Phil's Editorials
Investing in World Class Research and Innovation

May 18, 2015

Our Conservative Government knows that we cannot just build the economy of today – we need to build the economy of tomorrow. That means investing in world-class research and innovation. Economic Action Plan 2015, our latest budget, does exactly that: putting more dollars to work making Canada one of the most innovative economies in the world. Since 2006, we have invested more than $13 billion in innovation. Economic Action Plan 2015 adds another $1.5 billion of new investment.

For example, this budget proposes to invest $1.33 billion in the Canada Foundation for Innovation over six years. They are a not-for-profit that modernizes research infrastructure at universities, colleges, and research hospitals. To date, they have committed more than $6.2 billion to support over 8,830 projects. This new investment will do even more to strengthen Canada’s capacity for innovative research.

This budget also invests an additional $46 million in 2016-2017 and ongoing to the federal granting councils. These investments are focused on areas that will fuel economic growth. This builds on investments made in Economic Action Plan 2014, which provided the single largest annual increase in research support through the granting councils in over a decade.

One particularly exciting investment is a commitment of $243.5 million over 10 years in Canadian support for the Thirty Metre Telescope. At the summit of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano, this next generation telescope will be the world’s most advanced, ground-based observatory. Astronomers will use it to study star and planet formation, supermassive black holes, and galaxies millions of light years away – all with an unprecedented degree of detail and precision. Our budget investment will be used in Canada to design, construct, and assemble key components of the telescope, creating jobs right here at home.

To help create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity, we are also investing in business innovation.

We are investing $100 million over five years to support new innovation for Canadian automotive parts suppliers through the new Automotive Supplier Innovation Program. We are investing $86 million over two years, starting next year, to extend the Forest Innovation Program – a program that supports a forest industry that employs an estimated 209,000 people. The budget also includes investments to strengthen the aerospace and space sectors.

Our Conservative Government is committed to ensuring research and innovation is well supported, creating an optimal environment for job creation and prosperity. All of these investments bode well for making Canada a new international home of cutting edge innovation.