Sustaining Federal S&T Funding for Digital Technologies
Theme: Innovation Using Digital Technologies
Idea Status: +13 | Total Votes: 15 | Comments: 0
R&D investments, especially through CFI and CANARIE, have been critical catalysts for advancing Canada's capacity to innovate and compete internationally in key areas of S&T in the emergent digital economy. These investments in university based research platforms, programs and projects have been successful in sustaining Canada as a leader in vital areas of research, in informing priority public policy issues, in stimulating commercial opportunity, and in engaging the public on issues of major societal consequence.
I write as the President of Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), the not for profit agency responsible for the governance and management of the NEPTUNE Canada and VENUS cabled ocean observatories, and the ONC Centre for Enterprise and Engagement, a federal centre of excellence for commercialization and research. These world-leading observatories bring power and the Internet to the ocean supporting continuous measurement of a suite of biological, chemical, physical and geologic parameters in ways not previously possible. This 'big science' venture positions Canada at the forefront of a new generation of ocean observing systems, and thereby creates opportunities for Canadian marine S&T companies to compete and prosper in the digital economy nationally and internationally. At a time when the importance of the oceans is unprecedented, the data streams from the observatories support rapid advances in our understanding of ocean processes, changes in the ocean environment, and the associated impacts on the health of our environment and economy.
Neither the science advance nor the benefits for Canada would be possible without continued government investment in the capital and operating costs of these major science facilities, together with the substantial contributions from partners spanning the academic, public and private sectors. This is a good news story re Canada's investment in a key sector of the digital economy, but one that can only be sustained if such agencies as CFI and CANARIE are the recipients of substantial continuing funding.
President, Ocean Networks Canada