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Launch of new R&D agency ‘very positive’ news

By Jeff Green | May 13, 2009

The creation of a new Crown entity dedicated to enhancing this province’s research and development capacity augers well for the work of Memorial researchers, said Dr. Ray Gosine, vice-president (research), pro tempore.

The provincial government launched the Research and Development Corporation (RDC) during a news conference on May 13 in St. John’s.

According to government, the RDC will work with, and encourage collaboration among research and development stakeholders including academia, industry, and government agencies and departments.

Its mandate will be to strengthen the focus, quantity, quality and relevance of research and development undertaken in the province and elsewhere for the long-term economic benefit of the province.

“The RDC vision is shared by Memorial,” said Dr. Gosine. “The first-class and innovative research being conducted by our faculty, staff and students helps shape our province and the world we live in. You have to look no further than the new technologies we’re developing to improve quality of life or the work our researchers are doing to protect our environment or understand our heritage to see clearly how Memorial’s research is having a lasting effect.”

Memorial led the country in research income growth from 2002-’07 and with close to $90 million in external research revenue awarded annually to Memorial, its researchers are doing important work, said Dr. Gosine.

A commitment to outstanding research is a key component to Memorial’s mission and its Strategic Plan 2007-2012. The university is committed to creating a vibrant culture of scholarly inquiry, where knowledge is created and transformed with excitement, creativity and rigor, noted Dr. Gosine.

The new corporation will operate at arm’s length from government but with responsibility for providing advice and leadership within government.

“The Research and Development Corporation will continue to build R&D capacity in our academic institutions and research facilities through the Industrial Research and Innovation Fund (IRIF),” said Glenn Janes, chief executive officer of the RDC. “We are also introducing new programs to foster R&D growth within industry.”

Through the provincial government’s budget for 2009, the Research and Development Corporation was allocated $25 million. In addition to the $10 million for IRIF, the RDC recognizes the need to focus resources on building R&D capacity in the private sector.

More information about the RDC is available online.