Jan 06 Building Support for Canadian Health Research in 2012
Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery looks to 2012 with much anticipation for strengthening partnerships and forging new collaborations within Canada's health research community. Now in its 7th year, Research Canada's alliance is growing stronger by the day with the success of its advocacy programs designed to improve health and prosperity for all Canadians.
In the face of the challenging fiscal environment that has taken hold in recent years, Research Canada set sail on a course to reach out in nimble and resourceful ways—and through broad partnerships—with the message that the current economic climate provides opportunities to galvanize our sector towards new ways of working together. Clearly, the Canadian health research community has seen significant funding cuts as a result of a lagging global economy. The austerity measures once considered temporary will endure and are likely to affect a paradigm shift in the way the health research community undertakes future initiatives.
This "Paradigm Shift" was the theme of Research Canada's recent AGM [read the AGM Report] and is the leading concept underpinning plans and activities for 2012. It encapsulates the resilience, inter-connectedness, and inspired dedication of Canadian health researchers and the broader community.
The Parliamentary Health Research Caucus that Research Canada established in 2009, will draw much interest among Parliamentarians, especially because of upcoming events focused on brain research, innovation clusters, and workplace health and safety. These events profile and promote the excellent and promising health research being conducted in our member institutions and its returns to Canadians. When we bring together eminent scientists, sectoral leaders and parliamentarians we foster productive and ongoing dialogue on the Hill dedicated to creating policies in support of health research.
Research Canada will compliment the work it does through the Caucus by also expanding production of its newsletter for Parliamentarians—Research Canada Update, which provides an overview of research taking place at Research Canada’s member institutes and universities. We will also conduct a fourth public opinion poll in 2012 and organize a series of institute visits.
Additionally, Research Canada will continue its tradition of developing discussion papers and consultation submissions in response to the federal government’s public calls for input from stakeholder groups, and we will carefully review federal policy decisions relevant to our sector. The 2012 Federal Budget is a top priority for the coming months. Research Canada submitted a pre-budget consultation brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in August 2011, and held a series of meetings with government officials in the following months. A comprehensive report on the new budget will be released, once the budget is tabled in Parliament (likely in February or March).
Working for all Canadians, Research Canada is committed to raising public awareness of health research here at home and beyond our borders. Our Social Media Task Force worked hard to ensure that in 2012, communications and outreach grow extensively through a robust Social Media Strategy which will introduce valuable new web content—including blogs and video—to be shared through our social networks. Stay tuned!