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Canadian government’s science and technology program should be modernized: CME


February 11, 2014
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Industrial innovation and commercialization in Canada needs to be both modernized and improved, according to Canada’s largest trade and industry association, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).

CME sent a letter today to the Minister of State for Science and Technology, the Honorable Greg Rickford, emphasizing how the government’s science and technology program should be modernized.

“Even more important to successful innovation in Canada, manufacturers are the companies that bring most of the new technologies developed in the country to market. Over 90 per cent of all the patents commercialized in Canada are done so by manufacturing firms,” said CME president and CEO, Jayson Myers. “The government’s science and technology policy and supporting programs should be modernized and improved to better support industry.”

In a submission to Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy, the association highlighted nine key recommendations that will better support industrial innovation and commercialization in Canada.

The list includes:
1. Include advanced manufacturing as a national science and technology priority. The strategy should cover both product and process innovation, including mass adoption of robotics and automation, research and adoption of additive technologies and advanced materials.
2. Provide an accelerated depreciation for the acquisition of capital assets (machinery and equipment) used for R&D purposes.
3. Create a program that would allow companies to exchange their SR&ED unused tax credits for direct funding at a percentage of their value, and then put to work on R&D projects.
4. Adopt the “patent box model” in Canada.
5. Provide more predictability of depreciation rates applied to manufacturing machinery and equipment, and make it at par with the U.S. rates. CME recommends that the depreciation rate should be increased from 30 to 40 per cent.
6. Support the establishment of technology development centres, modelled on the U.K. government’s Catapult Centres, Germany’s Fraunhofer Institutes, and U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Centres, that would bring industry, startups and researchers together in the development of applications for new platform technologies.
7. Review and recommend best practices in the management of Intellectual Property Rights to accelerate the commercialization of new products and technologies, adopt those best practices as requirements for federally funded collaborative research projects with industry, and streamline Canada’s patent process.
8. Increase support for collaborative education and R&D programs involving industry, colleges and startup technology companies.
9. Deliver direct funding programs similar to the FedDev’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund (AMF) through all regional economic development agencies to support the application of new advanced manufacturing technologies and new product development mandates across the country.

To view the complete letter and recommendations, click here.

 

Source: CME