For close to 100 years, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has been the primary federal vehicle for research and development (R&D), engaging in some of the world’s most pressing scientific and technological challenges. NRC researchers have brought the world breakthrough inventions like radar, the black box (used by the aerospace industry and beyond), canola and a vaccine for meningitis. While maintaining its role in scientific discoveries, NRC is refocusing to better serve Canadian businesses and help them compete in the global marketplace against the world’s most innovative companies. Within Canada’s innovation system, NRC is the national research and technology organization (RTO). RTOs are specialized knowledge organizations dedicated to the development and transfer of science and technology for the benefit of the economy and society. NRC’s goal is to promote greater private sector R&D, helping Canada develop into one of the world’s best and most vibrant 21st century economies. The Jenkins report on the Review of Federal Support to Research and Development was presented to the Minister of State (Science and Technology), in the fall of 2011. In the report, the expert panel who conducted the Review made a series of recommendations that called for a simplified and more focused approach to the $5 billion worth of R&D funding provided by the federal government every year. Those recommendations laid out the foundation for the NRC’s refocus. Following the Review, both Economic Action Plan 2012 and 2013 proposed funding to support and refocus the NRC. Economic Action Plan 2012 provided $67 million for fiscal year 2012–13, and Economic Action Plan 2013 proposed $121 million over two years (fiscal years 2013-14 and 2014-15) to help the NRC refocus on business-led research. NRC has rebuilt itself to help grow Canadian industries and strengthen their access to and participation in global value chains—all with the following end game in mind: high-quality jobs, increased business R&D activity, greater commercialization outcomes, and a prosperous and more productive Canada.
About the Program
As competition intensifies in the increasingly complex global marketplace, Canada’s current standard of living cannot be taken for granted. The need for action is clear: more business investment in research and technology development is essential to guarantee Canada’s long-term economic growth. To meet this challenge, NRC is refocusing to enable more Canadian businesses to access the world-class infrastructure, technical expertise and people they need to commercialize their innovative ideas.
Who Is Eligible
NRC has rebuilt itself with an eye to growing Canadian industries and increasing Canadian industrial strength. Canadian businesses, both large and small, are encouraged to contact the NRC to gain access to its world-class infrastructure and technical expertise.
How It Works
With the transformation of the NRC into an RTO, Canadian businesses now have coast-to-coast access to world-class innovation support along four business lines: Strategic R&D, Technical Services, Management of S&T Infrastructure and NRC-Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), which will work together to help fill the gap between early stage R&D and commercialization. Some examples of support provided by the NRC are as follows:
- A service centre for the private sector offering market-driven research, technology development and commercialization services;
- Regionally accessible and nationally linked points of entry to help connect Canadian entrepreneurs to key players in Canada’s innovation system, to each other, and to potential partners and clients around the globe; and
- A critical mass of leading-edge expertise, networks and know-how that can readily translate Canadian industry’s R&D needs and ideas into technology-based solutions.
Progress to Date
NRC launched its new business approach on May 7, 2013. Early announcements of major research programs include the creation of the Canadian Wheat Alliance to improve the profitability of Canadian wheat producers and the Algal Carbon Conversion Pilot Project, which will develop environmentally sustainable solutions to manage carbon emissions.
Find Out More
To learn more about program opportunities for your business or about the advantages of working with NRC, visit the National Research Council of Canada website or call 1-877-NRC-CNRC.