Ottawa creates new, $2.6 billion innovation agency
February 22, 2023
OTTAWA – The federal government has released a blueprint outlining the operations of a new agency that will promote innovation and productivity. The Canada Innovation Corp. will have an initial budget of $2.6 billion over four years, and is expected to begin its operations in 2023.
In creating the CIC, the government is following through on its Budget 2022 commitment to establish an innovation agency to drive Canadian business investment in research and development (R&D) and foster economic growth.
“The key to growing Canada’s economy and creating good jobs is increasing investment in research and development and supporting new technologies that will help drive growth. The new Canada Innovation Corporation will help increase the productivity and competitiveness of Canadian businesses all across Canada, positioning them for commercial success and cementing Canada’s position as a global leader,” said François-Philippe Champagne (pictured), minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
Canadian research facilities are home to some of the most talented people in their fields in the world. With robust start-up ecosystems across the country and countless firms in commodity-based and traditional sectors that could be transformed into technology-driven global leaders, Canada has all of the fundamentals required to build a stronger and more innovative economy.
However, Canadian businesses do not invest in R&D to the same degree as their global peers, which weakens Canada’s economic competitiveness and reduces opportunities for Canadian workers. Canadian businesses—including those operating in established commodity-based and manufacturing industries – need enhanced support to make R&D investments that will generate new and improved globally competitive products, processes, and services.
The CIC will help Canadian businesses across all sectors and regions to innovate, commercialize, grow, and create good jobs in a changing global economy. Using best practices established by similar agencies around the world, the CIC will be an operationally independent, outcome-driven organization, that will work with the private sector to provide targeted support to new and established Canadian firms by delivering funding and advisory services.
The blueprint document released today provides details on how the CIC will operate, with further details on the standing up of the CIC’s operations to be announced in the coming months.
The CIC is being established in the near term as a subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV) to begin the recruitment of senior leadership and establish the CIC’s operations.
To build a national-scale platform of business R&D support, the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) will join the CIC. NRC IRAP provides a strong foundation upon which the CIC will be able to build an integrated platform and continuum of support, service, and strategy across all technologies and industries.
This is a similar step to the creation of other science-based departments and agencies spun out from the National Research Council, such as the Canadian Space Agency, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.
The CIC will be accountable to Parliament but will operate independently from government on a day-to-day basis and draw on private sector experts to create new jobs, generate new and improved goods and services, and help Canadian businesses succeed in a changing global economy.