With findings in hand from the assessment of NRCan’s S&T position in the innovation system, three major steps have been identified to move the department forward. NRCan has a solid foundation on which to build—including a culture of excellence and collaboration—within the existing federal science policy framework. This framework includes the recently released Federal S&T Strategy that defines Canada’s advantages, establishes principles and sets broad S&T priorities.
The first step over the coming months will be to formulate an NRCan S&T strategy. This strategy will be fundamental to NRCan’s transformation, articulating our commitment to public good S&T, and taking advantage of the knowledge, processes and lessons learned from analysis of international models and of other science-based departments and agencies. NRCan’s strategy will be aligned with the Federal S&T Strategy. Working with focused leadership from a single, coherent vision for natural resources, the strategy will articulate how the department will:
- respond to current and emerging needs;
- enhance the competitive advantage of Canadian companies;
- make Canada a leader in environmental responsibility of natural resource development; and
- strengthen the safety and security of Canadians.
The second step is the adoption of a new governance system that links policy with S&T and establishes mechanisms for priority setting and resource allocation. An important feature of this governance system will be the separation of policy direction and funding decisions from S&T performance. In practical terms, this means S&T funding will be allocated to the organization within the innovation system that is best able to perform the S&T. Such a governance system encourages linkages across the innovation system and fosters S&T excellence.
The third step will be revitalization of the departmental S&T consultative framework. Stakeholders will be engaged to ensure decisions are based on holistic advice, and ongoing feedback will help NRCan adjust its leadership role and responsibilities to reflect changing circumstances. Among other advantages, improved collaboration will permit an increasingly horizontal approach to S&T, better integration of science and policy, greater participation and innovation by stakeholders, and will be key to the development and implementation of NRCan's S&T strategy.
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