Editorial - 17-6

Guest Contributor
April 16, 2003

The Ontario government has taken a courageous stand in the fight against cancer with what is possibly the single largest research investment in the province’s history. The Cancer Research Institute of Ontario (CRIO) represents a bold step forward in capitalizing on existing strength in cancer research as well as a forward-looking approach to economic development.

CRIO builds upon previous investments in the Ontario Cancer Research Network and the province’s support of the Medical and Related Sciences (MaRS) real estate project in downtown Toronto. There’s clearly a sophisticated long-term strategy at work here that takes into account a solid basic research base and an emerging capacity to exploit it.

Then there’s Alberta, a similarly wealthy province that also has aspirations on becoming a powerful hub of a Canadian knowledge-based economy. Alberta’s S&T community has been working with government to develop strategic plans for the sectors in which it has existing strengths, but there’s a seeming reluctance to fund specific initiatives.

A recent report provides plenty of ammunition for making strategic investments and enhancing the business climate to encourage more R&D and commercialization. It’s now up to the Klein government to step up to the plate and take action. The resource economy has been good to Alberta but the knowledge economy is the path towards sustained wealth and growth. Making the necessary investments now will ensure that future generations are well equipped to compete and prosper.

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