“Nice looking car…. but what’s under the hood?” Does Budget 2021 strengthen the performance of Canada’s R&D/Innovation Ecosystem


This 95-slide Briefing Deck by Global Advantage Consulting Group answers three questions: 

  1. What is the problem with Canada’s poorly performing R&D/Innovation (RDI) production system? 
  2. Did Budget 2021 help solve the problem? 
  3. If not, what do we do about it? 

The Briefing Deck provides key datasets and visual arguments about Canada’s R&D/Innovation Ecosystem comprising of 7 chapters:  

  1. Canada’s Weak R&D/Innovation Performance 
  2. Budget 2021: General Context for Budget 2021  
  3. Analysis of the investments of Budget 2021 on Canada’s R&D/Innovation Ecosystem 
  4. Implications for the Higher Education Sector  
  5. Implications for Business and Industry  
  6. Implications for Trade and Global Risks 
  7. Finally, the deck offers a menu of solutions in “Developing a New R&D/Innovation Strategy for Canada” 

The purpose of research is “to acquire new knowledge” (OECD, Frascati Manual) …. and “the purpose of knowledge is action.” (Aristotle). What are the key economic, social and environmental challenges that Canada will likely face over the next 10 years, and how can new scientific knowledge be used to help solve them? How will Canada identify and access the new scientific knowledge it needs to manage these challenges?

Canada’s R&D performance is trending downwards, with a 15.8% decline in performance over the past 10 years, while our OECD competitors experienced a 9.7% growth in R&D performance. How do we strengthen the Canadian institutions that support the production, integration and use of new scientific knowledge? How could we link the public, private and academic sectors together more effectively, in order to better bring new scientific knowledge to bear on Canada’s priority challenges?

With $77.6 billion in new spending proposed over the next two fiscal years, the Canadian government’s 2021 Federal Budget is the largest Budget since World War II, with as many as 270 new initiatives. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has described the budget as “among the most significant of our lifetime.” 

Delivered by David Watters, President and CEO, and Omer Kaya, VP Research and Business Development, our analysis of the 2021 Federal Budget and Canada’s R&D/innovation ecosystem was presented at the 20th Annual Research Money Conference on June 1st  2021. The presentation delved into key new measures outlined in the Budget and their broader implications for Canada’s innovation ecosystem as the country works towards an economic recovery and prosperity post-COVID-19.