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Table 3-9: Details on Transfer Payments Programs (TPPs)

NRC manages the following transfer payment programs:

  • Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)
  • Tri-University Meson Facility (TRIUMF)
  • Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), Gemini Telescopes

Supplementary information on Transfer Payment Programs can be found at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/est-pre/estimate.asp.

1) Name of Transfer Payment Program: Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)

2) Start Date:  1962-1963

3) End Date:  ongoing

4) Description:
NRC-IRAP is NRC's innovation and technology assistance program in support of Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). NRC-IRAP and its predecessors have been helping Canadian firms innovate in order to improve their competitive technological performance for 60 years. NRC-IRAP provides comprehensive innovation assistance, including technical and competitive information, advisory services, financial assistance for technology projects and strengthening innovation support and entrepreneurial skills building to technology-based SMEs in almost every industrial sector of importance to Canada's current and future economic development.

5) Strategic Outcomes:
Ability to influence the growth of companies through the development/adaptation of innovative technologies and by extension ensures economic prosperity for Canada. NRC-IRAP will measure this by reviewing the:

  • Increase in the growth of its client companies by analyzing their increase in gross revenues or profits and their ability to create employment opportunities
  • Increase in the number of its clients that successfully commercialize their products, services and processes
  • Increase in the number of clients that reach and compete in new markets

Immediate and Intermediate Outcomes

  • Financial and Advisory Outcomes
    • Increased SME technical R&D capability and capacity
    • Increased SME management, marketing and finance capability and capacity
    • Growth of firms as a result of technology development project support

  • Networking Outcomes
    • Enhanced SME connections to technology and business networks to source support
    • Increased innovation-related services available to SMEs
    • Greater number and stronger innovation players with increased consortia within the community
    • Increased understanding of international opportunities
    • Increased adoption/commercialization/collaboration with respect to international endeavours

Ultimate Outcomes

  • Stimulate wealth creation within the Canadian economy

6) Results Achieved:

Financial and Advisory Outcomes

Increased SME technical R&D capability and capacity
Contributed to increasing the capacity of SMEs to undertake highly innovative technology-based R&D projects:

  • Funded the hiring of highly qualified and skilled engineers and scientists as well as internships for university and college graduates (431 through HRDSC's Youth Employment Strategy).
  • Contributed to organizations by providing technical and research assistance to Canadian SMEs (8,432 firms).
  • Housed NRC-IRAP staff within universities and research facilities to facilitate linkages (135 Industrial Technology Advisors).
  • Contributed funding through IRAP-TPC for pre-commercialization assistance to SMEs ($11.6 million).

Brought together key players in the Canadian Innovation System:

  • NRC-IRAP worked closely with NRC's 19 research institutes, 2 technology centres and NRC-CISTI, more than 146 of Canada's leading public and private research and technology based organizations, Federal Partners in Technology Transfer (FPTT) involving 17 federal government departments and agencies, and has established formal and informal linkages with S&T organizations in various countries.
  • NRC-IRAP works with other government departments. For example, NRC, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) have signed an MOA and established a joint strategy to accelerate the commercialization of publicly-funded research that builds upon the individual strengths and complementarity of these organizations. NRC-IRAP has a role to play in this strategy and will assist NRC, NSERC and BDC to achieve the following goals: Strengthen Canadian SMEs' ability to use and profit from publicly funded expertise, technology and facilities; and Increase the potential for success of new technology start ups.

Fostered and maintained working relationships with NRC research institutes:

  • NRC-IRAP continued to develop and maintain strong relationships with NRC research institutes. NRC-IRAP undertook a consultative exercise with field staff to review the NRC business processes and identify ways to enhance the working relationship. These relationships are important to help link SMEs with NRC expertise and to enable NRC to find appropriate Canadian receptors for NRC technologies. For example, a client in the NRC-IRAP Pacific region obtained assistance from a NRC-IMI researcher for his project on spray and fuse coating technology for high wear mechanical sleeve bearings. This client is now in the process of installing an automated system to apply coatings, which will increase production capacity and decrease operating costs.
  • NRC-IRAP West and NINT continued to support their clients' work. Two strategic client projects were initiated and supported by NRC-IRAP to work with NINT that helped the firm and strengthened this Institute's outreach into the SME community.
  • NRC-IRAP Ontario engaged an NRC-IIT researcher in assessing a client project proposal on health care data flow. This client was able to use the advice and research direction of the NRC-IIT researcher for its funded project with NRC-IRAP.
  • Two of the three ITAs at NRC-IMI are directly responsible for the facilitation of relationships with incubated firms and the development of common initiatives. They are the contacts for the implementation of a collaborative agreement signed between NRC-IMI and NRC-IRAP Quebec with the purpose of facilitating SME access to scientific expertise of this Institute. At least 10 SMEs have developed relationships with NRC-IMI.
  • A Charlottetown-based client SME has an ongoing project with NRC-IRAP which includes a design into an intelligent interface between database data and voice recognition, populating a database with data collected by voice, and creating voice content based on specific outputs from relational databases. NRC-IIT in NB was consulted about the design and provided timely and relevant assistance in selecting discrete blocks and utilities for the preparation of test block functions.
  • NRC-IRAP also assisted NRC Institutes with their cluster building and commercialization efforts by focusing on the cluster SME-related needs. ITAs and Innovation and Network Advisors (INAs) are actively engaged in facilitating the transfer of knowledge to industry and can provide financial assistance to SMEs undertaking research or development projects. As well, INAs can make a significant contribution to the growth of the cluster by providing contribution funding to not-for-profit organizations that provide business – related or other innovation support services to SMEs as well as opportunities to connect with other businesses locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, to access licensable technology or enter into collaborations.
  • NRC-IRAP was allocated $8.5 million (over three years) from NRC's Round II Cluster funding. NRC-IRAP developed its first Strategy for Supporting Technology Clusters, as well as business plans reflecting NRC-IRAP's contributions, for each of the Round II clusters, based on their stage of development and needs.

