Well, thank you very much. It's a very fascinating question and one that I think had policy-makers in Canada and around the world asking similar questions.
In specific response to the level of research that is being funded in universities, I think within universities it's somewhat difficult to make a clean distinction of what is basic and what is applied. I believe earlier in the week when you heard from Industry Canada, it did make mention of the fact that although our business expenditures in research and development are not at the top of the list, if you like, our investments in higher education research and development are among the top, certainly in the G-7, as we call it now.
I think a very good example of the results of that and of where Canada stands in the world was a study released two years ago by the Council of Canadian Academies, called “The State of Science & Technology in Canada”. In that, they outlined fields where Canada is respected internationally, for example, in the publication of journals and their citations, the groundbreaking work. They came up and pretty much reinforced the message that Canada certainly does have some of the top research minds.
The concept that our president likes to point to is that it's not the individual researcher working at the University of Toronto, or UBC, but rather it's looking at it from the context of those 11,000 who have been doing this work over decades, and not just in Canada but collaborating internationally. I think that is a really key ingredient for moving forward.
In much of the research that NRC has referred to, it's quite often the researchers at NRC who have either been funded by NSERC in their academic careers or have collaborated with universities. It's a combination of things.