Innovation and the 2017 Budget


We thought we would try something different this year. A lot of really good articles have been written about the 2017 Canadian Federal Budget. Rather than highlighting key points like in previous years, we’ve decided to refer you to those articles that provide a good explanation of key points of the budget.

  1. Betakit has done an excellent job itemizing the key funding points in the 2017 budget. http://betakit.com/budget2017-calls-for-950-million-towards-superclusters-national-ai-strategy/
  2. The budget has announced increased funding for accelerators and incubators, somewhat controversially. Here is a great counterpoint on the need for funding more business incubators. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/startups/tech-leaders-question-the-need-for-more-funding-for-business-incubators/article33631229/
  3. Much has been made about the new support for AI and related technologies in the budget. This money will primarily be handled by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). Little known outside of academic circles, heres some more information about how CIFAR will use government money to advance AI, as seen through their pre-budget consultation. http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/HOC/Committee/421/FINA/Brief/BR8398149/br-external/CanadianInstituteForAdvancedResearch-e.pdf
  4. Speaking of academic circles, little to no new money was announced for basic research. This article delves into what to expect in basic research going forward. http://www.universityaffairs.ca/news/news-article/budget-2017-highlights-innovation-skills-adds-no-new-funds-basic-research/
  5. For a full copy of the budget, please see http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/plan/budget-2017-en.pdf

At the moment, we at MCN are reserving judgement on the 2017 budget. While it is nice to see innovation receiving more attention from the government, we have yet to see exactly how the money will be used. In the coming weeks and months, we expect to see a more concrete plan laid out through agencies such as the NRC, CRA and FedDev with respect to how funds will be made available to companies. We’ll wait till then before we give our stamp of approval.