While these are still early days, the government has expressed a renewed interest in mitigating risk and protecting intellectual property developed at Canada’s post-secondary institutions.
As a first step, any new applications to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) Alliance Grants program involving private sector partners must include a completed risk assessment form and a risk mitigation plan where appropriate.
In addition to performing a scientific merit review, NSERC will assess these risks in consultation with national security agencies and departments on a case-by-case basis. Projects deemed to be of high national security risk will not be funded.
These changes currently only apply to the NSERC Alliance program; however, the intention is to roll them out for all granting councils and the Canada Foundation for Innovation in the near future.