Not to pull a Paul Wells, but….

Industry Minister Bernier and NSERC President Fortier
Announce $503 Million in Research Funding and Scholarships
Ottawa, Ontario, September 8, 2006

The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, and Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), announced today the results of the 2006 NSERC Grants and Scholarships competitions, worth more than $503 million. Funding was awarded to some 8,800 professors and students across Canada following national, peer-reviewed competitions conducted by NSERC.

As a result of the current competition, some 3,000 professors from across Canada will receive $383.4 million in Discovery Grants to support their research in the natural sciences and engineering. (These awards are normally paid out over five years.) In addition, 2,341 young university researchers – 2,086 at the graduate level and 255 at the postdoctoral level – will receive $100 million to pursue their studies in these fields, while 3,466 undergraduate students will receive Undergraduate Student Research Awards worth a total of $18.7 million to give them a hands-on research experience in a laboratory.

I don’t have time to go through this thing with a fine tooth comb but I did copy and paste the totals by university for the three NB universities and reached an amount of research grants of $1.38 million.

Now, it seems they have given out $383.4 million so that means New Brunswick received 0.4% of the total. If we had just received ‘our share’ based on population, we would have received 2.5% or 6 times more funding.

Now, don’t quote me on this – I did a quick and dirty look at this.

You can view the list here (by university) yourself.

But it seems to me that the Premier at one time made innovation and research & Development a priority (it is gone now on the alter of senior care and HST breaks on electricity) but if that is a priority and his buddies in Ottawa are doling out hundreds of millions in R&D money – maybe he should lobby those ‘great connections’ for at least our share of those funds – not six times less.

I didn’t do the Nova Scotia figures but I’ll bet that Dalhouse alone got 2-3 times what all of NB got.

Is this sour grapes?

Maybe.

But if the Feds announce six months ago another $50 million EI for New Brunswick and then we get diddly squat from them for R&D, it says something.

And if you’re inclined to write me and say the NSERC process is open and fair and based on the quality of projects from around the country, don’t bother. I realize that.

I’m just saying what I have said about R&D for more than a decade. If the feds want to use taxpayer monies to fund R&D – they have to realize the huge economic development implications. And systematically underfunding ‘poor’ areas like New Brunswick while dumping billions into ‘rich’ areas like Ontario may be good for the national economy (or not) but it sure as heck doesn’t help us out much.

As I see it, New Brunswick gets more than its share of EI, Equalization, Heath transfers, etc. and less than its share of R&D funding, economic development funding, government contracts to our firms, etc.

So how’s that for a federal government strategy to develop New Brunswick. More pogie and less investment.

Hmmm.

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0 Responses to Not to pull a Paul Wells, but….

  1. MonctonLandlord says:

    Check-out this funding announcement: (can’t Moncton have it’s fair share too?)

    8 September 2006
    ST. JOHN’S BOARD OF TRADE TO ESTABLISH PROVINCE-WIDEVENTURE CAPITAL ANGEL INVESTMENT NETWORK
    St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

    —————————–

    The St. John’s Board of Trade, through a new subsidiary called BOT Capital Project Inc., has created a province-wide Angel Investment Network that will provide access to capital for businesses at both start-up, and in interim stages of growth.

    The investment network has received a contribution of $210,925 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

    “ACOA is pleased to assist the St. John’s Board of Trade in its work to foster a positive and dynamic business climate in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said the Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Regional
    Minister for Newfoundland and Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of ACOA. “This creative community partnership nurtures the growth of an investment culture which is
    essential to our long term prosperity.”

    Or visit ACOA’s Media Room for a complete listing of all news releases issued by ACOA, and more.
    http://www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca/mediaroom

  2. Cooker Boy says:

    Well… Moncton has had plenty of opportunity, except no one wants to take the bull by the horns to run with it.

    I know for a fact that industry has been approached to do this, but there is no apetite for it from the business community.

    I hope that angel investment becomes a key priority for the IC2 project.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As you mention in your caveat, this is partly the fault, in fact could easily be claimed as being the fault of the New Brunswick government.

    If you don’t have any centres doing scientific research, what are they going to invest in? If you don’t have a medical school, a technology school, a research centre, then what will they invest in?

    I have a feeling more money than goes to all of NB will go to Waterloo’s new Quantum Computing Research Centre, or their Perimeter Institute. Both of those are public-private partnerships which do cutting edge research. What exactly does Irving and McCain spend their money on? Cutting edge potatoes?

    If all your research is tied into forestry and fishing, you can’t be surprised that money doesn’t come that way. It certainly isn’t the federal governments job to set up research centres, if New Brunswick politicians, and New Brunswickers in general, are too lazy to set up the centres for investment, you can’t very well gripe when investment doesn’t appear.

    It’s becoming a scary time in New Brunswick, not only are all those figures pointing to massive decline, but the population in general, either in retirment or fortunate enough to have a job, are in an anti-political state far beyond any I’ve seen before.

    I’ve heard that it isn’t just the NDP with problems, I’ve heard that both tories and liberals barely found people to make a full riding. Here’s an interesting thought-what happens in a riding if only one person ends up running? What happens if there are none?

    People who are reading this are going to have to start thinking about how seriously they want this province to survive, and just what they are prepared to do about it. Crying out in the wilderness just isn’t going to cut it.