Candidates weigh in on their party's commitment to applied research for small and medium enterprises



    OTTAWA, Sept. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Polytechnics Canada asks Canada's five
main political party leaders to comment on their position on funding for
applied research. The Competition Policy Review Panel has recently released a
report that raises the issue of Canadian research funding in the 21st century.
Using the information in the report, Polytechnics Canada posed these two
questions to the candidates;

    1.) Does your party believe that Canada needs to invest more in applied
    research to improve Canada's research competitiveness?

    2.) If yes, what does your party propose the federal government do to
    increase Canada's investment in applied research.

    Candidate responses will be posted on the Polytechnics Canada website on
September 29, 2008.

    Applied research is a form of advanced academic research that is
purpose-driven as opposed to being performed for the sake of advancing pure
theory. The research conducted at Canada's polytechnics is directed by the
need to solve real industry problems in the real business world.
    According to the Competition Policy Review Report, Canada can no longer
afford to stand still and live by the same rules that have driven the
post-secondary academic research agenda during the 20th century, and as the
report states, "We cannot shy away from making the tough decisions required to
enhance productivity today because the benefits will be realized tomorrow."
    Supporting applied research achieves two national productivity goals: the
transfer of technical and technological knowledge needed in today's workplace
and the removal of barriers preventing small and medium enterprises from
reaching their full potential.
    Polytechnics work very closely with Canada's Small and Medium-sized
Enterprises to accomplish their goals. Under the supervision of their
professors, polytechnic students are involved in prototyping, field testing
and improvements to the manufacturing process.
    This mutually beneficial relationship gives SME's the added resources
needed to become more innovative and more competitive and give polytechnic
students a competitive edge in the employment market.
    At present, government funding for applied research is comparatively
scarce. Polytechnics Canada recommends the new government provide funding for
a three-year pilot project to create applied research clusters at Canada's
polytechnic institutions working closely with SME's to solve
industry-identified problems.

    Polytechnics Canada is an alliance of seven large, internationally
recognized post-secondary institutions - BCIT, SAIT Polytechnic, Conestoga
College, George Brown College, Humber College, Sheridan Institute and Seneca
College - committed to producing career-ready graduates which combine critical
thinking with theoretical understanding and practical competence. The seven
members are located in regions that drive the Canadian economy: The lower
Fraser Valley, the Calgary/Tar Sands corridor, the Golden Horseshoe and the
Kitchener/Guelph/Waterloo high-tech triangle.




For further information:

For further information: please visit www.polytechnicscanada.ca or
contact: Sharon E. Maloney, Executive Director, (416) 949-2588,
semaloney@polytechnicscanada.ca

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