Increased SME management, marketing and finance capability and capacity
Assisted with Competitive Technical Intelligence (CTI):

  • In December 2004, NRC-IRAP and NRC-CISTI signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for NRC-CISTI provision of basic information services to NRC-IRAP ITAs across Canada during fiscal year 2005-2006. The MOA was renewed for 2006-2007 with some slight modifications. Along with the consistent national delivery of basic NRC-CISTI information services, NRC-CISTI and NRC-IRAP have been collaborating at the regional level in the delivery of CTI services in Atlantic/Nunavut, Manitoba and Quebec. This included the launch of a CTI pilot service to a limited number of ITAs in Quebec, the expansion of the CTI services in Atlantic/Nunavut to include Newfoundland and Labrador/Nunavut, and the hiring of a NRC-CISTI Technical Business Analyst (TBA) to work out of the NRC Centre for the Commercialization of Biomedical Technology. Responding to the growing SME demand for competitive technical intelligence information, NRC-IRAP and NRC-CISTI escalated this initiative and now coordinates the management of all NRC-CISTI services to NRC-IRAP under one national MOA for years 2007 to 2010.
  • A client in NRC-IRAP Pacific received information on wood energy for creating a charcoal facility, which helped the client advance its NRC-IRAP project to the investment stage. Additional information provided by NRC-CISTI on wood for fuel created a viable wood pellet market in northern BC with over 450 direct employees.
  • NRC-IRAP West undertook a pilot project with NRC-CISTI to assess the value of CTI for client firms. An ITA in the region worked with NRC-CISTI to examine flax extract possibilities, processes and markets for a Manitoba firm. Evaluation includes research literature and patent analysis.
  • A NRC-IBD Technical Business Analyst was also engaged to assess opportunities for an Alberta client in medical devices. The Manitoba firm has identified a particular target compound related to extraction technology and identified a potential IP partner. This project is ongoing. The Alberta firm has a project under development.
  • NRC-IRAP Ontario engaged the services of NRC-CISTI to obtain information on Geographical Information Systems (GIS). This information provided a position paper for the region on the GIS industry in Ontario.
  • NRC-IRAP Quebec conducted a survey of ITAs/clients on their level of satisfaction related to NRC-CISTI services. The overall satisfaction rate was very high. NRC-IRAP clients were impressed by the volume of information provided to them when they believed that nothing existed on the subject. A NRC-IRAP Quebec client actually decided to end his project realizing that the sought out market already had many key players and that he would not be able to compete in that dynamic market.
  • During 2006-2007 NRC-IRAP Atlantic and Nunavut received more than 185 CTI related materials from NRC-CISTI technical business analysts (TBA). This information was used to further ITA understanding of new technologies, better acquaint their clients with technical and market challenges and ensure better decision-making in the formulation of research projects. A New Brunswick client, Southsea, requested information concerning economical latent heat storage materials for acrylic window and solar hot air systems. The TBA found a number of patents and research papers that were exactly what the client needed. The company reported "we could never get these results!" The information enabled Southsea to explore some new directions for their research and continue to seek additional information from NRC-IRAP and NRC-CISTI.

Encouraged and facilitated the sharing of manufacturing best practices and processes through business-to-business visits:

  • Innovation Insights: Innovation Insights showcases manufacturing excellence in Canada and helps Canadian manufacturers and exporters achieve world class success. The exchange of knowledge between hosts and SME visitors inspires improvement for all participants. Innovation Insights events offer senior manufacturing practitioners and plant floor experts the opportunity to discuss challenges, share ideas and see processes in action.
    • Innovation Insights organized the 2006 Canadian Innovation Awards for New Technology.
    • A wide variety of themes including Lean Manufacturing Processes and Technologies, New Product Development, Environmental Issues, Human Resources, International Trade and Development, Health and Safety, expanded the program to 95 host companies, with over 1,700 participants.
    • Innovation Insights, with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Manitoba, arranged for a best practices exchange mission to North Dakota, to visit two host companies who shared their innovative best practices in the All-Terrain Vehicle sector.
    • An inter-provincial mission group from Manitoba travelled to Ontario to visit five leading-edge manufacturers to see and exchange best practices.
    • An Innovation Insights International mission group travelled to Seattle, Washington where five world-class companies in the aerospace and automotive sectors opened their doors to share their 'secrets-of-success'.
    • An Innovation Insights International mission group traveled to the United Kingdom, where they visited six world-class companies in the aerospace, electronics and automotive sectors. The overall score rating the value of this particular mission was 85.1%
    • Testimonial: "I have taken "key gems" from the company visited to share with my leadership team and look how it could be better in my own company."
    • Testimonial: "Met with great contacts and have seen that companies with clear vision and good leadership are strategically advancing."
  • Enabled the hiring of university and college graduates with specific skills and expertise that can be used to advance innovative projects:
    • Youth Employment Initiatives: 2006-2007 witnessed a slight increase in the graduate placements with 431 new graduates provided with the opportunity to work with 463 SMEs across Canada ($4.43 million). In addition to this, another 150 graduates worked with other firms on projects, which were a carry over from 2005-2006.

