2010 Federal Budget Recognizes Basic Research (modestly)

The following are the research-related highlights from the 2010 Federal budget.  Except where noted, all of these items are new funding.

  • Additional $13M/yr to NSERC (base budget), including $8M/yr to strengthen support for “advanced” (i.e. presumably basic) research and $5M/yr for closer research collaborations between academia and the private sector   (it appears that the lobbying by CAP and the CCR for increased funding for BASIC research has been acted upon, albeit at a modest level)


  • $16M/yr to CIHR (health research)


  • $3M/yr to SSHRC


  • $9M/yr for 5 years to granting councils for “prestigious post-doctoral fellowships” to attract talent to Canada (no indication of distribution among the Councils)


  • $222M over 5 years to TRIUMF for its five-year plan.  (We note that this is the lowest of the four funding scenarios provided by TRIUMF and may compromise its long-term international competitiveness.  CAP will consult with TRIUMF on this matter.)


  • $8M/yr to Indirect Costs of Research Program


  • $397M over 5 years to Canadian Space Agency to work with industry to develop the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (added to $100M in existing CSA resources)


  • $8M over 2 years to extend the International Science and Technology Partnerships Program


  • Providing $135M over 2 years to the National Research Council’s regional innovation clusters program


  • Providing $48M over 2 years for research, development and the application of medical isotopes – diversifying the supply of medical isotopes ($35M to Natural Resources Canada to support R&D of new technologies for the production of isotopes; $10M to CIHR for clinical trials network to move research on isotopes and imaging technologies to clinical practices; $3M to Health Canada to optimize the use of isotopes in the health system)


  • Providing $49M in annual funding for the regional development agencies to support innovation across Canada ($15M in Quebec; $19M in Atlantic; and $15M in Western)


  • Providing Genome Canada with an additional $75M million for genomics research


  • (Not new) – $1B will be provided to support maintenance, repair, and construction at colleges and universities.  (This is the second half of the $2B announced last year).


NOTE:  There will be a comprehensive review of all Federal support to R&D in consultation with business leaders and the provinces.  The Government is currently developing the terms of reference.  (Should we be trying to intervene to ensure that there are academic researchers involved in this process?)

The full budget can be found at http://www.fin.gc.ca/n10/10-018-eng.asp

A copy of the reaction (press release) of the Canadian Consortium for Research to the budget can be found here.