CANARIE releases findings from stakeholder consultations

CANARIE, a vital component of Canada’s digital infrastructure supporting research, education and innovation, today released a summary of feedback gathered during stakeholder consultations. These consultations were designed to collect information to inform the development of CANARIE’s plan for mandate renewal. During the consultations, stakeholders were asked to comment on CANARIE’s progress against current objectives and to provide information on potential future directions for the organization.

These findings are complemented by additional stakeholder direction summarized in the report from the 2013 CA NA RIE Us er s’ Forum, and the Report of the Summit 2014 prepared by the Leadership Council for Digital Infrastructure. Together, these documents represent feedback from almost 350 stakeholders from Canada’s research, education and innovation communities.

CANARIE will use the feedback from these documents to develop the elements of its mandate renewal in 2015. CANARIE will also be guided by the impact of economic, technological and research trends influencing Canada’s innovation system. These trends point to unique and time-sensitive opportunities for CANARIE to play a critical role in strengthening Canada’s innovation capacity and contributing to a sustainable and prosperous knowledge economy. These trends include:

  • “Big Science” getting bigger: National and global research initiatives and instruments, like the ATLAS project at TRIUMF, Ocean Networks Canada, the Canadian Light Source (CLS), the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) generate data at unprecedented rates. For example, when it is operational, the data collected by the SKA in a single day would take two million years to play back on an iPod. In addition, genomics data, spanning human, animal and plant genomes, are exploding and presenting a range of challenges for digital infrastructure providers globally. Since 2006/07, the CANARIE network has experienced a 50% annual increase in network traffic, a trend that is likely to continue and potentially accelerate.
  • Increasing investments in Canadian research: The most recent federal budget announcement of $1.5B for the Canada First Research Excellence Fund and $222M over five years for TRIUMF, together with ongoing investments in the National Research Council and granting councils, points to a strong commitment to advanced research, which in turn requires robust digital infrastructure, services and software tools.
  • Disruptive Technologies: Some of the leading global megatrends involving disruptive technologies rely on information and communications technologies (ICT), specifically cloud-computing, as their foundation. Emerging sectors based on mobile devices, social media, “big data” and the “Internet of Things” are all grounded in ICT and have seen tremendous growth in terms of adoption and use. These sectors, together with nanotechnologies, genomics, the automation of knowledge work and robotics will have a tremendously disruptive impact on current economic structures.
  • Knowledge Mobilization: A strong policy push is underway to transfer new knowledge from “labs to marketplace”. For example, one of the main goals of the recent federal Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Strategy refresh
    is to improve Canada’s track record of mobilizing publicly-funded research to boost the country’s economic growth.
  • Need to increase Canadian productivity levels to compete in global markets: Canada has always been regarded as a pioneering ICT nation – rightly so, given the past successes of companies such as Nortel and Research in Motion. However, due to increased global competition, the Canadian ICT sector has suffered setbacks and our competitiveness has been lagging. Recent trade agreements that Canada has signed with Europe and South Korea, along with the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations mean that Canada’s ICT sector will have access to large, established and emerging markets. To compete in these markets, ICT companies must become more competitive by increasing productivity levels through innovation and the adoption of leading-edge technology.
  • The rise of inter-disciplinary research: Cross-disciplinary research has become much more widespread. Emerging fields of study such as nanotechnology, bioinformatics, and sustainable development require researchers from various fields to collaborate. Further, the scale of challenges impacting the planet (including climate change, potential for pandemics, global resource management) requires interdisciplinary collaboration among thousands of researchers around the world, accessing globally distributed resources.

CANARIE welcomes additional feedback and input as it develops the elements of its mandate renewal in the coming months. Please send any additional feedback directly to CANARIE at feedback@canarie.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Ela Ienzi
Communications Manager
CANARIE Inc. (613) 943-5432
ela.ienzi@canarie.ca

About CANARIE:

CANARIE designs and delivers digital infrastructure, and drives its adoption for Canada’s research and education communities.
CANARIE keeps Canada at the forefront of digital research and innovation, fundamental to a vibrant digital economy.

CANARIE’s roots are in advanced networking, and CANARIE continues to evolve the national ultra -high-speed backbone network that enables data-intensive, leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. One million researchers, scientists and students at over 1,100 Canadian institutions, including universities, colleges, research institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories have access to the CANARIE Network.

CANARIE also leads the development of research software tools that enable researchers to more quickly and easily access research data, tools, and peers. In support of Canada’s high-tech entrepreneurs, CANARIE offers cloud-computing services to help them accelerate product development and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Twelve provincial and territorial network partners, together with CANARIE, collectively form Canada’s national research and education network (NREN). This powerful digital infrastructure connects Canada’s researchers and innovators provincially, nationally, and globally to the data, tools, colleagues, and classrooms that are at the heart of prosperity in the digital economy.

Established in 1993, CANARIE is a non-profit corporation, with the major investment in its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada.