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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