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Research Establishments

As early as the 19th century, specific agencies devoted to research have supported innovation and invention throughout Alberta and Canada. These research establishments are essential in the practice of research and development, a term used to describe activities whose aim is to gain knowledge. Although this is an incredibly broad definition, research and development, or more commonly known as "R and D," has become a fixture in the Canadian economy.

Research and development has been recognized as a major factor for the rapid economic growth of the 20th century. In developed countries, such as Canada and the United States, a significant portion of national resources are devoted to R and D.

Research and InnovationThe philosophy behind this process is the transformation of technical knowledge into concrete operational hardware, or in other words, invention. Research is similar to the inventive process as it attempts to create new and innovative ideas. Development uses these innovative ideas to create and improve physical goods or processes.

Although research and development is valued as a source of technological change, its exact value is difficult to determine. There is no accurate way to determine the relationship between the amount spent on research and development and economic growth. However, the world’s largest economic powers also spend the most on research and development.

The first provincial research council founded in Canada was the Alberta Research Council in 1921. The Canadian and Alberta governments both spend millions of dollars each year to support and promote research councils. Although federal and provincial government funding declined during the 1990s, a new emphasis on research establishments has emerged with the Canadian Innovation Strategy of 2002. The major goal of the Innovation Strategy is to move Canada from 15th to 5th in world research and development by increasing spending to $49 billion CDN by 2010.

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