2018 Budget: Agricultural Institute of Canada

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On February 27, the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, presented the 2018 Federal Budget.  One of the main themes is: “Supporting the next generation of researchers”.

More information about specific measures that may impact agricultural scientists and researchers across Canada is provided below.  Click here to see the Budget documentation.

Budgetary Measures:

  1. Investments in Canada’s granting councils by over 25%

These initiatives are expected to provide support and training opportunities for approx 21,000 researchers by 2021-22:

  • $925 million over 5 years starting in 2018-19 and $235 million per year ongoing. Within this, the NRSEC will receive $354.7 million over 5 years ($90.1 million per year ongoing).
  • Creation of a new tri-council fund to support research that is international, interdisciplinary, fast-breaking and higher risk.  
  • Greater collaboration between granting councils, with a goal to achieve greater diversity (including early-career researchers).
  • Consolidation of programming with the granting councils.  NRSEC will consolidate 5 programs into a single Collaborative Research and Development Grant program.
  1. Reimagining the National Research Council.
  • $540 million over 5 years, $108 million annually.
    o Support for NRC to fund scientists to work with innovators on multi-party R&D. 
    o Establish an ideation fund to target breakthrough research ideas.
    o Lower access fees charged to SMEs, universities and colleges.
  1. Canada Research Chair Program gets additional support. 
  • Purpose of this investment will be to better support early-career researchers, while increasing diversity
  • Could result in an addition 250 Research Chair positions for early-career researchers by 2020-21.
  1. Government also committed to further “work” to determine how to better support students, through scholarships and fellowships.
  • Support for innovation projects involving businesses, colleges and polytechnics. 
  • $140 million over 5 years.
  1. Investing in research support.
  • Increase the Research Support Fund.
  • $231.3 million over 5 years, $58.8 million per year ongoing.  To SSHRC which administers this program on behalf of the granting councils.
  • Support to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation to provide access to cutting edge-research tools.
  • $763 million over 5 years, will provide access to 17,500 researchers, 27,000 students and post-doc fellows.This includes $160 million for research facilities through CFI’s Major Science Initiatives Fund.
  • An additional $462 million per year in permanent funding.
  1. Digital Research Infrastructure.
  • Government proposed to provide $572.5 million over 5 years, $52 million ongoing, to implement a Digital Research Infrastructure Strategy.
  • Minister of Science will work with stakeholders to develop this strategy.
  1. Research Institutes and Organizations.
  • Government will consider a new approach to determine how to allocate federal funding to third-party research organizations, as advocated by Canada’s Fundamental Science Review. 
  1. Renew federal laboratories. 
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada will begin the process for the construction of multi-purpose, collaborative, federal science and technology facilities.
  • New approach to federal science will bring federal scientists and science facilities together.  This includes AAFC, NRCan, DFO, ECC, NRC.  New facilities will have a net zero carbon footprint.
  1. Support for Council of Academies. 
  • Renewed funding of $9 million over 3 years.
  1. New Intellectual Property Strategy. 
  • Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development will bring forward full details in the coming months.  $85.3 million over 5 years in support of a new strategy.  The new strategy will include:
  • Pilot program for Patent Collective, to allow firms to access and share IP.
  • Development of IP expertise and legal advice.
  • Creation of an IP marketplace.
  1. Developing the next generation of rural broadband. 
  • To reach remote areas of Canada, new technology is needed
  1. Support for women entrepreneurs.
  • New lending programs aimed at women entrepreneurs in agriculture and agri-food created through Farm Credit Canada
  1. Innovation Canada-Accelerated Growth Service.
  • 4 flagship platforms will be created to support Canadian entrepreneurs.
  1. Innovation Programs.
  • Broader review of innovation programs, government wide, will take place over the next year. 
  • Stats Canada given $1 million to improve performance evaluation for innovation-related projects.  

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