By Richard Braudo
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Extra resources for Competitive Industrial Development in the Age of Information: The Role of Co-operation in the Technology Sector (Routledge Studies in International Business and the World Economy, 12)
It highlighted its commitment to regulatory reform in the area of telecommunications policy, its efforts to extend the CANARIE network with capital spending, and its support for the linking of all schools and libraries in the country to the Internet through the SchoolNET program. With respect to technology, it outlined some of the key issues to be addressed in the formal S&T Review (launched as part of a more comprehensive process of program review), including the need for a more systematic approach to the commercialization of R&D, the need to develop a strong scientific culture in Canada, the need to establish which scientific and technological developments Canada should pursue, the need to ensure that federal labs play an effective role in the commercialization of technology and the need for measures to promote the rapid diffusion of technology to industry (Government of Canada, 1994).
IRAP was established in 1962 to provide technological assistance to Canadian firms to help them solve technological problems in a timely and cost effective manner. It maintains a national network of 245 Industrial Technology Advisers (ITAs) composed of staff from the NRC and some one hundred other organizations across the country, including universities, federal government organizations and provincial research organizations. The ITAs work with firms to help them examine the nature of their technology problems and identify possible sources to help solve their problems, such as the NRC itself, other public research organizations, universities or private companies.
However, one of the major impediments to allowing such an agency considerable clout is the high degree of political control over discretionary spending required by the political economy of federalism in Canada, to which I have already referred. As an antidote to the view that we can somehow will into existence a different institutional framework that would be congenial to high-tech IP, it is worth studying the literature on the industrial policies of countries, such as Japan, thought to have been successful in producing the needed institutional capacity within government.
Competitive Industrial Development in the Age of Information: The Role of Co-operation in the Technology Sector (Routledge Studies in International Business and the World Economy, 12) by Richard Braudo