Basic research ‘at the root’ of innovation in Canada: U of T’s Molly Shoichet

Canada is well on its way to becoming a country where knowledge and ideas, not oil or timber, are its most important resources – but there’s more work to be done before we truly become an innovation nation.

That was the message delivered by University of Toronto researcher and former Ontario chief scientist Molly Shoichet and two other post-secondary heavy hitters – Martha Crago, McGill University’s vice-principal of research and innovation, and Paul Davidson, president of Universities Canada – during an Economic Club of Canada event today.

Shoichet, who holds a University Professor designation in U of T’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, noted “things are really happening” in cities like Toronto and Montreal, which have both seen huge investments by Silicon Valley heavyweights and multinationals in recent years.

However, she cautioned the current tech boom – much of it focused on artificial intelligence and its myriad applications, from medicine to transportation – wouldn’t have happened without strategic government investments in fundamental research decades ago. Read more.

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