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National priority research areas further defined by sci-tech council


Ottawa, ON – The Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) has specified a group of sub-priorities within four research priority areas that were announced in the federal government’s Science and Technology (S&T) Strategy in 2007. The federal minister of industry, Jim Prentice, says he has accepted the new sub-priority areas.

The original four research priority areas are environmental science and technologies; natural resources and energy; health and related life sciences and technologies; and information and communications technologies. The new sub-priorities are as follows:

1) Environmental science and technologies:
Sub-priorities: Water (health, energy, security); cleaner methods of extracting, processing and using hydrocarbon fuels, including reduced consumption of these fuels.

2) Natural resources and energy:
Sub-priorities: Energy production in the oil sands; Arctic (resource production, climate change adaptation, monitoring); biofuels, fuel cells and nuclear energy.

3) Health and related life sciences and technologies:
Sub-priorities: Regenerative medicine; neuroscience; health in an aging population; biomedical engineering and medical technologies.

4) Information and communications technologies:
Sub-priorities: New media, animation and games; wireless networks and services; broadband networks; telecom equipment.

The chair of STIC, Dr Howard Alper, said that setting sub-priorities is consistent with international best practices, citing the examples of countries such as Australia and Japan.

“Canada must focus its attention on strategic areas of development in research and innovation, thus enhancing our global competitiveness,” he said. “The sub-priorities, covering both basic and applied research and innovation, will serve as a springboard to leadership by Canada in areas of significance to the nation.”