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Beef It Up By a Billion

An independent panel has called for a billion-dollar increase to science spending in Canada, Nature News reports.

Science Minister Kirsty Duncan commissioned the nine-person panel led by David Naylor, a former president of the University of Toronto, last summer to examine Canada's research ecosystem, with a particular focus on the country's three funding agencies and programs like the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Canada Research Chairs, and Genome Canada. 

According to Nature News, the panel says the government should increase science funding from $2.6 billion (C$3.5 billion) per year to $3.6 billion (C$4.8 billion). The panel reports that since 2013, basic science researchers in the country have experienced a 35 percent drop in available funds per capita and that the funding of some programs hasn't keeping pace with inflation.

In particular, the panel says Canada needs to invest some C$500 million in basic, investigator-led research over the next four years, ScienceInsider adds. It also calls for improving coordination among the various parts of the funding system by setting up a National Advisory Council on Research and Innovation.

The panel's suggestions have been largely well-received, ScienceInsider reports. "Canada has an interesting opportunity to increase our brand around the world by investing in investigator-led fundamental research," the University of Ottawa's Paul Dufour tells it.

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