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Summary of 2005 PAGSE recommendations to The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance

A - New Opportunities for Canada
• Create an EU Opportunities Fund of at least $25M/yr that Canadian researchers could access on a competitive basis to become eligible for even more significant support from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Technology Development.
• Create a new Tri-Council Industry /Research Cluster Development Program, led by industry with participation by the NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC and the NRC
• Establish a Small Business Innovation Research Fund.
• Reinforce the mandate and the means of the National Science Advisor to review, rationalise and focus research in government laboratories on the regulatory and service requirements of programs of national strategic importance.
• Specifically mandate and fund operational support for scientific programs in remote areas throughout Canada by creating an inter-agency body to provide coordinated logistical support to the full spectrum of scientific research conducted in Canada's vast remote lands and oceans. Task the National Science Advisor with determining how to structure and implement such a body.

B - Building on Recent Investments
• Enhance the rate of increase of the tri-Council funding allocations beginning with 6-9% for 2006-2007 plus a corresponding increase in funds for the indirect cost of research. Such increases and those already recently made need to be better communicated in order to encourage academic staff and students to stay in Canada.
• Invest additional funds in the Canada Foundation for Innovation and make improved provision for associated operating costs of infrastructure funded through the program.
• Create, through the granting agencies, Canadian Postdoctoral Fellowships at a level of $55,000 to $60,000 per year. The program should support 600 postdoctoral fellows to be held in universities or in industry, especially SMEs.
• Re-affirm commitment to ongoing long-term monitoring of variables essential to understanding Canada’s natural environment and resources and for related ongoing longer-term research by the provision of adequate A-base budgets to the relevant governmental departments.

C - Policy Creation and Implementation
• Provide stable support to the Office of the National Science and facilitate its access to the highest level of decision makers.
• Establish a mechanism, open to all researchers from academia, government, or industry, for ensuring the timeliness and adequacy of funding directed to supporting Canadian participation in international research programs, especially those on Canadian territory.
• Optimize existing tax measures intended to encourage the formation of public-private research consortia and private sector contributions to related consolidated funds to support university research with technological potential.
• Review the highly successful Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit program with the view to expanding its reach further downstream towards the marketplace.
• Monitor seed funding programs to ensure that they are market driven and led by the private sector. The Business Development Bank of Canada could administer such programs.