For Immediate Release
March 28, 2017
Chief Science Officer Public Submission: Mayor Crombie
The creation of Ontario’s first Chief Science Officer is an opportunity to further align the research, innovation and economic development priorities of local governments, post-secondary institutions, business representatives and industry associations with the Province, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said.
Mayor Crombie made the comments in response to the provincial Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science call for public input to shape the role, responsibilities and mandate of the Chief Science Officer. Mayor Crombie provided a submission to Minister Reza Moridi for consideration.
The submission is guided by three key recommendations: strengthen existing connections, aligning existing strategic planning priorities and support for post-secondary institutions.
“Ontario’s Chief Science Officer will have an important platform as a province-wide thought leader and is well positioned to connect stakeholders and bring them together to work toward common goals,” Mayor Crombie said, citing the work of the Mayor’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Taskforce – a working group that connects public-sector and private-sector stakeholders who are helping foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Mississauga.
“Taskforce members identified the importance of strengthening connections: connecting students, start-ups and existing businesses, with networking opportunities with academic and business thought leaders, along with potential inroads to secure capital investments to help bring innovative, scientific research into the marketplace.”
Mayor Crombie added “Ontario’s Chief Science Officer must work to align existing strategic plans and objectives with other governments, industry and stakeholder group efforts, to better ensure duplication is avoided and mutual goals are identified and achieved.”
Of note, Mayor Crombie highlighted “strategies to help advance research and innovation, especially in the field of life sciences, which continues to be an important industry sector for the Province,” singling out the City of Mississauga’s Economic Development Office (EDO) new Mississauga Life Sciences Cluster Strategy, 2017-2021.
“The Trudeau government’s Budget 2017 committed $950 million to unleash the potential of superclusters in health/bio-sciences,” Mayor Crombie added. “This, in particular, is an opportunity for Mississauga to explore ways to build on the abovementioned Strategy. Mississauga’s priority sectors are well aligned with the supercluster strategy, and so should be the priorities of the Chief Science Officer.”
Mayor Crombie wrote “I am confident that the work of the Office of the Chief Science Officer can help leading scientists, academics and post-secondary institutions make further inroads with the life changing work they study and undertake each and every day,” citing Council’s unprecedented $10 million grant to support the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) growth.
“Our partners at UTM are at the vanguard of helping Mississauga maintain and expand its edge in the life sciences field. UTM injects over $1 billion annually into Peel Region, with the bulk of the share going to Mississauga.”
Mayor Crombie concluded by thanking “Minister Moridi, for the opportunity to provide public input to shape the important work that will be undertaken by the first-ever Chief Science Officer for Ontario.
“Working together, both public and private sector can bring about new and important research that safeguards and elevates the quality of life for Ontarians, and unleashes new opportunities that can lead to economic development.”