Canada’s Fundamental Science Review recommends legislation to create a new National Advisory Council on Research and Innovation (NACRI) to provide broad oversight of the federal research and innovation ecosystems. NACRI will have to replace the current external advisory body, the Science, Technology, and Innovation Council (STIC), as it has no independent reporting authority and a constrained disciplinary mandate.
The Review acknowledges the imminent appointment of a new Chief Science Advisor (CSA) for Canada as a major step forward. NACRI is expected to work closely with CSA.
NACRI’s major responsibilities would be as follows.
- advice to the Prime Minister and Cabinet on federal spending as well as broad goals and priorities for research and innovation;
- improving the coordination and strategic alignment of different elements of federal support for research and innovation;
- evaluation of the overall performance of the extramural research enterprise;
- public reporting and outreach on matters determined by the Council;
- confidential or public advice on other matters as requested by the Government of Canada;
- a foresight function for research and innovation;
- in concert with the CSA, ongoing advice on (i) the effectiveness of extramural research agencies and the intramural research groups, and (ii) the facilitation of collaboration among them and with the extramural research realm;
- advice on unusual requests for research support that fall outside the usual remit of the granting councils and CFI; and
- liaison with parallel bodies in provinces and territories and internationally as appropriate.