Completed Assessments

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All CCA publications are available on the CCA’s website, free of charge. The CCA’s reports can also be found on Scribd and Google Books.


Improving Innovation Through Better Management

(October 2018)

Canada has an abundance of raw ideas, talented people, and entrepreneurial spirit. While research is world-class and technology start-ups are thriving, few companies grow and mature in Canada. [more...]



Competing in a Global Innovation Economy: The Current State of R&D in Canada

(April 2018)

In the 21st century, national prosperity, competitiveness, and well-being are inextricably linked to a country’s capacity for R&D and innovation. Canada is competing intensely alongside other countries to foster the next wave of research advances and innovations. [more...]



Older Canadians on the Move 

(December 2017)

Long lineups, poor signage, and garbled announcements over a loudspeaker can be a nuisance for any traveller. But for older adults, they can present significant roadblocks in their journey, whether taking a cross-country trip by train, or a bus ride to an appointment. Demand for an inclusive transportation system that meets the unique and varied needs of this growing demographic is only going to increase. Currently, one in six people in Canada is 65 or older. That number is expected to climb to one in four by 2036. [more...]


The Value of Commercial Marine Shipping to Canada

(May 2017)

As a maritime nation, Canada’s economy, culture, environment, and security have long been interlinked with commercial marine shipping. Critical to Canada’s historical development, marine shipping continues to be vital to international trade and the development of communities. It is often the only means by which food and essential goods reach Canada’s island, remote, and northern communities. While it is evident that marine shipping is of critical importance to Canada, its value had never been comprehensively assessed. [more...]


Science Policy: Considerations for Subnational Governments 

(April 2017)

In Canada, science is as much a provincial endeavour as it is a national one. Science has the potential to inform policy development and enhance public welfare in areas such as security, health, the environment, education, and social policy. Investments in science can create new economic opportunities and help develop the knowledge and social capital of specific regions. Realizing these benefits, however, requires effective science policies across all levels of government. [more...]


Building on Canada's Strengths in Regenerative Medicine

(March 2017)

Regenerative medicine has the potential to transform healthcare by treating previously incurable chronic diseases and genetic disorders. Since the discovery of stem cells in the early 1960s by Canadian scientists Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch, significant advancements in regenerative medicine have followed, many by Canadian researchers and practitioners.  [more...]


Commercial Marine Shipping Accidents: Understanding the Risks in Canada

(April 2016)

Canada’s economic and social development has benefited immensely from centuries of marine shipping. Today, the industry supports economies from coast to coast to coast, shipping hundreds of millions of tonnes of cargo, ranging from fuels to food, to consumer goods lining store shelves. The shipping industry is important to the livelihood of Canadians, but has also faced increased public scrutiny in recent years. [more...]


Technology and Policy Options for a Low-Emission Energy System in Canada

(October 2015)

Climate change is a daunting and complex problem with potentially disastrous consequences. The evidence is clear: increased greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are causing pervasive changes to the Earth’s climate, and significant and rapid efforts will be needed to reduce these emissions in the coming decades. [more...]

Health Product Risk Communication: Is the Message Getting Through? from ScienceAdvice.Ca

Health Product Risk Communication: Is the Message Getting Through?

(June 2015)

Communicating about risk cannot be reduced to a simple formula. There are a range of potential hazards that can pose risks to health, and these risks can vary in severity, certainty, probability, and complexity. [more...]


Oil Sands Report

Technological Prospects for Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Canadian Oil Sands

(May 2015)

Canada’s oil sands are an important economic driver and play a growing role in meeting global oil supplies. They contain an estimated 169 billion barrels of bitumen and span an area larger than the three Maritime provinces. As is widely known, they create a significant environmental footprint – one that is forecasted to grow in the decades to come.[more...]


Some Assembly Required: STEM Skills and Canada’s Economic Productivity from ScienceAdvice.Ca

Some Assembly Required: STEM Skills and Canada’s Economic Productivity

(April 2015)

Canada has one of the most highly trained workforces in the world. The skills and abilities of Canadians have played a key part in ensuring that Canada has one of the highest standards of living.[more...]



wind turbine noise report

Understanding the Evidence: Wind Turbine Noise

(April 2015)

Demand for renewable energy, including wind power, is expected to grow in Canada and around the world. [more...]




Accessing Health and Health-Related Data in Canada

(March 2015)

Canadians care deeply about health care — for themselves, their families, and their communities. Ensuring that the health-care system can deliver the best possible care depends fundamentally on research into system innovation and health and social well-being. This research depends on the availability of high-quality data.[more...]



