Why Research is an Essential Investment for Canada

37
Canada
$1 billion in annual investments to provide financing for 13,000 researchers and trainees.
Share this Article

Canada is investing in research across a variety of sectors:

Health:

$1 billion in annual investments to provide financing for 13,000 researchers and trainees.
But where does the money go?

  • 70% to support projects proposed by researchers. Researchers explore and test ideas to advance understanding of the factors influencing health.They also train the next generation of researchers, leaders, and professionals.
  • 30% to support research priorities established by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). CIHR and its partners invest in national and international researchers to address specific health challenges (such as dementia), or to respond to national or global health crises (like SARS or Ebola).

Agriculture:

Canada is a leading producer of high-quality, safe agricultural and food products. Agriculture is a significant contributor to Canada’s economy, and the sector is expected to continue to prosper. Research will improve animal health and decrease the costs of livestock production, as well as enhance crop yields, increase nutritional value and improve resistance to pathogens, drought, and low temperatures. Genomics will also be used to improve food safety through detection and identification of foodborne pathogens.

Energy:

Advertisement

Canada is a world leader in the production and use of energy from renewable resources. Research will help develop cleaner ways to produce and use fossil fuels and add high-value products such as polymers and lubricants.

Environment:

Canadian industries are providing innovative solutions to maintaining health and quality of life and ensuring the country’s ability to sustainably derive benefits from natural resources. Genomics have been applied in environmental monitoring, including monitoring biodiversity and pollution and using sentinel species in freshwater, marine and terrestrial environments.

Fisheries:

Fish and seafood is Canada’s third largest food export. Genomics are providing markers and other approaches to improve the management of wild fisheries and allow for the protection and enhancement of biodiversity and aquatic fish habitats.

Forestry:

The forest sector in Canada is second only to the oil and gas industry for exports worldwide. Research is ongoing to deliver affordable new technologies that will identify genes that confer adaptive traits against pest infestation, disease or environmental changes.

Mining:

Mining is a major driver of Canada’s prosperity.The industry stimulates and supports economic growth both in large urban centres and in remote rural communities. Genomics are improving the ability to locate, recover and process coal, industrial minerals and metals.

Ideas

Research is a journey. From the idea to the real world, research takes time. A new drug or device that is safe, saves lives or reduces diseases can take 15 to 20 years to bring to market.

First step- Discovery:

Identify an issue to explore or a problem to solve. Conduct research, increase our understanding and discover potential solutions.

Second step- Development:

Ensure that ideas work in the real world – conduct interviews, trials and tests on new products, procedures, and models of care.

Third step- Delivery:

Validate what works, for whom, under what circumstances, and how best to bring successful health products to market, implement proven health care practices and promote healthy lifestyles.

Sometimes, when a crisis arises, decades of research can help accelerate progress in a priority area. Canada was able to launch the Ebola vaccine clinical trials in less than a year.