The Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) has posted an updated report (available on its website) providing highlights of federal funding mechanisms for research and innovation relevant to the mining industry in Canada. “Highlight — Federal Funding Mechanisms Relevant to Mining Research and Innovation — Update,” includes information on 16 federal departments and not-for-profit entities that provide funding and programs that offer support for mining industry innovation efforts.
The report was updated this year following the announcement of the 2010 budget. Additions of note include:
- Office of Energy, Research and Development’s Clean Energy Fund — $1 billion over five years; and its Green Infrastructure Fund — $1 billion over five years
- Geological mapping investing in new exploration technologies for deep deposits — $12 million over two years (2010 to 2012)
- National Research Council Regional Innovation Clusters to foster knowledge-based partnerships, helping regions and communities to build competitive advantage — $135 million over two years (2010 to 2012)
- Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) — $50 million over five years (2009 to 2013)
The key findings of the report suggest that few federal research and innovation funding programs are targeted specifically for the mining industry. Rather, most programs are open to strong competition across several sectors, particularly the environment, natural resources, energy, health, and information and communications technologies. Because of this competition, stakeholders are making major efforts to achieve greater success in winning programmatic funding by improving collaboration among various stakeholders and by aligning efforts with government priorities and directions.
The report also indicates that many sectors have developed, or are developing, technology “roadmaps” and strategies that identify priorities for research and development, which most federal programs require be identified. There are wide variations between sectors in their description of R&D priorities and the underlying analysis. CMIC is actively working with the mining sector to increase collaboration and to identify needs and priorities on the subjects of energy, exploration and tailings.
Finally, recognizing that the environment, energy, health and safety, and information and communications technologies frequently fall under the direction of agencies that interact with many industry sectors, the report indicates that the mining industry needs to expand its contact with these agencies, so the mining dimension of key issues can be included in their funding opportunities criteria.
The federal government provides substantial assistance for science and innovation, including advanced research, up-to-date scientific infrastructure, access to advanced skills training for Canadians, and investments with the private sector to commercialize knowledge and convert it into economic gains. Because the field is so vast, the material in CMIC’s funding report provides a window into the opportunities. It includes initiatives that would help industry increase innovative capacity, improve energy efficiencies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Three additional websites that provide good entry points for gathering further information on the relevant programs are suggested within the report:
- Technology Early Action Measures (TEAM), an interdepartmental technology investment program that supports projects that mitigate GHG emissions and sustain economic and social development (www.team.gc.ca/English)
- Office of Energy R&D Programs (www.nrcan.gc.ca/eneene/science/propro-eng.php)
- Office of Energy Efficiency Programs (oee.nrcan.gc.ca/English).
For more information and to discover opportunities for funding of innovation and research projects, please visit www.cmic-ccim.org.
Funding for mining in Canada
The CMIC report highlights funding programs offered by a number of federal departments and not-for-profit entities including:
- Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
- Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions
- Canada Foundation of Innovation
- Canada Revenue Agency: Support for Education and Training Skilled Trades
- Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
- Community Adjustment Fund
- Federal Economic Development Initiative in Northern Ontario
- Human Resources and Social Development Canada
- National Research Council
- Natural Resources Canada
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
- Networks of Centres of Excellence
- Pre-Competitive Applied Research Network
- Scientific Research and Experimental Development
- Support for Post-Secondary Education
- Western Economic Diversification Canada