OTTAWA, Oct. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Today's announcement of $121.6 million in new federal funding for the creation and renewal of Canada Research Chair positions is a small but important step to address public underfunding of university research in Canada.
"Well-funded public research is crucial to Canada's ability to remain globally competitive," said Adam Awad, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "However, investing in Canada Research Chairs is only one small part of the bigger innovation picture, as most federal funding for research has been redirected to public-private partnerships."
The World Economic Forum's recently released global rankings show Canada slipping from 9th to 11th for quality of research institutions, 14th on the effectiveness of private-sector research, and 25th on private sector research spending. Similarly, the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research found that only eight percent of public-private partnership research produced commercially viable results.
"As the federal government directs the majority of its research funding to public-private partnerships, we see a decrease in the quality of institutional research and in the number of jobs available for new graduates," said Awad. "Canada's lack of private-sector research means that the country's young researchers, who are often funded by public-private partnerships while in school, are unable to find jobs once they graduate."
The Canadian Federation of Students welcomes the announcement of increased public funding for university research and calls for a decrease in the reliance on private funding to encourage industry to conduct independent research and provide meaningful jobs for new graduates.
The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation, uniting more than 600 000 students in all ten provinces. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students
For further information:
Adam Awad, National Chairperson at 613-232-7394