Monday, October 24, 2011

Responding to the Jenkins Panel on R&D

It's been just over a week since the October 17th, 2011 press release on the Review of Federal Support to Research and Development website announced the completion of the Jenkins' panel comprehensive review of federal R&D programs.

Here's a quick sampling of some of the comments the panel report has so far provoked:
  • The mass media also seems to have strong opinions about what the Jenkins panel review means. According to the October 17th, 2011 Financial Post (FP) article "Canada’s R&D funding system ‘unnecessarily complicated,’ panel finds" the real conclusion is that "Canadian entrepreneurs looking to get federal R&D support had better be comfortable pushing through piles of paperwork." A day later, in the October 18th, 2011 PT editorial comment "Dim-bulb R&D policy" the paper laments that "Jenkins’ mandate never included ­scrapping the whole bad idea" of SH&RD tax credits.

  • According to the October 17th, 2011 post on the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce website under the title “Shaping the Future of Canadian Innovation: The Jenkins Panel Report Deloitte" the accounting firm Deloitte Canada comments the panel "on its consultative approach in developing its recommendations" and applauds "the suggestions to increase the availability of funds to start-up and later stage companies, and increase the government’s procurement." However, the company also found that while "simplifying the SR&ED program is a great objective" it may "create a bias in the program towards labour-intensive sectors at the expense of non-labour intensive industries" and did not "explicitly deal with approaches to making Canada more attractive to foreign investment."
So far the public statements have been pretty tame. Expect the next round of public statements to be less so.

This next round will begin in early November, just in time for the 1st Canadian Aerospace Summit (organized by the AIAC), the 2011 Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC), the INNOVATION 2011 conference (organized by the Alliance for Commercialization of Canadian Technologies) and the 2011 Canadian Space Summit. Each will each bring together enough interested people to revisit R&D innovation issues.

Then the real sparks will begin to fly.

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