The Premier's Technology Council (PTC) has released its 13th report. The report focuses on issues of venture capital, on applying clean-energy technology and on the delivery of the government's innovation programming.
Canada-wide challenges have caused a worrying decline in the availability of venture capital over the past two years. This holds true for B.C. as well, in spite of B.C. having the strongest venture capital programming in Canada. The PTC recommends government address these new challenges by:
* Working with the federal government to expand Scientific research and Experimental Development (SRED) tax credits and to seek greater federal participation in B.C. VCC programming.
* Continuing the venture capital programs to ensure predictable, long term capital flow.
* Maintaining the BC Renaissance Capital Fund, allowing it a continued supply of capital.
* Including aspects of venture capital management in the eligible activities of the BC International Financial Centre.
The PTC also commends both the federal and provincial governments for their work to address the barrier to venture capital that had been created by Section 116 of the federal Income Tax Act.
The reports of the four Green Energy Advisory Task Forces and the new Clean Energy Act are complementary to and build upon previous reports of the PTC. They lay out for government a more detailed series of actions that will not only help B.C. become a profitable net exporter of green energy, but help it to maintain a leadership role in this field. The PTC supports both the act and the findings of these task forces by reinforcing its recommendation from the tenth report.
* That B.C. set a target to become a profitable net exporter of clean energy by 2020.
Energy Saving Infrastructure
Investment in new facilities and upgrades to existing facilities in order to save energy and use new, clean technology to generate energy has a number of benefits to government and to its associated institutions. To take advantage of this opportunity B.C. must prioritize an increase in capital expenditures in exchange for a reduction of future operating budgets.
* That the provincial government make investment in energy infrastructure a priority and implement the budgetary, legislative, regulatory, and/or policy changes required to allow increased capital expenditures and associated financing costs in exchange for a reduction of future operating budgets.
BC Innovation Council Review
The BC Innovation Council (BCIC) was created in 2004. As it has been in existence for five years the PTC reviewed the organisation and its mandate. In the course of this review the PTC has determined that BCIC's new mandate and mission are appropriate and that it is beneficial for the government to utilize an autonomous business entity to execute on commercialization policy.
* That government supports the new mission statement, helps BCIC both to rationalize their legacy programs and meet their deferred revenue commitments, and update BCIC governance and identity to be consistent with its current objectives.
Commercialisation of Research
The PTC recently conducted an online consultation process to determine how to improve the commercialisation process in B.C. The process identified five key issues for the PTC to address as it moves forward on this issue. These are:
* Trying to encourage a more entrepreneurial culture in the institutions.
* Trying to refine and improve the nature of the partnerships between industry and academia.
* Trying to create a more consistent and less restrictive intellectual property policy.
* Ensuring the measures of success will encourage the relationship between industry and academia to blossom.
* Clarifying the role of government in the process.
The Premier's Technology Council was established in August 2001 to advise the government on issues related to the advancement and application of technology in British Columbia.
To view the 13th report visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/premier/attachments/PTC_13th_report.pdf
More information about the council and copies of its previous reports and recommendations are available on the Premier's website at http://www.gov.bc.ca/premier/technology_council/