Growth of Firms
In July 2006, NRC-IRAP piloted an initiative on benchmarking clients in NRC-IRAP Pacific region. The objective of this pilot was to develop a benchmarking methodology by using existing Statistics Canada databases to compare growth profiles of SMEs supported financially by NRC-IRAP Pacific with the general population of firms of similar profile. A total of 694 matches were made with databases used. This study showed that NRC-IRAP client SMEs in the Pacific Region have a higher percentage growth (employment, payroll and revenue) than matched SMEs that did not receive assistance from NRC-IRAP. In addition to the increased percentage growth of employment, payroll and revenue, the study also demonstrates that NRC-IRAP clients have a higher performance ratio on shareholder equity, shareholder equity growth, R&D expenditure and R&D personnel. The performance ratio on exports however, was slightly lower for NRC-IRAP clients than SMEs in general. The NRC-IRAP Senior Leadership Team deemed these findings were valuable and authorized a similar national benchmarking study, which will be undertaken in 2007-2008.

Networking Outcomes
Enhanced SME connections to technology and business networks

  • The expertise within the NRC-IRAP ITA cross-Canada network represents technology and its application strength for assisting SMEs. In addition, SME-ITA relationships are fundamental to the success of the Program. The extensive relationships that NRC-IRAP has cultivated over time with stakeholders and players in the innovation system also make the Program a key national enabler of industrial innovation.
  • All NRC-IRAP regions continue to provide contribution funds to organizations, which complement NRC-IRAP's core advisory services, serve to provide an array of innovation and business services to SMEs. NRC-IRAP Pacific provided a contribution agreement to the BC Technology Industries Association (BC TIA) for the Market Readiness Program, which is designed to help companies get ready for the marketplace. There are 11 companies participating with 8 from greater Vancouver, 1 from Victoria and 2 from Kelowna. All of the companies continued with this program.
  • NRC-IRAP West supported a contribution agreement with the Composites Innovation Centre to lead a mission to Grand Forks, North Dakota and Winona, Minnesota in October 2006 to increase networking amongst Manitoba and western Canadian SMEs and organizations, and stimulate linkages with companies and organizations in north central U.S. states. Thirty-five Canadian firms participated in the mission, as well as the Executive Director of the National Composite Network in the UK and a senior representative from the U.S. National Composite Centre. There were 234 new leads reported, 8 participants are investigating new opportunities, 82% of participants obtained new ideas for investigating, developing and/or introducing new materials and technologies, and 75% would be contacting the Composites Innovation Centre to discuss new projects and opportunities.
  • NRC-IRAP Ontario provided a contribution to MaRS to establish an Ontario Regional Business Mentoring Network to deliver business mentoring services to SMEs in Ontario's 12 regional innovation networks. In 2006-2007, MaRS assisted 63 firms throughout Ontario and in 10 of 12 regional innovation networks. MaRS is a not-for-profit corporation founded by leaders from the business and public sectors to improve commercial outcomes from Canada's foundation of science and technology innovation. MaRS connects and fosters collaboration between communities of science, business and capital through both co-location in the MaRS Centre and more broadly through catalytic programs, structured networks and the MaRS web portal.
  • NRC-IRAP Quebec provided a contribution to the Universit du Qubec Trois-Rivires to provide a service of value chain cartography. This service, supervised by a professor, is offered by engineering students to SMEs. The students identify which steps of the firm's fabrication processes can be improved in terms of cycle time and production costs. A total of 16 cartographies were done in 2006-2007 and clients were satisfied with these services.
  • NRC IRAP Atlantic and Nunavut was instrumental in establishing a successful hub of information and communications technologies (ICT) activity in the predominantly francophone area of northern New Brunswick. The ITA worked with the INA and other community stakeholders to establish the Centre de recherche et dveloppment en <internationalization> et en <localization> (CIDIF), a not-for-profit organization with the purpose of bringing together ICT SMEs with varied areas of specialization to offer services collaboratively. This will enable these SMEs to diversify their market, gain access to larger mandates and grow their business to a level where they can consider investment in R&D and commercialization.

