Published on: April 10, 2016 | Last Updated: April 10, 2016 1:06 PM PDT
It’s been repeated so often it’s become a mantra in certain circles, and it was hauled out again recently in an opinion piece that wondered how we can get Canada’s health research “out of the lab and into the market.” Their solutions are always the same: reject investments in purely academic research in favour of market-driven research.
The thing is, that mantra is built on a myth.
It is in our post-secondary institutions where innovation begins, where fresh ideas are created, and where inspiration and excitement — not the dollar — is the mother of invention.
Of course, the academia-industry connection is important, too, because industry helps basic researchers apply their ideas to marketable products. Several funding agencies already recognize this and offer collaborative grants. Corporations could help further this collaboration by helping to support co-ops for undergraduate students and internships for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.