McGill University Principal and Vice-Chancellor Heather Munroe-Blum has applauded the Quebec government's new plan to boost research and innovation in the province.
The plan, unveiled today by Premier Jean Charest, accompanied by Raymond Bachand, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, will invest an additional $888 million in research and innovation over three years, including substantial and urgently needed additional support for university research and for students in graduate programs.
"This reinvestment is an important step, one that will not only serve to prevent Quebec from sliding backwards, but enable it to move to regain its leadership position in higher education and research," said Munroe-Blum. "Our competitors, both in Canada and internationally, are making major strides in education, research and innovation. Without such new investment, Quebec is in real danger of losing advantages achieved through investments in these areas made during the Quiet Revolution and the 1980s. This immediate additional support for research and innovation is crucial to maintaining our ability to compete for top talent and investment in the knowledge society."
Denis Thérien, McGill's Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations), underscored the importance of the step forward that the new plan represents. "Increasing investment in research and innovation is the key to economic prosperity," said Thérien. "This is especially true for an economy that is somewhat fragile, like ours. The concrete steps outlined by Minister Bachand will contribute to creating a renewed momentum for R&D in Quebec, and that change in context had become an absolute necessity for our community."
McGill is a top Canadian research-intensive university both in terms of sponsored research income per full-time faculty member and in peer-reviewed publications per full-time faculty member. It is noted for its international reputation and impact.