Increased innovation-related services available to SMEs

  • 230 field delivery staff provides customized ongoing technical advisory services and, in many cases, financial assistance. In total 8,432 firms across Canada received NRC-IRAP assistance in 2006-2007.
  • Funded innovation through contributions to 1,906 clients (including 732 new firms) and 2,293 projects of which 1,333 projects were new in 2006-2007:
    • $66.09 million NRC-IRAP contributions made to SMEs and Youth Initiatives, of which $1.05 million came from DEC funds and $0.47 million from Atlantic Initiatives funds.
    • $11.58 million conditionally repayable contributions through IRAP-TPC pre-commercialization assistance program designed to help SMEs develop new and improved technological products, processes or services. The Technology Partnerships Canada Program expired on December 31, 2006. NRC-IRAP stopped new IRAP-TPC investments as of April 1, 2006. In FY 2006-07, NRC-IRAP funded 458 on-going IRAP-TPC projects. Investments in this portfolio will continue for at least two more years to honor future commitments and amounts to $4.72 million for 83 active projects.
    • $10.53 million to organizations providing technical and research assistance to Canadian Industry, of which $0.51million came from DEC funds and $0.50 million came from Atlantic Initiatives funds.
  • NSERC & BDC – In early 2007, the presidents of the NRC, NSERC and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), recognizing the opportunity to build on the complementary strengths of their three organizations in the area of commercialization, committed to working together to: 1) Strengthen Canadian SMEs' ability to use and profit from publicly funded expertise, technology and facilities; 2) Enhance the exploitation of the results of public investments in public sector R&D; and 3) Increase the potential for success of new high tech start ups. In support of these guiding principles, NRC, NSERC and the BDC have identified a series of high impact activities. Examples of immediate actions include:
    • A Steering Committee, consisting of Vice-Presidents from each of NRC, NSERC, and BDC, was formed in February 2007, in order to implement this commitment. An aggressive Action Plan was developed and working groups to carry out the Action Plan were formed.
    • NRC-IRAP has co-located ITAs in BDC offices in Vancouver and will locate ITAs within four more BDC offices in addition to the BDC Vancouver office in order to increase understanding and utilization of respective competencies and capabilities. NSERC is working towards co-location of some of its regional office staff in NRC-IRAP and/or BDC offices.
    • Given the large number of firms that use both NRC-IRAP and BDC Venture Capital financing, there is duplication within the respective due diligence and authorization process. To improve the effectiveness of these processes, NRC-IRAP and BDC will evaluate the possibility of exchanging due diligence information and the harmonization of audit and authorization processes for such companies through a "fast track" approach. Trial projects and teams were identified for such evaluation.

Greater number and stronger innovation players with increased consortia within the community

  • NRC-IRAP contributed $10.53 million to organizations, maintained formal linkages with more than 146 of Canada's leading public and private research and technology-based organizations. Every NRC-IRAP region continued to have active relations with key innovation support organizations Examples include:
  • In NRC-IRAP Pacific, the British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association and the British Columbia Shellfish Growers Association received NRC-IRAP and BC government support to hire a Research and Development Coordinator (RDC). In 2006-2007, NRC-IRAP contributed $111,000 to support the two RDCs. With the placement of the two RDCs, linkages were made with the Atlantic Network of RDCs to allow collaborative research on a national scale. During 2006 research priorities were exchanged in the interest of building national collaboration and a national research funding matrix was developed. The RDCs have been very effective in delivering many benefits to industry by developing and communicating industry supportive research and by bringing together industry, government and academia to focus on common R&D priorities.
  • In NRC-IRAP West, NRC-IRAP supported a contribution agreement with the Saskatchewan Advanced Technology Association (SATA) to help SMEs better understand their competitive and technological environment and future by accessing competitive intelligence expertise and services relevant to their technology growth plans and strategies and supported the establishment and development of the Saskatchewan Angel Investor Network (SAINT) to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and investors. SATA assisted 12 SMEs through the provision of consultative services to define client needs and project scope, identification of appropriate expertise and monitoring of project progress. SAINT assisted 45 SMEs in the development of business opportunity submissions to potential investors. Seven SMEs were introduced to investors, with three receiving investment.
  • NRC-IRAP Ontario along with the Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Ministry of Research and Innovation supported the Health Technologies Exchange (HTX), Markham in its efforts to bring together SMEs and academic/hospital research organizations. This is a three-year initiative that started late in 2006. Seven projects were initiated in 2006-2007.
  • In NRC-IRAP Quebec, Enviroclub is an initiative of Dveloppement conomiqueCanada pour les rgions du Qubec (DEC), Environment Canada and NRC-IRAP. Enviroclub is a group of companies from a given region who each receive the expertise and funding to: 1) conduct an in-plant pollution prevention project that reduces production costs; 2) improve their environmental performance and 3) increase their knowledge through environmental management workshops and a network of professional contacts. From 2000 to April 2007, twenty-one Enviroclubs have been launched, each comprising about fifteen participating companies. Participants include manufacturers of commodities ranging from hydroponic tomatoes to lumber, clothing, kitchen cabinetry, packaging materials, aluminium tubing, cleaning products and more. All have seen their profits rise. Through Enviroclub, more than 230 Quebec manufacturers have increased their profitability while making their production processes more environmentally benign.
  • NRC-IRAP Atlantic and Nunavut undertook a significant regional evaluation of its contributions to innovation support organizations. The study was completed in 2006. A total of 32 organizations participated as well as 100 SMEs and 13 ITAs. The recipient organizations reported a total of 1,534 clients, 954 of which received significant services. SMEs clearly indicated that the contribution of NRC-IRAP played a critical role at an important point in time.
  • NRC-IRAP has been collaborating with Entrepreneurs' Forum (EF), for the past 10 years. Through EF SMEs across Atlantic Canada may access valuable services such as confidential business mentoring and advice from experienced business people. Encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs is critical to building new, innovative businesses and developing a strong economy in Atlantic Canada. Currently, EF has offices in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2006-07, EF conducted 115 client consultations and 32 advisory sessions across Atlantic Canada. To date, outcomes of NRC-IRAP's support for EF include an increased opportunity for clients to make meaningful contacts in the business and professional community and to get strategic advice from people who have "been there and done that."
  • NRC-IRAP maintained linkages with Canada's universities, colleges, government laboratories, technological innovations organizations and the private sector in order to bring a holistic approach to address NRC-IRAP clients' needs in what might otherwise be considered a fragmented innovation system.
  • Formally, through contribution agreements or through informal networks based on effective relationships, NRC-IRAP worked with local stakeholders across Canada to increase support for SMEs involved in either or both NRC-led clusters or other technology clusters, strengthen the innovation infrastructure, reinforce existing innovation agenda, and facilitate coordination among cluster players.

