Canada announces new National Research Council President

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

December 18, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting Canadians’ health and safety while ensuring economic resilience and contributing to the global response to COVID-19. The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) plays a key role through vaccine research and partnerships, providing expert advice to government through the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, contributing to the country’s biomanufacturing strategy and providing critical support for small and medium-sized companies through the Industrial Research Assistance Program.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that Mitch Davies has been appointed as the new President of the NRC.

Mr. Davies has held various leadership positions in the public service. Most recently, he was Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of the Industry Sector at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), where he played a key leadership role at the forefront of Canada’s innovation and industrial response to COVID-19. Previously, Mr. Davies held a number of key positions at ISED that helped advance policy priorities for science, innovation and industry, including Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Innovation Canada, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Strategic Policy Sector, and Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of the Science and Innovation Sector. He also held senior positions in the Privy Council Office and at Employment and Social Development Canada.

The NRC is Canada’s largest federal research and development organization. Mr. Davies’ appointment will provide the NRC with strong leadership during a critical period as the organization continues to play an important role in supporting the government’s response to COVID-19, while continuing to implement the strategy for a re-imagined NRC.

Quotes

“Congratulations to Mr. Davies on his appointment as President of the National Research Council of Canada. During these challenging times, the NRC plays a more important role than ever. Under Mr. Davies’ leadership, the NRC will continue to play a critical role in Canada’s response to the world’s most pressing challenges, including COVID-19 and climate change. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Roger Scott-Douglas for his leadership as acting President since September.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“I’m honoured to be asked to serve Canada as the President of the National Research Council. With a rich history of serving the nation’s strategic research and innovation interests since 1916, the NRC now plays a pivotal role in Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with partners across government, academia and Canadian business, I look forward to continuing to drive strong levels of employee engagement and advancing Government of Canada research and innovation priorities.”

– Mitch Davies, President, National Research Council of Canada

Quick facts

  • Mr. Davies’s term will be effective December 28, 2020, and continue until September 2022.

  • The NRC is Canada’s largest federal research and development organization. For more than 100 years, the NRC has been delivering innovative solutions to support Canadian science and industry, from protecting Canadian troops in World War II with advances in radar technology, to treatments for cancer, the cardiac pacemaker, the electric wheelchair and aids for the visually impaired. The NRC played a leading role in the space race by managing Canada’s core space science program, assembling the first Canadian astronaut team and overseeing the Canadarm project. More recently, the NRC made possible the first flight of a civil jet powered by unblended biofuel. Today, the NRC is playing a critical role in Canada’s fight against COVID-19.

  • The NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) provides advice, connections and funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses increase their innovation capacity and take ideas to market.

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