National Post, Macleans et al. - Companies must step up R&D to push innovation, report says


Taxpayers just aren't doing enough to support private-sector research and innovation, a government-run think-tank has found. In its newly released 2010 report, Industry Canada's Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) found businesses' R&D spending has actually decreased since 2008. What's more, STIC isn't happy with the level of co-operation between the business and education sectors, which has been low for four decades.

"Few companies collaborate with universities or colleges overall," said STIC's Dr. Heather Munroe-Blum. The report also takes aim at federal tax credits for R&D, which leave it up to businesses to decide their priorities for innovation.

"Although Canada has one of the most generous R&D tax-credit programs in the world, Canada is below the (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) average in terms of business expenditures on research and development," the report says.