Increased understanding of international opportunities
Assisted SMEs in connecting with international programs, sources of technology and technical intelligence:

  • NRC-IRAP continued to maintain close relationships with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT). In 2006 on-going discussions were initiated to establish closer links and collaboration between NRC-IRAP and DFAIT as well as between ITAs and DFAIT staff. An example of collaboration includes the Canada Open House with Scandinavian countries and The Netherlands, which is a technology matchmaking initiative. NRC-IRAP met with appropriate pre-selected Scandinavian science parks managers to interview and to identify potential foreign SMEs with the purpose of attempting to match them with Canadian firms. This international model and practice was initiated by the NRC-IRAP INA in the Atlantic/Nunavut region with a DFAIT S&T Counselor in Copenhagen. Since 2003, 26 science parks in six Scandinavian countries and The Netherlands were visited with 80 firms interviewed. An analysis and report will be prepared and future directions for this initiative will be discussed in 2007-2008.
  • NRC-IRAP participates actively in the Interdepartmental Network on International S&T, which is led by DFAIT and has participation from NRC, science-based departments and agencies, Industry Canada, Networks of Centres of Excellence, granting councils, the Office of National Science Advisor and others. The purpose of this network is to share information and discuss collaboration opportunities. Furthermore, NRC-IRAP is in preliminary discussions with DFAIT on potential strategies to involve NRC-IRAP in ERA-CAN for the benefit of SMEs. The ERA-CAN Project involves the dissemination of information on Canada's S&T capabilities to Europeans and those of the European Union (EU) to Canadian researchers in order to encourage research collaborations between Canada and the EU.
  • NRC-IRAP also works with DFAIT in assessing commercialization opportunities for Russian projects in Russia, and in assessing potential funding to projects from Canada.
  • An ITA was seconded to Kiev, Ukraine under the Science and Technology Centre in the Ukraine (STCU) former weapons scientist program. This is part of a MOU between DFAIT and NRC for the redirection of former weapons scientists under the Global Partnership Program managed by DFAIT. In March 2007, this ITA left NRC-IRAP and continues to be Deputy Director of this program in Kiev.

Increased adoption/commercialization/collaboration with respect to international endeavours

  • In FY 2006-2007, 10 international outgoing missions were organized to 16 countries (EU, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, U.S., Mexico, Israel). Five incoming missions were organized. As a result of these initiatives, there were 10 technology partnerings.
  • NRC-IRAP Pacific Region is actively involved with Asia, in particular China where NRC-IRAP has three active MOUs with S&T commissions (Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong). There was a successful Green Technology Ministerial mission to China in January 2007, where a delegation of Canadian firms in the Hydrogen Fuel Cells (HFC) sector participated. Afterwards, there was a broad industry consultation in order to plan joint R&D collaborations involving NRC-IFCI and the SMEs. This resulted in the identification of potential R&D collaborations which are presently being developed.
  • As part of the 2006 MOU signed between NRC-IRAP and the Spanish "Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology", the CANADEKA program was launched in 2006. CANADEKA is a joint program to support international cooperation. Four Ontario based firms have already applied under the program.
  • In 2005, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII, India) and NRC-IRAP signed an MOU for three years, which established a framework to encourage S&T based collaborations between the SME communities in Canada and India. Initial areas of focus included life sciences, renewable energies and nanotechnology. A formal partnering session was carried out under CII/NRC-IRAP MOU involving 6 NRC-IRAP companies for partnering discussions in area of application of life sciences to address rural issues. As a result, two collaborations in the areas of food safety and molecular diagnostics were identified and were advanced. NRC-IRAP is also working with NRC International Relations Office (NRC-IRO) for a NRC wide strategy for India including potential NRC-IRAP involvement with the International S&T Partnerships Program and the recent NRC MOU with India's Department of Biotechnology.
  • Building on previous relationship building efforts, NRC-IRAP and Enterprise Ireland signed a Letter of Agreement in October 2006. The purpose of this agreement is to promote technology partnering between Irish and Canadian firms. Preliminary discussions have been held between Irish and Canadian firms for potential collaborations.
  • In 2006, Canada officially accepted ERA-Net EurotransBio as a partner. DFAIT is leading this initiative with NRC-IRAP as the SME liaison. The purpose of this partnership is to facilitate international collaborative research projects. The second call for proposals is underway.
 

millions of dollars

 

7) Actual Spending 2004-05

8) Actual Spending 2005-06

9) Planned Spending 2006-07

10) Total Authorities 2006-07

11) Actual Spending 2006-07

12) Variance(s) between 9 and 11

Support for Innovation and the National Science and Technology Infrastructure

13) Program Activity (PA)

           

14) Total Grants

           

14) Contributions

83.6

79.0

71.2

80.1

76.6

(5.4)

14) Total Other Types of TPs

           

15) Total PA

83.6

79.0

71.2

80.1

76.6

(5.4)

16) Comment(s) on Variance(s):  the ($5.4M) variance is principally attributed to additional funding received from Industry Canada for SMEs that were not planned for at the time of the RPP.