Leading in the Digital World: Opportunities for Canada’s Memory Institutions

(February 2015)

Canada is now a digital society. Decades of evolving digital technologies have changed how we interact, the amount of cultural content we create and exchange, and the methods we use to create and exchange this content.  [more...]



Policing Canada in the 21st Century: New Policing for New Challenges

(November 2014)

Police services around the world are embarking on a major period of change that has seen few parallels since the founding of modern policing in the 19th century. [more...]




Energy Prices and Business Decision-Making in Canada: Preparing for the Energy Future

(October 2014)

Canada has abundant energy sources, from vast oil sands to ample hydroelectric capacity, offshore oil, natural gas, and coal. [more...]




Improving Medicines for Children in Canada

(September 2014)

Due to concerns about their vulnerability, children have historically been neglected in drug research and development, including clinical trials. But the reality is that children need medicines and are taking them. Data shows that each year, about half of Canadian children use at least one prescription drug. [more...]



Science Culture: Where Canada Stands

(August 2014)

Science is a fundamental part of Canadian culture and society, affecting both individual and social life. As a driving force of the economy, science is a catalyst for innovation and the creation of new goods and services. It has led to improvements in Canadians’ health and well-being, and changed how Canadians interact with one another through new technologies. [more...]



Enabling Sustainability in an Interconnected World

(June 2014)

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are more than just gadgets meant to entertain. They are devices, systems, and platforms that are transforming how people live, work, and communicate with one another. Interconnected ICT opportunities have the potential to expand access to information, generate economic benefits, and improve Canada’s environmental performance. [more...]



Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction in Canada

(May 2014)

The North American energy landscape is undergoing dramatic change. Unconventional oil and gas resources are fuelling an energy boom that is having profound economic, environmental, and social impacts across much of the continent, including Canada. At the forefront of this change is shale gas. [more...]



Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada: An Assessment of the State of Knowledge

(March 2014)

Food insecurity presents a serious and growing challenge in Canada’s northern and remote Aboriginal communities. In 2011, off-reserve Aboriginal households in Canada were about twice as likely as other Canadian households to be food insecure. Finding lasting solutions will require the involvement not just of policy-makers but of those most affected by food insecurity [more...]


Ocean Science in Canada: Meeting the Challenge, Seizing the Opportunity

(November 2013)

The universal challenges facing the ocean today demand the integration of multidisciplinary knowledge and coordination across traditional boundaries. While Canada is recognized for its excellence in ocean research and leading role in international research collaboration,  a comprehensive understanding of national capacity to address future questions of ocean science is essential. [more...]


The Health Effects of Conducted Energy Weapons

(October 2013)

The use of conducted energy weapons (CEWs) by law enforcement agencies around the world has grown rapidly in recent years. CEWs are devices that use electrical energy to induce pain or to immobilize or incapacitate a person. The health effects of CEWs are one of several factors that police and correctional agencies, policy-makers, and front-line personnel must take into account when deciding whether such devices should be used in the field. [more...]


The State of Industrial R&D in Canada

(August 2013)


The report, The State of Industrial R&D in Canada, provides an in-depth analysis of research and development activities in Canadian industries and is one of the most detailed and systematic studies of the state of IR&D ever undertaken in Canada. While many reports have documented Canada’s historical weakness in industrial R&D, the Panel’s report sheds new light on the subject by examining areas of strength and how these strengths are distributed regionally. [more...]


Innovation Impacts: Measurement and Assessment

(April 2013)

It is widely accepted and understood that innovation is critical to economic competitiveness and social progress. To ensure that innovation investments are spent most effectively and remain a priority in the face of public austerity measures, it is essential that decision-makers obtain the most reliable estimates of the impacts of innovation investments. [more...]



Water and Agriculture in Canada: Towards Sustainable Management of Water Resources

(February 2013)

The agricultural sector is an important contributor to Canada’s prosperity and well-being and there are substantial opportunities for the sector in the coming decades. However, Canadian agriculture is also challenged by water-related risks and uncertainties. Growing competition for water, land, and other resources, in addition to the uncertain impact of climate change and variability, will place increased stress on agricultural production in Canada and throughout the world. [more...]


Strengthening Canada’s Research Capacity: The Gender Dimension

(November 2012)

After the notable absence of female candidates in the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program, the Minister of Industry, in March 2010, struck an ad-hoc panel to examine the program’s selection process. As a result, the Council of Canadian Academies received a request to undertake an assessment of the factors that influence university research careers of women, both in Canada and internationally. [more...]


The State of Science and Technology in Canada, 2012

(September 2012)

In 2010, the Minister of Industry asked the Council of Canadian Academies to assess the state of science and technology in Canada. The State of Science and Technology in Canada, 2012 builds upon, updates, and expands upon the Council’s inaugural report, published in 2006. [more...]




