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

Research consortium calls for more fuel for the research pipeline

January 27, 2009
OTTAWA— The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) supports the short term spending on colleges and universities in the 2009 federal budget, but is concerned for the long term sustainability of funding for basic research.  In particular, the CCR welcomes the injection of $2 billion into the infrastructure of post-secondary institutions in Canada. It will address the most urgent maintenance and repair needs and create jobs in local communities. CCR also applauds increased support for the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), the additional $750 million for the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the scholarships and internships for graduate students. We are deeply disappointed, however, that the latter two come at the cost of cuts to the funding of the research granting councils.

“This funding shores up Canada’s research pipeline, but fails to put any gas into it,” says CCR Chair Jody Ciufo. “Research and discovery are fueled by the basic research grants provided by the granting councils. Stop that flow and you risk a sputtering economic engine.”
In a letter that the CCR released in December, we called on the government to increase funding to Canada’s granting councils. The letter argued that though harsh economic times might suggest a need to restrain funding or to focus investment in traditional projects, it is critical to understand that a reduction to research support – even if only for a few years – comes at a huge future cost to the economy and will cause damage to Canada’s research and innovation capacity that could take years to repair.  In light of these developments, the CCR is worried that we be will unable to retain the world class researchers, Canadian and others, who have been attracted by the robust research environment in recent years at Canadian universities. Because of the economic downturn, universities’ undergraduate enrolment increases will require more core funding. Beyond the increase promised in the 2008 budget, this budget provides no new funding for the Canada Social Transfer which provides core support to post-secondary education to the provinces.
We are also concerned about the increasingly narrow focus in most of the recent funding mechanisms for postsecondary education and research.  In the context of the recent announcements for research and infrastructure, we expect the entire research community to take a decisive role in determining the implementation of the programs and that decisions will be informed by scientific evidence and input. Our working alongside the federal government will ensure  a well-balanced research program in Canada.The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) has consistently advocated three priorities: a dedicated transfer for post-secondary education; increased financial support for the granting councils and related agencies; and re-investing in government science.
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.

For more information:
Jody Ciufo, Chair
Canadian Consortium for Research
jciufo@fedcan.ca613.238.6112, ext. 306www.ccr-ccr.ca

Name: Jody Ciufo Phone Number: 613-238-6112, ext 306 Email Address:jciufo@fedcan.ca

http://ccr-ccr.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2013/12/CCR_2009_Budget_News_Release.pdf

CCR gives budget advice to Ministers, Leaders and MPs

December 17, 2008 – I am writing on behalf of the Canadian Consortium of Research (CCR) to ask that research and innovation be a major consideration in preparing the government’s next budget and an integral component of any stimulus package put forward to strengthen Canada’s economy.

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. Established in 1976, CCR consists of 18 organizations that represent 50,000 researchers and 400,000 students in all disciplines across Canada. These researchers are based in universities, government laboratories, and the private sector.

Our country is facing the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical for government to revisit budgetary assumptions and consider innovative, effective mechanisms for aggressive investment in our economy and our future.

Research and innovation are today’s version of the bricks and mortar infrastructure projects of the 1930s. In a global knowledge economy, the nations that will successfully weather the present crisis are those that will adopt investment packages that not only provide rapid stimulus to the economy but also have research and innovation components.

Basic scientific research in subatomic physics led to the development of today’s ubiquitous worldwide web, itself the backbone of e-commerce and of global competitiveness. More recently, a powerful voice compression technology developed at the Université de Sherbrooke key part of the software used in more than one billion cell phones worldwide and has earned the university and its inventors millions of dollars each year in royalties and led to two spin-off companies. Canadian research led to the global emergence of business powerhouses such as Research in Motion and Open Text Corporation that are creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs, here at home, and re-investing in Canada to create research institutes and new possibilities for the training of new generations of highly-skilled Canadians.

In the international marketplace, the commercialization of new products and services is increasingly tied to the understanding of human behaviour and diversity. Global companies such as Xerox and Nokia use social and anthropological research to examine product, improve customer service and guide the development of new generation technologies and features.

Research investments have a direct and immediate impact across sectors and in communities everywhere in Canada. Competitive research is carried out through the employment of undergraduate and graduate students, laboratory technicians, post-doctoral fellows, statistical and IT assistants. It also requires the building of state-of-the-art facilities and the purchase of goods and services upon which their work depends. Used to pay salaries, build world-class labs and purchase scientific equipment, research grants have a direct and significant impact right across the country, generating both economic activity and tax revenue. Increasing the funding to all of Canada’s granting councils will have a direct and immediate effect on new employment for people and on making Canadian communities sustainable.

