Consortium for Research

c:  The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry

An Open Letter to the 40th Parliament from Canada’s Research Community

Dear Parliamentarians,

« Publicly Funded Research: The Essential Foundation for  Excellence in Commercialization. » So wrote Industry Canada’s business-based Expert Panel on the Commercialization of R&D.

Their 2006 recommendations « are based on one key premise: continuing government commitment to publicly funded research carried out with little or no expectation of commercial application. » (What we call basic research.) « The challenge for government is to increase — not merely maintain — its investments in publicly funded research, while encouraging private sector R&D ».

In other words, this distinguished primarily-business group insists that we must have increased but balanced investments in basic and targeted research.

It’s widely accepted that basic research is essential to our long-term prosperity, and we can’t rely on the rest of the world to do it for us.

Recent Budgets contained some welcome support for university research. But, unlike the U.S., basic research is being squeezed in favour of increased shorter-term targeted efforts. Please use your influence to ensure that Canada’s research granting agencies and universities have the money for increased support of basic research too.

Sincerely,

Roland Andersson
Acting Chair, Canadian Consortium for Research

 

Consortium Welcomes Budget Recognition of Basic Research, Stresses that More Needs to be Done.

Released: March 4, 2010

OTTAWA— “With the inclusion of non-targeted funding for the granting councils, this budget recognizes in principle the value of basic research,” says Roland Andersson, Chair of the Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR).”The government is to be congratulated for listening to the research community on this point, even though the actual sums involved at best sustain existing programs.” The increase of million for the granting councils’ base budgets still leaves them millions of dollars behind where they need to be.

The Consortium is pleased that the government has provided additional funding for Genome Canada and notes the modest million increase for the Indirect Costs of Research Program. The CCR also recognizes the funding commitment to TRIUMF, Canada’s world-class subatomic research centre, but is concerned that the level of announced funding may compromise TRIUMF’s position as an international leader.

It is encouraging that these investments have been made in spite of the current economic difficulties Canada faces.

The CCR emphasizes that further increases in research funding are essential for Canada’s long-term prosperity. The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) was established in 1976. It consists of 18 organizations that represent researchers in all disciplines across Canada. While the majority of these researchers are based in universities, the constituent organizations have numerous members in government laboratories and in private sector research centres. With approximately 50,000 researchers and 500,000 students represented in these member groups, the CCR is the largest organization in Canada whose primary concerns are the funding of research in all sectors and support for post-secondary education.

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Name: Roland Andersson, Acting Chair Phone Number: 613-232-6252

2010 Pre-Budget Brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – Download the full document below.

  1.  CCR recommends that the government augment the funding for basic research by increasing by 5% the base budgets of the three granting councils and of Genome Canada, with any new targeted initiatives being funded separately and in full consultation with the research community.
    Cost: about 100M p.a.
  2.  CCR recommends that the funding for the indirect costs of university research rise to represent 40 percent of the direct costs allocated to the granting councils.
    Cost: about 200M p.a.

http://ccr-ccr.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2013/12/Pre-Budget-2010-CCR.pdf

Présentation du CCR aux consultations prébudgétaires de 2007

Sommaire

 

Le succès social et économique du Canada et sa compétitivité à l’échelle mondiale dépendent d’un secteur de recherche vivant et d’établissements d’enseignement postsecondaire solides. Nous savons que le gouvernement a saisi ce concept et tente de trouver le meilleur moyen de stimuler les capacités de notre pays dans ces domaines. Le Consortium, qui représente les perspectives des chercheuses et chercheurs canadiens de première ligne, recommande trois étapes pour nous aider à bâtir un Canada plus solide et plus concurrentiel :
1re étape – Créer un mécanisme de transfert fédéral/provincial spécial afin d’accroître le financement des coûts d’exploitation des établissements d’enseignement postsecondaire.
2e étape – Augmenter les budgets des organismes subventionnaires fédéraux pour le soutien de la recherche fondamentale, entre autres, une autre augmentation asymétrique destinée au Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines.
3e étape – Investir dans l’infrastructure de recherche gouvernementale et dans le renouvellement des ressources en sciences humaines.

