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Canada launches new innovation agency

In April, the Canadian government announced the launch of a new funding agency focused on innovation. The objective is to stimulate private investment in research and development (R&D). Canadian companies currently invest the equivalent of 0.8% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the sector, which is half of the average (1.6% of GDP) allocated by the world’s most industrialized nations. The new agency will operate similarly to existing ones in Finland and Israel, which strive to bridge the gap between academia and businesses with the aim of generating innovations with commercial potential. Dan Breznitz of the University of Toronto’s Innovation Policy Lab, who is helping with the new agency’s planning process, told the journal Nature that it will have a national focus, supporting a wide range of businesses. The agency is set to receive approximately US$780 million in funding over the next five years.