17) Significant Evaluation Findings:
NRC-IRAP has helped to increase the innovation and financial performance of Canadian SMEs:

  • Approximately 12,364 NRC-IRAP funded projects culminated in 39,186 new/ significantly improved products/ services or processes over 1996-2001 — approximately 3.2 innovations per NRC-IRAP funded project;
  • Approximately $11.3 billion actual sales revenues are linked to NRC-IRAP-assisted innovations--$4.2 billion attributable to NRC-IRAP over 1996-2001 and equivalent to 11 times NRC-IRAP's total contributions to client projects during this period;
  • Approximately $37.6 billion forecasted future sales revenues are linked to NRC-IRAP-assisted innovations — $14 billion attributable to NRC-IRAP during the remainder of clients' innovation life cycles; and
  • Approximately 32,600 actual additional jobs are linked to NRC-IRAP-assisted innovations — 12,025 jobs attributable to NRC-IRAP over 1996-2001 and equivalent to $32,000 of NRC-IRAP contributions per job created during this period.1

NRC-IRAP has also provided value and wealth creation for Canada:

  • Approximately 37% of its client innovations are considered 'World Firsts', 66% 'Firsts in Canada', and 96% 'Firsts in the Firm;
  • Its contributions to client projects are associated with total investments for all phases of the clients' innovation projects equivalent to approximately 12.5 times NRC-IRAP's contributions2--firms' own equity make up almost 50% of these investments;
  • Estimates from the evaluation's socio-economic analysis study, indicate that NRC-IRAP provides the public with value for money - its contributions provide a return to the federal government in the form of present and future corporate income taxes valued at approximately 11 times the value of NRC-IRAP's contributions3; and
  • NRC-IRAP is recognized by clients as the top government technology support program and the top external source of information (outside of firms' supply chain and publicly available information).

1 - Data on number of innovations have been extrapolated to IRAP project population of 14,564; data on sales revenues and jobs are based on survey of 684 IRAP clients extrapolated to IRAP client population of 9,158; average client innovation cycle estimated at 10 years; attribution to IRAP is based on 37% incrementality of IRAP funding; total IRAP contributions to client projects for 1996-2001 was $386 million.
2 - Data on additional investments have been extrapolated to IRAP project population of 14,564 and include investments for all phases of clients' projects that may not have been assisted by IRAP.
3 - Data on return to government is based on economic modeling of 26 individual IRAP client cases, including modeling of client actual annual revenues, expected future revenues over remainder of innovation life cycle, fixed and variable costs, profits, machinery/equipment depreciation, 33% corporate income tax rate, 6% social discount rate and 38.4% corporate income tax attribution to IRAP.

URL to 2001-2002 evaluation report:  http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/aboutUs/audit_irap_e.html

1) Name of Transfer Payment Program: Tri-University Meson Facility (TRIUMF)

2) Start Date:  1976

3) End Date:  31 March 2010

4) Description: TRIUMF, Canada's national facility for research in subatomic physics, is located on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. It has been operated since 1968 by a consortium of four Western universities – the University of Alberta, Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria, and the University of British Columbia – under a joint venture agreement.

A fifth university, Carleton, joined the consortium on April 1, 2000 and the University of Toronto became the sixth member in April 2005. Seven additional universities (Regina, Manitoba, Guelph, McMaster, Queen's, St. Mary's and Montreal) are associate members. The University of Montreal has applied to join the consortium as a full member as of April 1, 2007.

TRIUMF houses a particle accelerator that is used to produce energetic beams of mesons and other subatomic particles required for fundamental research in nuclear and particle physics by Canadian and foreign researchers. This research lays the foundation for new technologies in the physical and life sciences, and the facility is a major contributor to advanced materials research in Canada and abroad.

TRIUMF functions as a national laboratory and as Canada's gateway to international subatomic physics. It is Canada's contribution to the worldwide network of high-energy physics facilities located in major countries in the industrialized world.

5) Strategic Outcomes:

  • Maintain the TRIUMF laboratory as a national facility for sub‑atomic physics, and provide support for an ongoing experimental program at TRIUMF, including the auxiliary programs in materials science, life sciences, and medical therapy;
  • Construct and operate an expanded Isotope Separation and Acceleration facility (ISAC‑II) to provide for an innovative research program in nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, materials science and life sciences;
  • Act as Canada's main connection with the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), and supply components which will form Canada's contribution to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the A Toroidal LHC Apparatus (ATLAS) detector, at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, in order that Canadian scientists can become involved in research programs at the forefront of particle physics;
  • Provide infrastructure support to the Canadian sub‑atomic physics research community; and
  • Maximize the economic benefits of the federal Government's investment in TRIUMF to Canadian companies through pro‑active technology transfer activities, contracts and procurement policies.

6) Results Achieved:
TRIUMF has had a very productive year. A few of the highlights of the year include but are not limited to:
Scientific Results

  • First experiment with an accelerated rare lithium isotope in ISAC-II. This unique experiment, using the experimental apparatus MAYA, successfully probed the structure of the nucleus Lithium-11 by a two-neutron transfer reaction. This was a singular achievement.
  • First experiment with the TIGRESS apparatus, using the initial two of the planned 12 germanium detectors.
  • Publication of unique data by the Muon Spin Resonance group concerning the microscopic behaviour of materials under high pressure using a new technique associated with the muon spin probe.
  • Publication of the results of the TWIST experiment, devoted to the precision decay of the muon. These results now constitute the world's standard for this important decay process.

