Commercialization of Research

The Caucus continues to monitor national developments with regards to the commercialisation of research in Canada, particularly with regards to federal policy developments. This campaign is tied intrinsically to both the Whistleblowers Campaign and the Caucus’ efforts to increase research funding that does not require industry involvement or a commercialization orientation.

Public Risk, Private Gain:

An Introduction to the Commercialisation of University Research

The Caucus has recently produced a research document (Public Risk, Private Gain) which is an introduction to the commercialisation of university research. The document provides an overview of the history of research funding in Canada, including commercialisation initiatives, analysis of the harmful effects of commercialisation on universities, and proposals to protect research in the public interest.

Federal Science and Technology Strategy

The Science and Technology Strategy was revealed by the federal government in May 2007. The strategy highlighted a number of ways by which commercialisation initiatives could be promoted in Canadian universities. The strategy aims to strengthen the relationships between public universities and private industry and facilitate commercially driven research at the graduate student level. This will be accomplished through the creation of research centres and adjusting the governance and role of the granting councils to further the commercialisation agenda.

The key recommendations that relate to research in post-secondary education institutions include directing public resources and research in targeted areas that will promote market driven research. Priority areas may include environmental science and technologies, natural resources and energy, health and related life sciences and technologies, and information and communications technologies; Increasing the transfer of knowledge and technologies from universities, research hospitals, and government laboratories to the private sector; realigning the granting councils to focus more on commercially oriented research; setting up the Centres of Excellence in Commercialization and Research program and creating new business-led research networks under the Networks of Centres of Excellence Program. Eight large-scale centres will be created to undertake research in areas where Canada has the potential to be a “global leader”.

The Caucus continues to monitor the implementation and impact of the Strategy on campuses and on public research.

If you would like to be involved in this or any other campaign, please join the GSU External Relations Committee by contacting your Director