Un consortium de recherche demande un effort plus grand pour la recherche

Le 29 janvier 2009
OTTAWA — Le Consortium canadien pour la recherche (CCR) appuie les investissements à court terme au profit des collèges et des universités qui ont été annoncés dans le budget fédéral 2009. Il se dit toutefois préoccupé par la pérennité du financement de la recherche fondamentale.  Plus particulièrement, le CCR accueille d’un bon oeil l’injection de 2 milliards $ dans l’infrastructure des établissements postsecondaires canadiens. Ces nouveaux fonds répondront aux besoins d’entretien et de réparations les plus pressants et créeront des emplois dans les collectivités locales. Le CCR se réjouit également du soutien accru au Programme d’aide à la recherche industrielle (PARI), des 750 millions $ additionnels consentis à la Fondation canadienne pour l’innovation et des bourses et stages à l’intention des étudiants diplômés. Nous sommes toutefois profondément déçus du fait que les deux derniers éléments s’accompagnent de compressions dans le financement des conseils subventionnaires. « Ce financement étend le pipeline de la recherche au Canada mais oublie de l’alimenter en carburant », a déclaré la présidente du CCR Jody Ciufo. « La recherche et la découverte sont alimentées par le soutien à la recherche fondamentale assuré par les conseils subventionnaires. Coupez l’alimentation et vous vous retrouvez avec un moteur économique sous-performant. »  Dans une lettre rendue publique par le CCR en décembre dernier, nous avons invité le gouvernement à augmenter le financement des conseils subventionnaires du Canada. Notre lettre faisait valoir qu’en période économique difficile, le gouvernement peut être tenté de restreindre le financement ou de concentrer les investissements sur des projets traditionnels. Il est pourtant crucial de comprendre qu’une réduction de l’aide à la recherche – même pendant seulement quelques années – se traduit par un coût élevé pour l’économie. Les dommages ainsi causés à la capacité de recherche et d’innovation du Canada pourraient prendre des années à réparer. À la lumière de ces développements, le CCR s’inquiète du fait que nous serons dans l’impossibilité de maintenir en poste des chercheurs de calibre mondial, Canadiens et d’ailleurs, qui ont été attirés par le vigoureux environnement de recherche qui existe depuis ces dernières années dans les universités canadiennes. En outre, à la suite du ralentissement économique, on peut s’attendre à un plus grand nombre d’inscriptions au 1er cycle ce qui nécessitera une augmentation du financement de base des universités. Au-delà de l’augmentation promise en 2008, le présent budget n’offre aucun nouveau fonds pour le Transfert canadien en matière de programmes sociaux qui procure aux provinces un appui essentiel aux études postsecondaires.
Nous sommes également préoccupés par l’accent de plus en plus étroit de plusieurs mécanismes de financement de l’éducation postsecondaire et de la recherche qui ont récemment été adoptés. Dans le contexte des dernières annonces relatives à la recherche et à l’infrastructure, nous nous attendons à ce que le gouvernement fasse participer l’ensemble de la collectivité de recherche dans les décisions portant sur la mise en œuvre des programmes et a ce qu’il reconnaisse l’importance de prendre des décisions éclairées par des données probantes. Notre collaboration avec le gouvernement fédéral permettra un programme de recherche bien équilibré au Canada. Le CCR propose trois priorités : un programme de transfert de fonds spécifique à l’enseignement postsecondaire; un financement accru aux conseils subventionnaires et aux organismes affiliés; et un réinvestissement dans les activités scientifiques gouvernementales. Établi en 1976, le CCR regroupe 18 organismes qui représentent les chercheurs de toutes les disciplines au Canada. Bien que la majorité de ces chercheurs se trouvent dans les universités, les organismes constitutifs du consortium comptent de nombreux membres dans les laboratoires gouvernementaux et dans les centres de recherche privés. Représentant quelque 50 000 chercheurs et 500 000 étudiants, le CCR est la plus importante organisation au Canada dont les préoccupations premières sont le financement de la recherche dans tous les secteurs et l’appui à l’éducation postsecondaire.
Nom: Jody Ciufo
Numéro de téléphone: 613-238-6112, ext 306

Le Parti Libéral répond aux questions du CCR sur la recherche

OTTAWA— Le 9 octobre, 2008, le parti Libéral a répondu aux questions que leur avait adressé le CCR au cours de la récente élection.  La réponse est affichée ci-dessous.

Le Consortium canadien pour la recherche (CCR) a été créé en 1976. Il regroupe 18 organismes qui représentent des chercheurs dans toutes les disciplines partout au Canada. Bien que la majorité de ces chercheurs soient basés dans des universités, les organismes membres comptent bien des membres dans des laboratoires gouvernementaux et des centres de recherche privés. Avec environ 50 000 chercheurs et 400 000 étudiants représentés par ces groupes membres, le CCR est le plus grand organisme au Canada dont les principales préoccupations ont trait au financement de la recherche dans tous les secteurs et à l’appui de l’éducation postsecondaire.