Technical and Experimental Apparatus Results

  • Successful commissioning of the first phase of the ISAC-II accelerators. This system is now unique in the world.
  • Successful development in Beta Nuclear Magnetic Resonance of a new experimental technique, "Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance" for probing the internal structure of new materials.
  • Establishment of the CERN-TRIUMF fast data link and the initial instrumentation needed for the Canadian Tier-1 Data Centre.
  • Successful manufacture of 10,000 detector elements needed for the Canadian contribution to the neutrino experiment T2K being undertaken in Japan. This experiment is a natural follow-on experiment from the successful Sudbury Neutrino Observatory experiment.
  • 4,300 hours of beam time involving different rare and exotic isotopes were produced by the ISAC facilities
  • The TITAN experimental apparatus finished initial beam commissioning and is on schedule for mass measurements in late summer 2007.
 

millions of dollars

 

7) Actual Spending 2004-05

8) Actual Spending 2005-06

9) Planned Spending 2006-07

10) Total Authorities 2006-07

11) Actual Spending 2006-07

12) Variance(s) between 9 and 11

Research and Technology Innovation

13) Program Activity (PA)

           

14) Total Grants

           

14) Contributions

40.0

44.0

51.8

51.8

45.5

6.3

14) Total Other Types of TPs

           

15) Total PA

40.0

44.0

51.8

51.8

45.5

6.3

16) Comment(s) on Variance(s): the $6.3M variance is principally attributed to a $6.2M frozen allotment for TRIUMF.

17) Significant Evaluation Findings:
The Review Committee endorses without reservation the proposed five-year scientific research program with its well-defined priorities. The Committee considers the proposed research program to be of the highest quality.

The Committee commends the process by which the Five-Year Plan was developed, in particular, the continued and major involvement of the Canadian science community.

TRIUMF has undergone a major reorientation over the last decade from a hadron facility primarily for medium-energy nuclear physics to a laboratory with a two-fold research mission: i) an internal program based on the 500 MeV cyclotron, primarily the ISAC facility, to provide intense beams of short-lived nuclei for nuclear astrophysics and physics of nuclei far from stability; plus important programs in molecular, materials, and life sciences; ii) an external program directed towards the major opportunities in particle physics expected from future facilities, in particular the LHC at CERN. In addition, TRIUMF has developed a vigorous and successful technology transfer, educational and public awareness program.

In the Committee's opinion, the laboratory has successfully mastered the many critical issues underlying its difficult transition and is now well positioned to assume its dual role in the internal and the external programs.

Technical developments, in particular the successful construction of ISAC, as well as programmatic structures are now well aligned to allow major contributions to the respective areas of research. The proposed Five-Year Plan effectively translates the general goals of the science into a detailed and well-planned program.

The Committee believes that, based on these developments, TRIUMF provides new and important opportunities in its traditional role of supporting Canadian university research and increasingly attracts scientists from the international community.

The leadership, technical, and management structure in place at the laboratory are well suited to successfully carrying out the five-year program.

The Committee considers the requested funding support appropriate and necessary. Any reduction would unavoidably result in the loss of important science for TRIUMF and the Canadian scientific community at large.

URL to 2003-2004 peer review report:  http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/aboutUs/audit_e.html

1) Name of Transfer Payment Program: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), Gemini Telescopes

2) Start Date:  1978 (CFHT)

3) End Date:  December 2012 (National Science Foundation of the U.S. in support of the Gemini Telescopes)

4) Description: NRC, in partnership with other international bodies, provides financial contributions that support the management and operations of these telescopes and their related facilities, and participates in the oversight and direction of the facilities and research.
Astrophysics research and development requires large, costly and very precise telescopes and related instruments situated in areas that will provide ideal viewing conditions. It is beyond the capacity of individual firms or even countries to support the costs of developing and maintaining the facilities required for astrophysics research, thus it is necessary for public sector organizations, through international partnerships, to support this R&D.

5) Strategic Outcomes:

Objectives:

  • Increase Canada's access to and beneficial sharing of world-class facilities and expertise in astrophysics;
  • Increase scientific collaboration among Canada and partner countries;
  • increase training opportunities for Canadian scientists and researchers;
  • Increase opportunities for Canadian researchers and firms to develop instrumentation; and
  • Increase knowledge and understanding of the universe by the observation and study of the heavenly bodies.

Immediate Outcomes:

  • Access to forefront facilities and technology is provided to Canadian astronomers.
  • Facilities are made available to qualified students so they can advance their training.
  • New technologies are developed as part of developing new concepts for new telescopes and instruments.
  • Timely publication of results is facilitated.
  • Telescope data is effectively used.

Intermediate Outcomes:

  • As a member of G8 and OECD, Canada plays a prominent role in international, scientific endeavors.
  • Scientific benefit of telescopes to the Canadian and worldwide community is maximized.
  • Canadian industry has increased opportunities to participate in advanced scientific projects, and increased opportunities to benefit.
  • New technology is transferred to industry

Ultimate Outcomes:

  • Knowledge about the universe and the objects within is acquired.
  • Canada's position among the world's leaders in astronomy is enhanced and sustained.

