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CCA Forms S&T Methods Subcommittee

The CCA’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) has formed a S&T Methods Subcommittee to examine the challenges and limitations of current methods used to assess Canada’s strengths in science and technology (S&T) and research and development (R&D). The subcommittee’s recommendations will inform any future assessments that CCA undertakes in this area.

The CCA has been documenting Canada’s S&T and R&D strengths and weaknesses in a series of reports dating back to 2006. The most recent, Competing in a Global Innovation Economy: The Current State of R&D in Canada, was released in April 2018. The report identified various data limitations that inhibit the assessment of R&D activity and excellence in Canada. This is particularly the case with industrial R&D and research in the social sciences, arts, and humanities. The data available on industrial R&D activity continue to paint an incomplete picture of private sector investment in innovation, and suffer from time lags for some measures, such as internationally comparable data on R&D intensity. In the social sciences, arts, and humanities, standard bibliometric indicators are less informative because these disciplines prioritize other types of research outputs beyond standard journal articles.

The subcommittee has been established to find potential solutions to these and other challenges. Its mandate is to explore the methodologies available for assessing Canada’s S&T and R&D strengths and activities and to identify improved methodologies that may address limitations documented in past assessments.

The subcommittee was convened in April 2019 and will present its initial findings to SAC in November 2019. Members are:

Eliot A. Philipson, O.C., FCAHS (Chair)

E. Louise Earl

Kaye Husbands Fealing

Barbara Neis, C.M., FRSC

Nicole Poirier, FCAE

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