Cutting-edge research and innovation are core ingredients for a thriving, globally competitive economy and also help produce the breakthroughs that lead to healthier lives and communities. Ontario’s universities play a key role in producing groundbreaking and impactful research and innovation. But doing so requires years of work and commitment that is only possible with stable, long-term investment and support.
- In today’s rapidly-changing economy, innovation is a crucial element for ensuring the province has competitive businesses and a dynamic society.
- The impact of research and development conducted by universities is nearly $25 billion annually. This research has a substantial impact on Ontarians, leading to agricultural innovations that help feed us by boosting farmers’ yields, medical discoveries that keep us healthy and strong and new technology that inspires the launch of start-ups and keeps established industries, from mining to finance and manufacturing, innovative and competitive.
- But fostering innovation requires investing all the way across the discovery-to-innovation process.
- The recent federal report delivered by Canada’s Fundamental Science Review panel, underlined the crucial role of discovery research in fostering innovation, noting that the “fruits of innovation do not materialize out of thin air… They grow out of the wellspring of knowledge, ideas, and insights that originate largely, albeit not exclusively, from basic research.”
- The same report highlighted that “independent science and scholarly inquiry have been underfunded for much of the last decade,” and that if Canada is to remain competitive when it comes to research and innovation, “major reinvestments are urgently required.”
- A 2015 innovation report card from the Conference Board of Canada further noted that while Ontario has a strong base when it comes to research and innovation, the province “might be facing challenges commercializing and reaping the larger benefits of innovation.”