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The Canadian federal government’s 2007 science and technology strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage, announced that a new independent body would be created to provide the government, through the Minister of Industry, with science, technology and innovation policy advice. The Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) was established in accordance with this commitment. The formation of the STIC resulted in the consolidation of the roles and responsibilities of the Advisory Council on Science and Technology, the Council of Science and Technology Advisors, and the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee into a single entity with a stronger voice.
The STIC, whose work is supported by a Secretariat housed within Industry Canada in Ottawa, consists of a Chair, prominent chemist Howard Alper, and 17 members appointed by the Minister of Industry, Jim Prentice, on October 18, 2007. Council members include representatives from Canada’s business, government and academic communities.
The STIC’s mandate is to provide “evidence-based science and technology advice on issues, referred to it by government, which are critical to Canada's economic development and social well-being.” The focus of the Council is determined by the Minister of Industry, who charges it with analyzing key areas of Canada’s science, technology and innovation landscape and producing policy options to address issues in these areas. In the first year following its inception, the council provided advice in shaping the design of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) Program and the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS) Program, and made recommendations on sub-priorities within the four research priority areas announced in the Government of Canada's 2007 Science and Technology Strategy. The council is also mandated to “produce regular national reports benchmarking Canada's science and technology performance against international standards of excellence.” The first of these reports, State of the Nation 2008, was released in May 2009. It outlines Canada’s performance on a variety of research and development and innovation indicators.
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