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Innovation agenda should be top priority
[Ontario Edition]
Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont.
Author: Crane, David
Date: Nov 24, 2001
Start Page: E.02
Section: BUSINESS
Abstract (Document Summary)

They include companies in Ontario like Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., a leader in plastic injection moulding; Algorithmics Inc., a specialist in financial services software; Tundra Semiconductor, an innovative semiconductor designer; ATS Automation Tooling Systems, a globally competitive designer of automated assembly lines; Research in Motion, a top ranked company in wireless communication; Hemosol Inc., which is developing an alternative form of blood; Hydrogenics Corp., a burgeoning fuel cell company; and DALSA Corp., a key player in Canada's photonics industry.

A recent National Science Foundation workshop defined innovation as "the transformation of knowledge into products, processes, systems and services, with the key elements underlying innovation being: (1) knowledge; (2) a skilled workforce; and (3) infrastructure." In today's world, high-speed access to the Internet would be an example of infrastructure, along with traditional forms such as good transit, highways, rail systems and airports.

The major granting councils that fund university-based research and train the next generation of knowledge workers- the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council- are all facing serious financing shortfalls, with many outstanding researchers failing to gain funds. So significantly boosting their budgets will be essential if Canada is to pursue its innovation goals.

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