National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC

June 24, 2010 10:59 ET

Minister Goodyear Announces Investment in Research and Innovation in Communities Across Canada

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND and LABRADOR--(Marketwire - June 24, 2010) - Businesses and scientists in 11 communities across Canada will have more opportunities to conduct research in partnership with the National Research Council thanks to a new investment from the federal government. Speaking at the NRC's Institute for Ocean Technology, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), announced $135 million to support community-based technology partnerships across Canada, including $6.3 million for the institute in St. John's. This commitment will support the development of dynamic technology-based Canadian firms, which in turn generate jobs and contribute to Canada's global competitiveness.

"Our government is investing in science and technology to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians," said Minister Goodyear. "This investment will bring together top researchers from industry, universities and government in communities to create new knowledge, develop scientific talent and create new products that will benefit Canadians."

Local company Marport Canada Inc. is part of the St. John's-based ocean technology cluster. Working with the cluster since 2005, Marport has leveraged the unique knowledge and facilities at the National Research Council Canada to come up with an innovative submersible that could eventually be used to inspect offshore drilling platforms or to map the Arctic seabed.

"The basic idea came from working with NRC," said Neil Riggs, Marport's vice-president of research and development. "We had innovative sonar technology and NRC had an underwater vehicle development team. Now, five years later, we have a working vehicle. "

Innovative companies often develop around a government research institution or a university that attracts highly skilled researchers. Successful clusters need more than this, however. They need staying power, often taking years to mature. Clusters are community-driven and focused on market opportunities. With the support from broad networks and committed local champions, they encourage technological progress and economic growth that reaps benefits nationwide.

"NRC has established a substantial presence in 11 technology clusters across the country," said NRC Vice- President and Cluster Champion Dr. Roman Szumski. "These clusters and our catalyzing role within them address the Government of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy, which calls for the rapid commercialization of new products, services and innovations being created by some of Canada's boldest and most innovative researchers."

In St. John's, the National Research Council's expertise and facilities enable the ocean technology cluster's 50 technology companies and organizations to develop and test new technologies. An increasingly important element of the cluster's research effort relates to emerging needs like improving navigation in Canada's Arctic areas. The Ocean Technology Enterprise Centre, NRC's technology incubator, transfers research from the agency's labs to technology companies for commercialization and currently houses eight firms.

About the National Research Council of Canada

Recognized globally for research and innovation, Canada's National Research Council is a leader in the development of an innovative, knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology.

Contact Information

  • National Research Council Canada
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft
    Director of Communications