News National Research Council shifting focus to innovative projects SHARE ON: Jeff Henson, contributor, Monday, Feb. 24th, 2014 The President of the National Research Council of Canada feels changes to their operating model will create a higher impact from the research and development being done in our country. The changes include focusing their investment on well managed and multi disciplinary projects, that focus more on benefiting Canada rather than just being a pure scientific contribution. John McDougall says they want to make sure they match other countries in getting peak innovation for the investment provided by the government. “In the macro sense that it seems like cost-benefit equation just isn’t the right balance, so everyone’s trying to say, ‘how do we get more out of this public investment?’. If you looked at the rise in spending in RND in Canada, and you looked at our innovation and competitiveness, they were going in the opposite directions.” McDougall says Canada is currently ranked 14th in the world in productivity and competitiveness, which is innovation-driven. He says that’s a number that needs to be turned around quickly, adding he thinks the changes can lead to improvements in that area over time.