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Budget 2014 – Innovation-Research Highlights

This week’s federal budget contained many positive, significant announcements for the Canadian research & development industry. Here are some of the highlights affecting our sector:

– Refocus Atlantic Canada-based innovation programs
Over the next five years, ACOA will provide approximately $450 million to support innovation and commercialization under its current suite of programs, including the Atlantic Innovation Fund and the Business Development Program.

– Modernize Canada’s intellectual property framework by ratifying or acceding to the following widely recognized international treaties: the Madrid Protocol, the Singapore Treaty, the Nice Agreement, the Patent Law Treaty and the Hague Agreement. For example, accession to the trade-mark treaties will make it possible for a company to obtain protection for trade-marks in a number of countries through a single international application filed in one language, in one currency, with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization, reducing paperwork and business costs.

– An additional $46 million per year on an ongoing basis to the granting councils in support of advanced research and scientific discoveries, including the indirect costs of research allocated as follows:

$15 million per year to CIHR
$15 million per year to NSERC
$7 million per year to SSHRC
$9 million per year for the Indirect Costs Program.

– $8 million over two years to Mitacs to expand its support for industrial research and training of postdoctoral fellows.

– $10 million over two years in support of social innovation research projects at colleges and polytechnics.

– $3 million over three years to the Canadian Digital Media Network for the creation of the Open Data Institute, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

– An additional $500 million over two years to the Automotive Innovation Fund, to support significant new strategic research and development projects and long-term investments in the Canadian automotive sector.

– Create the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, which will help Canadian post-secondary research institutions leverage their key strengths by providing the Canada First Research Excellence Fund with $50 million in 2015–16, growing to $100 million in 2016–17, $150 million in 2017–18, and reaching a steady-state level of $200 million annually in 2018–19 and beyond. Will be available to all post-secondary institutions on a competitive, peer-reviewed basis.