The State of Science and Technology in Canada

Strength in science and technology is considered to be essential for a modern country’s ongoing capacity to innovate and compete in the knowledge-based global economy. Strength in science and technology determines our ability to compete for increasingly mobile resources of people and investment capital and to participate in global knowledge-sharing networks that operate at the leading edge of both science and technology development. In June 2006, the Government of Canada asked the Council of Canadian Academies to explore Canada’s strengths and weaknesses in the area of science and technology.

The final report of the Committee on Science and Technology in Canada described the strength of the principal building blocks of Canada’s science and technology system. It identified areas where Canada appears to be comparatively weak or declining in science and technology capacity. It also identified four areas or “clusters” of Canadian strength – natural resources, information and communications technologies, health and related life sciences and technologies and environmental technologies.

These four areas of strength have since been adopted by the Government of Canada as part of its science and technology strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage.

Assessment question

Industry Canada would welcome the advice of the Council in gaining a better understanding of Canada’s S&T strengths can capacity. In particular, it would be helpful to better understand:

  • the scientific disciplines in which Canada excels in a global context;
  • the technology applications where Canada excels in a global context;
  • the S&T infrastructure that currently provides Canada with unique advantages; and
  • the scientific disciplines and technological applications that have the potential to emerge as areas of prominent strength for Canada and generate significant economical or social benefits.

Report and related publications

The Committee on Science and Technology in Canada

The Committee convened in August 2006 and was chaired by Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Special Advisor, Nuclear Waste Management Organization. For a complete list of committee members visit the Committee on Science and Technology in Canada Membership page.

For additional information or media inquiries, please contact:

Samantha Rae Ayoub, Communications and Publishing Director, at 613-567-5000 ext. 256 or

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