6) Results Achieved:
Large-scale infrastructure is the backbone of modern astrophysical research. Since 1970, Canada has established an enviable position from its strategic investment in forefront facilities. Besides maintaining critical infrastructure within Canada, NRC's contributions to three major international facilities provide Canadian researchers with access to forefront research opportunities in the optical and sub-mm spectral windows. Approximately 40% of the continuing NRC-HIA budget is passed through to these offshore facilities as defined contributions to their operating costs. NRC-HIA scientists, engineers and technicians also develop innovative scientific instruments for partner observatories. Access to the best observatories, equipped with the best instruments, is a major factor in maintaining Canada's rank among the top three nations in the world in astronomy. Astronomy is "Big Science" and the leverage of international partnerships opens large and challenging projects to Canadian industry. NRC-HIA actively seeks industrial participation in its projects and facilitates their engagement in other projects and related business ventures that make use of NRC technical and scientific expertise.

NRC‑HIA scientists play a leading role in ensuring that the facilities Canada supports remain competitive on the world stage. The GMOS spectrographs, built by NRC-HIA for Gemini, produce the highest impact science from Gemini. In 2006, NRC‑HIA, working with partner laboratories, won a large contract (U.S. $6.3 million) to participate in construction of the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). The Gemini Planet Imager, the first of Gemini's Aspen Program instruments to be funded, was formally started in June. The GPI, when completed in 2010, will be the world's most powerful instrument for directly detecting the images of planets around nearby stars. NRC-HIA is engaged in developing the Gemini adaptive optics system (Altair, also built at NRC-HIA) for use with laser guide stars, and Institute scientific staff are among the very first users of this capability. The system will permit images to be taken with Gemini that are approximately three times sharper than those made with the Hubble Space Telescope. The success of these projects not only benefits Canadian scientists but also the Gemini partnership. NRC-HIA's established expertise in adaptive optics technology, developed initially for the CFHT and now for Gemini, is the foundation for the more advanced work on the Thirty Metre Telescope adaptive optics system.

Scientific papers using data from GMOS + Altair represent close to 50% of all the Gemini papers published to date".

The Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC)
In 2006, more than 106 refereed publications acknowledged use of the CADC. CADC has continued to implement systems that improve data access for researchers, including:

  • Release of a proprietary access mechanism for CFHT Legacy Survey Virtual Observatory (VO) products so that data can now be accessed using VO tools during its proprietary period.
  • Continued development of the Gemini Science Data Archives, including a new contract to develop Gemini Advanced Image Products.
  • Continuing work with the JCMT to implement a data management and archive service for the planned JCMT Legacy Surveys using new instruments.
  • File transfer improvements between the Gemini telescopes and CADC resulting in raw Gemini datasets being available to authorized users within 15 minutes of acquisition.

Outreach
School programs are a key priority, with 354 programs given to 4,116 students from 90 schools on Vancouver Island in the past year. Over 15,000 visitors attended other programs at NRC-HIA, including the very popular summer season Star Parties, which include public access to the historic Plaskett Telescope.

Collaboration with Industry
NRC-HIA has unique expertise in creating the specialized instrumentation required for astronomy. In developing the precision instruments needed for the observatories in which it is a partner, NRC-HIA engages Canadian industry to manufacture these to their specifications, opening doors to new opportunities for partner firms.

  • Through its work with NRC-HIA, Nanowave Technologies Inc. has been positioned to supply amplifiers to the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA), an astronomical instrument to be composed of 23 radio telescopes managed by a consortium of U.S. universities.
  • A major contract has been awarded to Breconridge Manufacturing Solutions of Ontario to supply the large circuit boards that will form the heart of the U.S. National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico.
  • Empire Dynamic Structures of BC is positioned for contracts upward of $100 million to design the telescope structure and enclosure systems for the internationally managed Thirty Metre Telescope.
 

millions of dollars

 

7) Actual Spending 2004-05

8) Actual Spending 2005-06

9) Planned Spending 2006-07

10) Total Authorities 2006-07

11) Actual Spending 2006-07

12) Variance(s) between 9 and 11

Research and Technology Innovation

13) Program Activity (PA)

           

14) Total Grants

           

14) Total Contributions

10.8

9.4

12.6

12.6

12.6

-

14) Total Other Types of TPs

           

15) Total PA

10.8

9.4

12.6

12.6

12.6

-

16) Comment(s) on Variance(s): No explanation required.

17) Significant Evaluation Findings: In fiscal years 2005-2006 and 2006-2007, the elements of the LRP supported by NRC-HIA in the first five years of implementation were evaluated. The following recommendations are based on the findings and conclusions from the evaluation report.

Recommendation 1: NRC-HIA should develop a succession plan to ensure that research capacity at the Institute is not weakened with upcoming potential retirements of staff.

Recommendation 2: There should be increased emphasis and efforts at NRC-HIA to systematically identify Canadian companies to be included in the work undertaken by the Institute for large international telescope project funded through the LRP.

Recommendation 3: NRC-HIA should take into consideration the perceived concerns regarding the weakening of astronomical research at the Institute and, if determined to be valid, should take action to remedy the situation.

Recommendation 4: NRC should secure funds for the remainder of the work assigned to NRC-HIA as outlined in the LRP and Mid-term Review documents to ensure that positive impacts continue.

Recommendation 5: The next round of funding received to implement the LRP should be tracked separately in NRC-HIA's financial system.

Recommendation 6: The difficulties of financially managing LRP long-term "Big Science" projects commitments within a five-year planning cycle should be reviewed in light of a recommended framework by the Office of the National Science Advisor (ONSA).

Recommendation 7: If a second round of LRP funding is awarded, NRC should consider conducting a return on investment analysis and benefit-cost analysis, in coordination with other LRP-funded federal government organizations. If undertaken, these studies should be completed in advance of the next evaluation.