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Trudeau Wants Canada to Be a Global Leader in Science. So Why Is He Ending a Successful, Innovative Program?

By January 7, 2019No Comments

The Globe and Mail recently reported a concerning decision made by the Trudeau government: Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan announced, with very little fanfare, explanation or evidence, the move to cancel one of the most successful science initiatives in the past 30 years.

Ottawa is set to eliminate funding for its Networks Centres of Excellence (NCE) program, which would end world-renowned scientific networks and the research, researchers and trainees they support. This is a widely admired program with a stellar track record of supporting innovative research on its way to the market or clinic.

The NCE program enabled nation-building across our vast country by bringing researchers out of their labs and institutions to jointly tackle some of the most pressing science issues of our time. Its loss means we now have a significant gap for moving research forward. A “valley of death” has been created as there no longer exists a mechanism to support the translation of discoveries into practical applications. How could this have happened?