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The Chief Scientist of Québec welcomes new national research and innovation policy

Following the announcement of its economic and industrial policies, today the Québec government unveiled a new five-year research and innovation policy, the Politique nationale de la recherche et de l’innovation. Pierre Duchesne, Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, announced that the government will be investing 3.7 billion dollars over the next five years (2014-2019). This major investment will serve to strengthen Québec’s position in the development of a true knowledge society.

The new policy involves all stakeholders in Québec’s research and innovation system. The Fonds de recherche du Québec will have a key role to play in the implementation of the policy. To meet this challenge, funding to the Fonds will be boosted by over 25% in 2014-2015 compared to 2013-2014, the first real and sustained increase to the budget of the Fonds in more than ten years.

Indeed, the basic budgets of the three Fonds had not seen an increase since 2001; the two editions of the Québec Research and Innovation Strategy (2007-2010 and 2010-2013) were funded through temporary credits. The sizeable amounts involved and the five-year span of the policy will enable the Fonds de recherche to better plan their programs and actions to promote the excellence of Québec research and the competitiveness of Québec researchers both in Canada and abroad. In addition, the policy strongly reiterates the government’s commitment to basic research, while encouraging the development of applied research.

The policy includes a variety of measures and investments aimed at both the academic and private sectors, as well as interdisciplinary and interorganizational collaborations. Supporting the next generation of researchers is one of the key priorities of the policy, which includes funding for scholarships and internships.

In addition to the budgets allocated directly to the Fonds, Québec students and researchers supported by the Fonds will have access to many other programs and funding opportunities. For example, the policy provides funding for the full cost of research (including indirect costs) and strengthens programs for major platforms and infrastructures such as Génome Québec, NanoQuébec and Calcul Québec. It also supports public-private partnerships and the creation of Fonds InnoMonde to promote international partnerships, and includes funding envelopes for research and innovation, some of which will be administered by the Fonds de recherche to address three important challenges facing today’s society: demographic changes, sustainable development and electric transportation, and the Québec identity.

The policy also includes the establishment of research chairs in history, as well as measures to support ethics research, research-creation, the publication and open access of French-language works, and the development of scientific culture.

“I am extremely optimistic about the future. Knowing the creativity of our researchers and research students, and their spirit of cooperation, I am convinced that the major investment provided by the government under the new policy will have a significant impact on society, both on a social and an economic level”, said Rémi Quirion, chief scientist of Québec. He applauds the inspiring and stimulating nature of the new national policy for research and innovation.

About the Fonds de recherche du Québec

The three research funds are key players in Québec’s research and innovation system. Their mandate is to ensure the strategic and coherent development of research, to provide financial support for research, to promote knowledge mobilization and researcher training, and to establish the partnerships necessary for the accomplishment of their mission. Together, they are contributing to the creation of a true knowledge society, known for the excellence of its researchers and the quality of its research achievements.

 

Source
Benoit Sévigny
Director of Communications and Knowledge Mobilisation
Fonds de recherche du Québec
514 864-1619