I would say that you've really hit the core of the issue for Canada, nevertheless; and I think it's an issue that's been bedevilling not just this government but governments going back for several decades.
Also, as I'm sure this committee can appreciate, the nature of the Canadian economy has a lot to do with the level of research, development, and innovation. When we look at our exports and their trade, we do have a very strong resource-based economy that traditionally, in its own right, is not considered to be a performer of research and development. However, it is an adopter—in fact, a very sophisticated adopter—of information technologies, for example.
But I think, really, what you're getting at is something we consider to be an ongoing struggle, and that is connecting the two worlds closer together. Much of that can be done through the partnerships. At NSERC, for example, we have developed a number of programs that are not just pushing the technologies out to say that there's something really cool here that people in industry should be looking at, but having discussions with them about what their issues are, and exposing them to knowledge and connections where they could get the information and turn that into something much more effective.
But that comes in a whole ecosystem of other things. For example, people in the NRC's IRAP, the industrial research assistance program, will be working constantly with the small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular, to help them get to that point.
Our job at NSERC is on the funding side to ensure that, on the one hand, we have a very rich, diverse, and high-quality research base, and on the other, it is connected.