Increasing funding to programs that help keep our industries competitive— such as the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)—would also have similar positive effects. In addition to the immediate economic benefits resulting from employment, research programs create opportunities to train new generations of experts and highly qualified personnel who go on to join Canada’s workforce and generate further and significant contributions to industry, the economy and society.

Though harsh economic times might suggest a need to restrain funding or to focus investment in traditional projects, it is critical to understand that a reduction to research support— even if only for a few years—comes at a huge future cost to the economy and will cause damage to Canada’s research and innovation capacity that could take years to repair.

This is a time for Canada to recognize the significant potential and opportunities that result from a strategic re-investment in our ability to innovate, to commercialize new ideas, and to promote social progress. Our national ability to generate new ideas and support scientific inquiry is core to developing the industries and institutions that sustain and grow our economy and our society. These are the fundamentals that will continue to define Canada as a partner in the global economy and a leader among democratic nations.

We look forward to following up our recommendations through meetings and further discussion.

Yours truly,
Jody Ciufo, MBA
Chair, Canadian Consortium for Research,and
Executive Director, Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Name: Jody Ciufo
Phone Number: 613-238-6112, ext 306
Email Address: jciufo@fedcan.ca

http://ccr-ccr.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2013/12/2008_budget_letter_generic_version.pdf

CCR receives answers on their research questions from the Liberal Party

OTTAWA—The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) received a response from the Liberal Party on October 9, 2008, regarding the questions asked by the CCR during the recent federal election. You can read the answers below.

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 400,000 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.

http://ccr-ccr.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2013/12/CCR_Questionnaire_Liberal_response_Eng.pdf

CCR receives answers on their research questions from the NDP

OTTAWA—The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) received a response from the NDP on October 9, 2008, regarding the questions asked by the CCR during the recent federal election. You can read the answer below.

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 400,000 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.

http://ccr-ccr.ca/ccr-receives-answers-on-their-research-questions-from-the-ndp/ccr_questionnaire_ndp_response/

The CCR questions leaders on research

OTTAWA—The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) wants to know what federal party leaders have in store for research if they form Canada’s next government. A consortium of 18 organizations representing the full spectrum of science, the CCR distributed five questions to each of the federal party leaders to seek clarification on their plans for research in the government, university, college and private sectors.

“Canadians place a high value on health and environmental, social and economic well-being,” says CCR Chair Jody Ciufo. “But to achieve these goals, we need a healthy research capacity—one that churns out new ideas and discoveries that fuel the innovation pipeline. We’re asking the party leaders what they intend to put into that pipeline.”

Specifically, the questions ask the parties about:

  • support for Canada’s granting councils,
  • large scale scientific facilities,
  • funding for the humanities and social sciences,
  • non-regulatory federal laboratories, and
  • the Science Technology and Innovation Council.

“Our members represent the full range of sciences – natural, health and social sciences, the humanities and engineering,” says Ms Ciufo. “We’re asking these questions on behalf of our members, but more so for future generations of Canadians, who need action now on basic research to ensure that innovation will flow fully into the coming decades.”

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 400,000 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.

-30-

 

Name: Jody Ciufo, Chair Phone Number: 613 238-6112 ext. 306 Email Address:jciufo@fedcan.ca

The CCR Comments on the 2008 Federal Budget

On preliminary examination of the 2008 Federal Budget, the Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) has identified several positive initiatives. In light of Canada’s slower economic outlook, the CCR acknowledges the importance of this budget’s support for post-secondary education and research.

  • The CCR acknowledges, with appreciation, an $80M increase to the granting councils: NSERC, CIHR, and SSHRC. We note that all three granting councils’ increases are targeted to specific government determined priorities. Although the identified priorities are important, we are concerned by the gradual erosion of the non-directed base. The CCR believes strongly that basic research is critical to maintaining Canada’s competitive edge. There is no inflationary increase to the non-targeted, base budget of the three granting councils.
  • The CCR welcomes the creation of the Vanier Scholarships, within the Canadian Graduate Scholarship program, which are designed to attract and retain in Canada the very best Canadian or international doctoral students. The $25 million over two years is expected to support up to 500 students and will be worth up to $50,000 per year for three years for top doctoral students.
  • The CCR similarly welcomes, in principle, the creation of the new Canada Global Excellence Research Chairs. However, we are interested in seeing how these 20 chairs will be awarded.
  • The CCR notes the budget’s $3.2B allotment to post-secondary education (PSE) as part of the Canada Social Transfer. The CCR continues to call for accountability mechanisms that will ensure the provinces spend these funds in the university and college sectors.
  • Although the budget is positive for research, the CCR believes that the Government must also reinvest in its own research infrastructure—research that underpins and supports regulatory decisions and is at the forefront of the science policy interface. The CCR anticipates further renewal initiatives of government based S&T activity based on its on-going review. This reinvestment appears to be missing in this budget.

