More Canadian businesses outsourcing R&D to universities

August 11, 2014

Canadian businesses are increasingly relying on universities to provide research and development, reports Canadian Business. Rob Annan, interim CEO of Mitacs, says that by outsourcing innovation to universities, businesses are able to minimize their exposure to risk. Moreover, university labs may have access to funding channels not available to the private sector. Annan adds that many Canadian businesses are not large enough to support internal R&D departments, leaving the universities as their best option. Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HECQO) President Harvey Weingarten notes that Canadian companies spend far less on R&D than those in other member states of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Weingarten says Canadian businesses undervalue research. “If you look at the total number of researchers and scientists in Canadian companies versus other countries, we have a lower percentage of scientifically trained and research-trained employees in Canada relative to other countries,” he said. Canadian Business