MONTREAL, April 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The Conference of Rectors and
Principals of Quebec Universities (CREPUQ) invites the representatives of all Canadian political parties,
who are currently sharing their views on the challenges we face, to
reserve a prominent place for innovation and academic research.
"While the abundant natural resources found in Quebec and all of Canada
may be the envy of many, we must not lose sight of the fact that it is
primarily our highly qualified labour force, our ability to innovate
and our entrepreneurial capacity that will ensure our place among the
most prosperous and socially advanced societies," said Denis Brière,
Chair of the CREPUQ Board of Directors and Rector of Université Laval.
CREPUQ is calling attention to two key issues that Canada must address
quickly and seriously if it hopes to maintain the competitive position
of Canadian universities with regard to research.
The first issue concerns funding for indirect costs of research.
Indirect costs of research are those not directly related to a specific
research project, but which are paid by universities to support the
environment necessary for research. Among other things, these include
the cost of maintaining and renovating research facilities, expenses
related to managing the research process, and those related to
standards and regulations.
It is generally estimated that indirect costs account for 50% to 65% of
the funds invested directly in a research project. These percentages
are recognized by the government of Quebec. In its budget documents
tabled in March 2011, the Quebec government noted that "federal
underfunding of the indirect costs of research conducted by [Quebec]
universities represents a shortfall of approximately $90 million for
Second, while the federal government should certainly continue to
increase its support for federal granting agencies, the Canada
Foundation for Innovation, Genome Canada and the Canada Research Chairs
Program, it must also pay special attention to funding for the costs of
operating and maintaining university research infrastructure. Such
funds help universities finance research infrastructure operations
during the start-up phase. Nevertheless, these measures do not provide
a long-term solution that will ensure optimal operations. This is one
of the challenges our country must take on if it hopes to keep Canadian
research competitive internationally.
"Whether we're talking about indirect costs of research or the cost of
operating and maintaining university research infrastructure, funding
for research is not just a concern of the academic milieu. These issues
affect our whole society, as our attitude towards them indicates how
strongly we feel about remaining in the knowledge vanguard. They are
also critical factors that affect our ability to attract and retain
high-calibre researchers," added Daniel Zizian, President and Director
General of CREPUQ.
Quebec university proposals can be found at the CREPUQ website: http://www.crepuq.qc.ca/spip.php?article1315&lang=fr.
CREPUQ includes all 18 Quebec universities. The organization acts as
their voice in relations with government and milieus concerned with
university education and research. It also fosters coordination and
collaboration between universities, is a research centre for university
administrations, acts as a centre for coordination and joint service
delivery, and is a resource centre and think tank for its members.
SOURCE CONFERENCE OF RECTORS AND PRINCIPALS OF QUEBEC UNIVERSITIES (CREPUQ)
For further information:
Chantal Pouliot, Director of Communications
Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities
514 288-8524, ext. 244