Important Progress on Ontario’s First Chief Scientist: Mayor Crombie
On behalf of the City of Mississauga, Council and the Mayor’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Taskforce, I want to congratulate the provincial government for undertaking an extensive stakeholder consultation to develop the position of Chief Scientist, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said as the Wynne government presses ahead with plans to establish this new position, expected to be appointed and announced by fall 2017.
Mayor Crombie welcomed news that stakeholder feedback called on the Chief Scientist to have “exceptional networking skills” and to be an “excellent educator.” Feedback reflected comments from individuals working in private industry, academia and government, among other sectors.
“The overall feedback is consistent with our very own submission,” Mayor Crombie added.
The Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science issued a call for public input to shape the role, responsibilities and mandate of the Chief Science Officer (since renamed Chief Scientist). In March, Mayor Crombie made a formal submission, guided by three key recommendations, including: strengthening existing connections, aligning existing strategic planning priorities and support for post-secondary institutions.
The submission was shaped in large part by the ongoing feedback shared by the Mayor’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Taskforcemembers, who “identified the importance of strengthening connections: connecting students, start-ups and existing businesses, with networking opportunities with academic and business thought leaders, along with potential inroads to secure capital investments to help bring innovative, scientific research into the marketplace,” Mayor Crombie said.
According to the provincial government, the Chief Scientist is to “lay the groundwork for the next generation of research and innovation jobs by defining the best science strategy for the province.”
Mayor Crombie used the submission to advocate for aligning scientific research with economic development, especially in the field of life sciences, which continues to be an important industry sector for the Province,” singling out the City of Mississauga’s Economic Development Office (EDO) new Mississauga Life Sciences Cluster Strategy, 2017-2021.
“Mississauga is home to Canada’s second largest life sciences cluster in Canada with more than 430 life sciences companies employing 22,000 people.” In June, Mayor Crombie joined staff from EDO to attend the 2017 Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) International Convention – one of the largest global events for the biotechnology industry. During the convention Mayor Crombie met with Research, Innovation and Science Minister Reza Moridi.
Mayor Crombie concluded by thanking “Minister Moridi, for the opportunity to once again provide public input to shape the important work that will be undertaken by the Chief Scientist.
“Working together, both the public and private sector can bring about new and important research that safeguards and elevates the quality of life for Ontarians, and unleashes new opportunities that can lead to economic development.