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Innovation in Canada – the College Perspective

June 2, 2009

An interesting blog post from George Brown College provides a college perspective on the recent innovation debate. While most of the discussion has focused on the discovery research performed at universities or government labs, the blog author argues that colleges provide an important advantage to Canada’s innovation system:

Colleges offer industry-facing applied research capabilities that fill gaps in Canada`s R&D pipelines. Our focus on applied research, innovation and commercialization supports industry problem-solving in ways that are complementary to established, discovery-based research institutions. This is a strength, and a necessary facet of the R&D continuum. 

The author supports basic research, but also argues that directed research – such as the “last mile” applied research often performed at colleges – is vital to improving Canada’s innovation:

Funding for both basic and applied research that leads to innovation and commercialization is key to improving community economic and social development. We must certainly maintain and improve our commitment to funding basic research, but we must also see the very real benefits that will come from funding applied research and the commercialization of innovations.

An interesting and welcome contribution to the discussion.

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