Informing Research Choices: Indicators and Judgment

(July 2012)

In 2010, the Minister of Industry, on behalf of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), asked the Council of Canadian Academies to examine the international practices and supporting evidence used to assess performance of research in the natural sciences and engineering disciplines. [more...]



Integrating Emerging Technologies into Chemical Safety Assessment

(January 2012)

Traditionally, the regulatory risk assessment of pesticides has utilized a battery of animal-based (in vivo) tests to produce scientifically-based risk assessment conclusions and risk management strategies that will protect human health and the environment. Integrated testing, using data from diverse fields of study, represents an exciting means to augment toxicity testing and further improve the safety of pesticides and other regulated chemicals. [more...]

Healthy Animals, Healthy Canada

(September 2011)

Animal health has a direct impact on the health of Canadians, the economy and the environment. The majority of emerging diseases in humans have their origin in the animal kingdom. Economic losses related to animal health events include reduced trade flows, lost incomes for farm families and fewer jobs in agricultural industries. Environmental consequences include the disruption of domestic ecological systems. [more...]


Canadian Taxonomy: Exploring Biodiversity, Creating Opportunity

(November 2010)

The diversity of life on earth is an irreplaceable natural heritage.  It is being lost in Canada and around the world at a rate unprecedented in human history with massive consequences for the biosphere, the economy, and human well-being. Taxonomy is the science that discovers, distinguishes, classifies and documents living things. As such, it is the foundation of biodiversity research and essential to understanding the world around us. [more...]


Honesty, Accountability and Trust: Fostering Research Integrity in Canada

(October 2010)

Academic research is a core driver of modern society. It plays a major role in economic competitiveness, environmental protection, and the health and safety of Canadians. The proper conduct of research is critical to its credibility, the public’s trust in its outcomes, and the integrity of the published record. [more…]


Better Research for Better Business

(May 2009)

Outstanding leadership can make a significant difference in the performance of economies and of societies. In research related to management, business, and finance, the concepts of leadership and management have come to be synonymous. However, while the two are complementary and essential for success, they are different. [more…]



The Sustainable Management of Groundwater in Canada

(May 2009)

Groundwater is vital for Canada’s health, environment, and economy. Nearly a third of Canada’s population, some 10 million people, depends on groundwater for safe drinking water and more than 80 per cent of Canada’s rural population depends on groundwater for its entire water supply. Canada’s groundwater however, is increasingly under threat from factors such as urbanization, climate change, burgeoning energy production, intensification of agriculture and contamination. [more…]

Innovation and Business Strategy: Why Canada Falls Short

(April 2009)  

Innovation is the manifestation of human potential and creativity. It allows societies to solve problems, seize new opportunities, and achieve higher standards of living. Innovation is what makes businesses thrive. Canadian businesses, however, seem to lag in innovation behind the United States and other comparable countries. [more…]



Vision for the Canadian Arctic Research Initiative: Assessing the Opportunities

(November 2008)


In its October 2007 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada committed itself to the construction of a world-class arctic research station, as part of a larger northern strategy. [more…]


Energy from Gas Hydrates: Assessing the Opportunities and Challenges for Canada


(July 2008)

Gas hydrates form when water and natural gas combine at low temperatures and high pressures. Some estimates suggest that the total amount of natural gas bound in hydrate form may exceed all conventional gas resources – coal, oil and natural gas, combined. [more…]


Small is Different: A Science Perspective on the Regulatory Challenges of the Nanoscale

(July 2008)

Nanomaterials are classes of materials which have one or more physical dimensions on the nanoscale. These materials are incredibly small in size and are measured in nanometres — one nanometre is one billionth of a metre. While nanomaterials present exciting new opportunities, they also create uncertainty due to their small size and altered properties. [more...]



Influenza Transmission and the Role of Personal Protective Respiratory Equipment: An Assessment of the Evidence


(December 2007)

Seasonal influenza and its complications send, on average, 20,000 Canadians to hospital each year and cause 4,000 deaths. Pandemics occur when a new strain of the influenza virus appears to which humans have little or no pre-existing immunity. [more…]


The State of Science and Technology in Canada


(September 2006)

Strength in science and technology is considered to be essential for a modern country’s ongoing capacity to innovate and compete in the knowledge-based global economy. Strength in science and technology determines our ability to compete for increasingly mobile resources of people and investment capital and to participate in global knowledge-sharing networks that operate at the leading edge of both science and technology development. [more…] 



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“It is clear the Council is well on its way to becoming recognized as a powerful organization for all aspects of research critical to Canada and, at the same time, useful for science globally.”

Rita R. Colwell, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and former Director of the National Science Foundation (1998-2004)