Who are we?
Bacon & Eggheads
Symposia
Membership
Supporting Organizations
Parliamentary Briefs
PAGSE Studies
PAGSE- Industry Canada
SciEng Pages
Privacy Policy
 
 
Summary of 2008 PAGSE recommendations to The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Canada is one of the largest countries in the world, yet historically it has been a minor player in international science projects, including those of strategic importance to the country. Collaboration on international science not only exposes Canadian scientists to breaking discoveries, it provides the critical mass required for certain major research initiatives, as well as access to scientific talent and intellectual property, representing huge leverage of the country’s investment. It also allows Canadians to benchmark against other countries and to influence international programming while enhancing Canada’s reputation as a serious international partner, which can influence leading international scientists to consider working here. Greater involvement and investment in selected major international initiatives will help change the perception of Canada from that of a small player who must join with other small players for access to a scientific programme, to that of a key partner.

International science is defined as initiatives and Secretariats requiring the coordinated financial, logistical or intellectual resources of several countries and sectors. Big science is defined as initiatives of a significant magnitude that require resources beyond the capacity of any single institution, funding agency or country to operate, and which are expected to yield very significant results. Big science includes all levels of initiatives from consortia at facilities such as CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research); the world acclaimed Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Laboratory; or the Ocean Drilling Programme, to major research networks such as the Polar Environment Research Laboratory on Ellesmere Island; and NEPTUNE1 , which will be the world's largest cable-linked seafloor observatory.

Canada subscribes to a number of international science programmes and hosts the international secretariats for a few. It can ratchet up its reputation, contributions and most importantly, its benefits, by coordinating funding sources, supporting infrastructure and operational costs; hosting international science secretariats, and removing strictures affecting the environment for innovation and economic development. These measures will enhance the reputation of Canadian science and scientists in the international sphere, increase awareness by industry of the roles played by Canadians, and will encourage the retention of research and innovation in Canada.

The Partnership Group recommends:
• That the federal government adopt a strategic approach to investments in big science initiatives and international science partnerships. The approach must incorporate financial support to ensure full benefits to Canadians and their economy.

1North-east Pacific Time-series Undersea Network Experiments