The CCR has consistently advocated three priorities: a dedicated transfer for post-secondary education; sustained financial support for the granting councils and related agencies; and reinvesting in government science.

The CCR, established in 1976, is a coalition of 22 national organizations representing over 670,000 individuals on the front lines of knowledge creation and dissemination in Canada. Our members are from the academic, industry, and government sectors and engage in basic and applied research, study, and practice in the humanities and the natural, health and social sciences and engineering. The mission of the CCR is to communicate the importance to Canada of basic research and post secondary education.

– 30 –

For more information:
Roland Andersson, Chair
Canadian Consortium for Research
randersson@cheminst.ca

Name: Roland Andersson Email Address: randersson@cheminst.ca

An Open Letter to the 39th Parliament from Canada’s Research Community [published in The Hill Times]

Dear Parliamentarians,

In a changing world, Canada needs a strong research sector. Three steps by you can help our country meet the
challenges ahead.

One: Properly fund universities and colleges through the creation of a dedicated federal transfer to the provinces. Canada’s post-secondary institutions are cash-starved. Work with the provinces to solve this problem.

Two: Boost knowledge creation by increasing support for the basic research funded by the federal granting agencies
— the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

Three: Strengthen federal government research capability. From drug safety to climate change, Canadians need their
own independent, expert advice. If properly supported, government departments and agencies can provide it.

Canada has elected you to help build a better country. A stronger research sector is an important part of this. We wish you success in the session ahead.

Yours Sincerely,

Roland Andersson
Chair, CCR

 

News Release: The CCR Comments on Federal Budget 2007

For Immediate Release
March 20, 2007

OTTAWA—The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) has consistently advocated three priorities: a dedicated transfer for post-secondary education; increased financial support for the granting councils and related agencies; and re-investing in government science.

➢ The CCR notes the budget’s initial $800M allotment to post-secondary education (PSE) as part of the Canada Social Transfer. This is an encouraging first step and the CCR looks forward to seeing the implementation of accountability mechanisms that will ensure the provinces spend these funds in the university and college sectors, as well as a return to transfer levels consistent with those prior to the decline in funding of the mid-90’s.

➢ The CCR acknowledges, with appreciation, an $85M increase to the granting councils: NSERC, CIHR, and SSHRC. We note that SSHRC’s and NSERC’s entire increase is targeted to specific Government priorities. We are hopeful that this will not become a model for future years as funding for broad-based basic research is critical to maintaining Canada’s competitive edge. We are pleased with the continuation of the Canada Foundation for Innovation program and the allocation of $510M for another major competition. The CCR remains hopeful that a positive outcome of the review of the funding programs will ensure that this new CFI competition does not create further stress on the granting councils operating grants.

➢ The support of an additional 1,000 students through the Canada Graduate Scholarships is positive. What is surprising is that the Government has chosen to allocate these spaces in an inverse relationship to the priorities established by Canadian students through enrolment choices (e.g. 55% are enrolled in social sciences and humanities but only 20% of the scholarships were allocated in these disciplines).

➢ The CCR believes that the Government must also re-invest in its own research infrastructure—research that underpins and supports regulatory decisions and is at the forefront of science policy interface. The CCR anticipates that the Government will use its initiatives on the environment and climate change to re-invest in its internal research programs.

The CCR looks forward to continuing to work with the federal government to further establish a well-balanced research program in Canada.

The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) was established in 1976. It consists of 16 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.

-30-

For more information:
Roland Andersson, Chair
Canadian Consortium for Research
randersson@cheminst.ca

CCR submission to the 2007 pre-budget consultations

Executive Summary
Canada’s social and economic success, and its global competitiveness, depends on a vibrant research sector and strong post-secondary education institutions. We know that the government understands this and is reviewing how best to boost our country’s capabilities in these areas. The Consortium, reflecting the views of Canada’s front-line researchers, advocates three steps to help us all build a stronger and more competitive Canada:

One – Create a dedicated federal/provincial transfer mechanism to increase funding for the core operating costs of post-secondary education institutions.

Two – Increase the budgets of the federal granting agencies to support basic research, including an additional, asymmetrical increase to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Three – Invest in government research infrastructure and the rejuvenation of science human resources.