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New Federal Science and Technology Strategy to Guide University Sector’s Research Activities


Friday, May 18, 2007, Peterborough

A new national science and technology strategy announced by the Honourable Maxime Bernier, minister of industry, will create new expectations for research in the university sector including greater emphasis on developing Canada’s competitiveness, knowledge base and skills.

The “Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage” strategy was unveiled yesterday by Prime Minister Harper, Minister Bernier, Jim Flaherty, minister of finance, and Rona Ambrose, minister of intergovernmental affairs at the University of Waterloo.  The strategy is part of the government’s pledge of $9.2 billion for science and technology announced in the March 2007 federal budget.

“Trent University also welcomes the federal government’s new science and technology and the pledge to build and expand Canada’s science and technology resources and capacities,” said Dr. James Parker, associate vice-president of research at Trent University. “The policy initiatives outlined in the strategy will change how scientific research is funded in Canada, encourage greater private sector investment in research and development, invest new resources to commercialize scientific research, and bolster enrolments in science and technology courses by offering scholarships and increased funding for research internships.”  Dr. Parker also emphasized that, “our University especially welcomes the commitment to sustain basic research in all disciplines.”

Dr. Parker adds that, “Trent’s strong national reputation for its research performance among primarily undergraduate universities places the University in an ideal position to capitalize on the new science policy priorities. Research institutions based at Trent University, like the International Consortium on Anti-Virals the DNA Cluster, and the Institute for Watershed Science, are potential beneficiaries of the renewed emphasis on commercialization.”

“Trent’s researchers are investigating some of the key issues identified as priorities in the strategy, including water quality, DNA forensics, global warming, pandemics, ecological restoration and environmental contamination,” notes Dr. Parker.  “Not only is Trent making important contributions to our nation’s scientific output, through initiatives such as the strategic expansion of our graduate programs, we are educating and attracting the next generation of scientists who will generate the scholarly research that will shape our nation’s prosperity. The University welcomes those elements of the strategy designed to encourage enrolment in the sciences and position Canada as a destination of choice for top international students.”

Dr. Parker adds that Trent continues to look forward to collaborating with local MP Dean Del Mastro to advocate for strong federal financial support for the Indirect Costs of Research (ICOR) program and the granting councils that support research in the humanities, social sciences and sciences.

Trent University is developing a revised research strategy that will be launched in the fall of 2007. In 2006, the University was the successful bidder to host the 2010 Canada-Wide Science Fair which will represent a unique opportunity to profile Trent’s teaching and research excellence in the sciences.

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) commended the government for emphasizing its commitment to building Canada’s science and technology assets, and expertise.  Claire Morris, president of AUCC noted, “Canada needs to secure its position as a world leader in research – including university research – and this strategy will help our country meet that mark.”

“Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage”

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For more information contact:

Brittany Cadence, Communications Officer, (705) 748-1011, ext. 5371