R&D Funding in Atlantic Universities

Various authors, Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, Dec 01, 2005
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This report is likely to be of more regional interest, but its analysis of research funding in Atlantic Canada is worth reading, particularly from the perspective of less developed economies. Research in such an environment is different than in, say, central Canada, because there isn't the base of large corporate research. This means that the direction of research funding and research direction needs to be different. It should not depend as much on commercial and private sector research and development (see the chart on page 110). "The national approach to innovation will undoubtedly continue to focus on big science and big health projects. This approach, however, does not t with Atlantic Canada s post-secondary composition as even its largest universities often do not have the critical mass or research infrastructure to support such large-scale projects." (p. 112) My own view, and I reiterate it here, is that small research focused on developing new enterprises and spin-offs, rather than fostering collaboration with existing companies, would be of more value here. PDF, also available in French.
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